This page is printer-friendly or you can download it as a PDF)
A HISTORY OF
FORMERLY PORTER'S HILL
Begun as a fruit orchard and tobacco farm in the 17th century, this historic property has been associated with a number of famous Annapolitan families, including Hammond, Melvin, Ridgely, and Dubois, with the additional honor of having been foreclosedtwiceby the Farmers National Bank.
After being named Lindamoor in 1899, it passed to a consortium that subdivided it in 1947. A number of community paths provide each resident in its 80 households with an easy walk to either the Cove of Cork or the Severn River. The Cove has 16 deep water moorings, two dinghy docks and a number of private piers belonging to Lindamoor residents. Lindamoor is a close- knit community, with an active community association and a promising future in its second century.
On November 20, 1651 the land between what are now known as Weems Creek and Luce Creek was surveyed as two tracts. One of 320 acres between Weem's Creek and Cove of Cork was surveyed for and, on January 5th 1658, was patented to James Warner for having transported himself, his wife Joan, his daughter Joan and a servant, John Mathew, to Maryland. The other of 200 acres between Cove of Cork and Luce Creek was surveyed for Peter Porter for having transported himself and his wife Frances to Maryland. On September 10th 1659 Porter's Hill was patented to Peter Porter, son of Peter the elder. Porter's Hill extended to about 1200 yards from the Severn River, about where Dubois Road is now.
On April 10th 1662 Peter Porter sold Porter's Hill to Samuel Howard, who came to the Severn from Virginia. Samuel married Catherine Warner, one of James Warner's daughters and through her inherited James' 320 acres. Samuel now owned 520 acres between Weems Creek and Luce Creek and called the entire tract Porter's Hill. When Samuel died in 1703, his property and its various parts passed through his son, his grandsons and his great grandsons. In 1765, 236 acres between Luce Creek and the Cove of Cork were sold to John Davidge and then passed through a series of owners until Samuel Harvey Howard, a likely descendant of the original Samuel Howard, bought it in 1803. During the 35 years that Samuel held Porter's Hill, it came to be called Cove of Cork Farm.
In 1838, Samuel Harvey Howard suffered a mental illness and his property was sold by his appointed trustee. Over the next few years. Porter's Hill was conveyed to George Wells in 1846 through a series of transactions. Like some of the earlier owners of Porter's Hill, George Wells was a rich and important citizen of Annapolis. Among other things, he was president of Farmer's Bank. In his Board Room portrait, he is shown as a dashing figure, contrasting remarkably with the other Presidents. Martenet's 1860 map of Anne Arundel County shows one house between Weems Creek and Luce Creek, labeled "George Wells."
In 1877, Wells was forced to convey all his land in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to Farmers Bank to secure notes. Farmers foreclosed in 1878 and gained possession of Cove of Cork Farm (or "Waterloo") and all the personal propery thereon. In 1884, a lot that was approximately equal to what is now Lindamoor's Plat 1 was sold by Farmers and in December 1891, Farmers sold and mortgaged the remainder of Wells' property to George Melvin (711.78 acres @ $30/acre). Melvin had to build a bridge across Weems Creek as a condition of the sale. The road leading across the bridge and on to Luce Creek was called West Annapolis Avenue-now Ridgely.
Melvin intended to develop the property as Melvin's Garden Farms, consisting of lots 2 acres and larger. Unfortunately, Melvin's plans did not pan out. By 1895, much of the land was subject to a forced sale by Farmer's Bank. By then the lot that had been sold in 1884 had been reclaimed by Farmer's and sold to Charles A. Dubois, an oyster packer and the 1901 Mayor of Annapolis. It was sold a few more times until 1898, when Linda A. Combs, wife of W.A. Combs of Chicago bought the property.
In 1899, the Combs installed the gateposts and built the house that, with some modifications, still stands at 1841 Cove Point Road. The homestead was named using Mrs. Combs' maiden name, Linda Moore. In 1909 the Combs' deeded one acre on the Severn to their daughter Nancy, who along with her husband Dr. Harry Rue built the house that still stands (with renovations) at 1832 Cove Point Road. By 1911 the Combs had expanded their land holdings to a bit over 40 acres which included all the land in present-day Lindamoor. They sold the property in 1919 and it was again sold in 1924 to Gustave and Helena Fast.
After Gustave died intestate in 1946, his heirs agreed to sell Lindamoor for $60,000, to John S. and Marguerite C. Duvall, Reginald T. and Mildred B. Jones, Philip H. and Helen J. Ross and James L. and Dorothy M. Purdy. In 1947, this group had the land subdivided and drawn in two plats under the name Lindamoor on the Severn. The deeds for all lots on Plats 1 and 2 can be traced to them.
The first new houses in the Lindamoor subdivision were built in 1948-49 at 35, 39, 51 and 1849 Carriage Drive. At that time, a pony gamboled in the small orchard opposite number 39. Development along Woodlawn Drive, later re-named Lindamoor Drive, came several years later. This resulted in the nominal distinction between "Old Lindamoor" and "New Lindamoor." The time distinction is artificial because houses continued to be built in both sections during the next two decades and beyond. However, due to the geophysical bottleneck at the intersection of Lindamoor Drive and Lindamoor Lane, the names stuck.
The subdivision included the present-day roads, with Sleepy Hollow Lane extending to the shore of the Cove of Cork. As the head of the cove silted up and the water line receded, several neighbors built a walkway and pier to compensate. This was in a day when permits were not required for such piers. Over the years, the pier was extended to keep up with the receding shoreline and eventually reached its current configuration.
In 1971, the Lindamoor Improvement Association was incorporated in Maryland and began actions to get a deed to the extension of Sleepy Hollow Lane from the original subdivision consortium. The deed was signed in April, 1973, making LIA owner of that property for the benefit of all Lindamoor residents. This was followed by the construction of the mid-cove pier under a permit issued by Anne Arundel County.
In 2002 a neighbor received a permit for a pier that encroached upon the LIA pier at the head of the cove. The resulting reviews, agreements and official decisions had the effect of defining the legitimacy of the LIA pier. There were subsequent challenges when LIA requested permits for upgrading and dredging the pier, but none were successful. The pier was professionally rebuilt in 2008.
Since the early 1980s, LIA has registered and administered a group mooring field with 16 moorings on behalf of the community.
The original draft of this history, through 1947, was written by Carson Gibbs, who wrote: "Except for the fragments of biography, mostly from R.H. McIntire's, Maryland Families, this account is based on records in the Maryland Hall of Records and the Anne Arundel County Courthouse." It was edited in 1999 by Mike Maher and Frank Arsenault for publication in the Centennial edition of the LIA Directory. Material related to the post-1947 development was added by Arsenault in 2009, drawing on Dorothy Egan's recollections and LIA records.