NOTE: ALL FIELD WORK HAS BEEN COMPLETED ON THIS SITE. SEE FINAL POLREP IN POLREP SECTION.
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The primary portion of the site (mill and railroad section) is located in Howard County adjacent to the Patapsco River and the B&O Railroad just down stream of Jones Falls, which made the site ideal as the location for a industrial mill. In the nineteenth century, a textile mill, an industrial village, stores, a railroad station, a school, a church and mill workers houses existed at the site. But, many of these support structures were on the Baltimore County portion of the site. Most of the structures were demolished in the 1960s. At this time, only seven old structures remain at the site and a few recent concrete block and brick structures. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places. It became a town that has been called the Elysville Mill, Gray Mill, Alberton Mill and Daniels Mill in the past. The area wherein the site is located was most recently called Daniels, Maryland.
Thomas Ely and four investors incorporated the site, which originally encompassed 200 acres, on both sides of the Patapsco River in 1829. The original Elysville Mill was constructed between 1845 and 1846 to manufacture cotton textiles. Late in 1845, one of the principles of the mill named Colonel Hugh Ely (a state senator), spearheaded an effort to obtain financial backing and obtained $25,000 for the Ely family and created the Okisko Company. Cotton textile production was significant between 1846 and 1848 when an injunction was filed over the ownership of the mill, which was contested between the Elyville Company and the Okisko Company and the mill sat idle until 1853 when the bankrupt Okisko Company won the suit. In 1853, Okisko turned over the site to Alberton Manufacturing Company, named after Jacob Albert, the financier of the operation. The village took its name, Alberton Mill, from the mid 1850s until the 1870s. At the end of the 1850s, the Sagonan Manufacturing Company took over the assets of the Alberton Co., and eventually sold it to James S. Gray who operated the Gray Mill at the site until the early 1940s when C.R. Daniels Company took control of the mill.
The Daniels Company that was mostly known for the manufacturing of canvas at the site continued production until1972 when hurricane related flood damage caused the mill to be closed permanently. During the Daniels Company tenure at the site (by 1968) most of the support structures, particularly those on the Baltimore County and on the South side of the B&O Railroad tracks, were tore down. This action displaced long time residents and was precipitated because of the excessive cost to up grade and modernize the infrastructure (particularly conversion from outhouse to interior wastewater plumbing). The destruction of these support structures was the virtual destruction of what was then known as the town of Daniels, MD. The recent history of the mill portion of the site is a little sketchy, but after the flood, Daniels sold the site in 1972 to a grain storage business, then a roof truss manufacturing business that failed. A "Building and Loan Company" bought the site and sold the mill section of the site in 1985. It should be noted that in 1973 the mill was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places and that in 1978 there was a fire in the mill.
2.2. CURRENT OWNERSHIP:
The current owners of the contested portion of the site (in and around the former manufacturing portion of the site) were deeded the land late in 1985 and own it to this day. This section of the site is identified in the Howard County Taxation Map 11, Grid 24, Parcel 56, and encompasses approximately 15 acres. The family runs a mulch business at the site and has leased out sections of their holdings to other businesses through the years, including a welding company and a paving company.
It appears that the portion of the site, which is most likely the source area of the #6 oil release to the Patapsco River, borders the Mulch Company portion of the site. However, the two removed USTs and the #6 oil seepage do not appear to be related to the family business activities at the site.