"Life was quite and serene. The difference between then and now much like the difference between the raucous blare of the Diesel horn and friendly warmth of the whistle on a distant locomotive." - Thomas Phillips, Orange Grove in 1900
Orange Grove was once home to more than a dozen flour mill workers and their families. Prior to 1905, nine houses and an combination one-room church/school lined the river. Cows grazed in the pasture where the pavilion now stands, each home owned by Patapsco Flour Mill Company, which operated a mill across the river.
Neighbors gathered at the village water pump not only to collect drinking water, but also to exchange news. The minister, teacher, doctor, butcher, and produce grocer traveled on foot, horseback or horse-drawn wagon to service the community or sell their wares.
Of the town's 41 people in 1900, 19 were children. Thomas Phillips, who grew up here, reminisces how the river valley was a magnificent playground with opportunities for mischief and fun. Children enjoyed snow-sledding and ice skating on the lake created by the mill's dam. One of the favored pastimes was "chestnut hunting."
As you wander through the park today, imagine the different sights, sounds and smells of Orange Grove when it was a mill town.