Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category
Melvale is a section of north Baltimore City west of Roland Park with its center where Cold Spring Lane (once called Melvale Avenue) passes over the Jones Falls. A water driven flour mill was established in the first half of the 19th Century in Melvale. The mill structure still stands and is today part of the Fleischmann vinegar plant. From 1887 to 1920 the stone building was used by the Melvale Distilling Co., one of the nation’s premiere rye whiskey producers of its time. Prohibition ended the distillery’s successful run.
In 1885 an asylum was established by Dr. William Frederick Steuart in Melvale. Steuart was a surgeon for Robert E. Lee’s troops during the Civil War. His son, Dr. Cecilius Calvert Steuart, took over administration of the Melvale Hospital upon his father’s retirement. The Steuart’s are related to the Calvert family, founders of Maryland.
The Melvale gas holder was built in 1933 for the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company. The 258 foot tall steel cylinder was constructed by the Bartlett Hayward Co., one of Baltimore’s historic businesses. The gigantic tank sits just off the Jones Falls Expressway next to the Cold Spring Light Rail station. The decommissioned tank once stored gas and later natural gas for nearby Baltimoreans. The Melvale gas holder is targeted for demolition in 2013.
Phase IV of the Jones Falls Trail, a paved biking/hiking path, will run right past the gas holder on its way north to Greenspring Avenue and Cylburn Arboretum. The entire trailhead will eventually connect Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with Lake Roland. Phase IV, running from Woodberry to Cylburn, is scheduled to be completed in December 2012, but appears to be slightly behind schedule.
The boundaries of Melvale are difficult to determine today and the name is rarely used anymore. The old mill building lies within a series of parks starting with Cylburn Arboretum and descending south to Cold Spring Park, Woodberry Woods, Hooper & Rockrose Park and terminating at historic Druid Hill.
A city landfill, which started as a quarry, west of Cold Spring Park is now athletic fields and a parking lot. The city’s “stump dump,” once the sewage filtration plant for the Roland Park neighborhood is also contained within the region of Melvale.
The origin of the Melvale name is not clear to me at this time. Further research of land records and old maps will hopefully shine some light on the subject. I suspect the name is attached to the mill that once turned grain to flour along the west bank of the Jones Falls long before there was a concrete expressway dividing the rolling landscape.
Born near Dublin, Ireland, in 1778, Mother Catherine McAuley dedicated her storied life to helping others. A devote catholic, McAuley was challenged when, after her parents died, she was sent to live with anti-catholic relatives. This difficult period in her life only strengthened her convictions and she began establishing the Sisters of Mercy. The organization’s goal was to aid suffering families and children as well as training women for employment. When Catherine was in her mid-twenties a Quaker family offered her residence in their home. The family grew to adore her and when they passed away they left their entire estate to their adopted daughter. In 1827, McAuley used this money to set up her first House of Mercy. In 1990, Pope John Paul II declared her venerable.
W 31st Street & Wyman Park Drive (Street View)
GPS: 39° 19′ 29.35″ N 76° 37′ 15.72″ W
The story of formal dentistry begins with Chapin A Harris. Between 1839 and 1840, Harris was instrumental in starting the first dental college, the first society for dental surgeons, and the first dental publication, the American Journal of Dental Science. The original list of subscribers to this pamphlet was discovered by G V Black, the seminal dentist to use nitrous oxide, and published thereafter, providing a transcript of the origins of dentistry. Harris published numerous books during his lifetime, many of which were used as medical guides throughout the world. He acted as dean and as a professor at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery until his untimely death in 1860.
Nestled within a loosely trimmed hedge, the memorial bust rests atop a podium with Chapin’s last name and life dates on the front. Harris wears a dignified jacket with scarf and stands facing the university’s main campus. The sculpture, dedicated in 1922, is yet another piece created by Baltimore’s Edward Berge. The bust originally stood at the intersection of North and Linden Avenues before it was moved to Wyman Park. Within shouting distance is the double equestrian statue of General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson.
In front of Shriver Hall on Johns Hopkins University’s main campus
GPS: 39° 19′ 36.46″ N 76° 37′ 12.50″ W
H. L. Mencken, once known as the Sage of Baltimore, wrote a 1935 Baltimore Sun article about William H Welch and his life of excess. According to Mencken, Welch had little or no concern with his own health, instead concentrating on the conditions of others. He chose study over sleep, food instead of diet, and meditation before activity. He was a career physician, having learned at Yale and in Germany, eventually becoming the first dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. During his later career he was elected president of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Medical Association, accomplishments only trumped by his various appetites. William Welch was a beer for breakfast kind of guy, yet he was able to move the medical profession as far forward as anyone in his generation. He lived to be eighty-four years old.
To the left of Shriver Hall’s entrance, on Johns Hopkins University‘s main campus, the statue stands tall on it’s pedestal. To the memorial’s immediate left is the Isaiah Bowman Bust, with Daniel Coit Gilman’s monument only a few paces beyond that. Welch is posed with his right hand’s index finger pointing upward, as though he were making one final speech. Sidney Waugh created the structure and it was erected in 1957.