In the mid-1800s this meadow and hillside were part of Thomas Winans' country estate, the Crimea. After returning from Russia, where he helped build the St. Petersburg-Moscow railroad, Winans established this estate. He and his Russian-born wife, Celeste, also had an in-town mansion, Aledoffsky, which no longer exists.
You can follow the old stone roadway or a pathway that leads to the Victorian stone mansion, called Orianda, and small wooden chapel at the top of the hill. At the pathway's midpoint is a mock battlement, which may have been built to protect the Confederate-sympathizing Winatis family or to represent a Crimean War fortification. Near the stream, to the left, you will see a large iron wheel that pumped water to the mansion.
Leakin Park encompasses the Crimea estate, which the City of Baltimore purchased in 1941 and 1948 with a bequest left by John Wilson Leakin.
The cast-iron eagles still flank the Windsor Mill Road entrance to Crimea as they did in this 1926 photo.
Orianda, the Crimea mansion, was built in 1856-57.
A large water wheel pumped water to the Crimea estate.