Book recounts memories of growing up in Roland Park

New book "I Wouldn’t Have Changed a Thing" recounts early Roland Park resident Ludie Tall's memories of youth.

The Baltimore neighborhood Roland Park was a part of Baltimore County until 1918. One of its early residents, Luther Stitt Tall, wrote a memoir in 1976 of a youth spent on Woodlawn Road.

His granddaughter, Holly L. Maddux, a writer and editor, has reprinted his recollections in a book called “I Wouldn’t Have Changed a Thing,” of what was then a separate community where this 10-year-old observed gypsies encamped and tramps congregated on rocks alongside the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad (Ma and Pa) tracks south of today’s Northern Parkway, then known as Belvedere Avenue.

The original Roland Park water tower stood on a small lane near Upland Road. “All the water used by the residents was pumped ... from artesian wells located on the [Baltimore Country Club] golf course,” he wrote, adding that when this standpipe was torn down, the Girls’ Latin School’s gym was built on its site.

Tall recalled that in February 1904, as downtown Baltimore burned, he climbed to the top of the tower to watch the flames consume Baltimore’s business district.

He also lists the tenants at the Roland Park Shopping Center: Morgan & Millard’s drug store, Jordan Stabler fancy grocers, the bootblack named Jake, a post office and an ice cream store he recalls as being owned by the Hermiller family.

The neighborhood had two dairies: Cole’s was on Wyndhurst Avenue and Croker’s was on Cold Spring Lane near what's now Loyola University Maryland’s student residential tower.

Tall, who was born in 1900 and died in 1989, was an owner of the Charles Street men’s shop Lohmeyer Payne Merrill.

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