Raiders at Hayfields

Shawan Road, Cockeysville MD 21030

Raiders at Hayfields

History: On July 10, 1864, Confederate Maj. Harry Gilmor and Gen. Bradley T. Johnson entered Baltimore County and arrived at Hayfields, the home of John Merryman, a Southern sympathizer. The raiders burned area railroad bridges, but Merryman persuaded Johnson to spare the Ashland Iron Works, an important local industry.

Merryman was a member of the Baltimore County Horse Guards. Three years earlier when the Civil War was just beginning, the unit helped burn railroad bridges on April 19, 1861, to keep Pennsylvania volunteers from reaching Baltimore and Washington. As a result, Federal authorities arrested Merryman and imprisoned him at Fort McHenry without an indictment.

After the war was over, Merryman continued to raise cattle at Hayfields. He also kept the written order from Johnson to spare the Ashland Iron Works, which continued to function until the 1880s. Merryman's home is now part of a private golf club.

More to Explore: Cockeysville is just a short drive to several beautiful state and local parks. Explore Oregon Ridge Park, filled with hiking trails, a man-made lake and a beach. Sign up for a fishing expedition, or a guided canoe trip at the nature center. Explore exhibits of fauna, flora and archaeology inside the Nature Center, as well as our exhibits of live animals. There are also several outdoor exhibits that explain the past mining and smelting furnace operations that once existed here. At Gunpowder Falls State Park, you can travel the Torrey C. Brown Trail, a 21-mile rail-trail extending from Ashland to the Pennsylvania line. Points of interest along this trail include the restored 1898 Monkton Train Station, which serves as a museum, gift shop and Ranger Station, and the Sparks Bank Nature Center, which features interpretive displays and family activities.

Photo Credits:

  1. "Historic American Buildings Survey E. H. Pickering, Photographer August 1936 THE RESIDENCE FROM NORTH EAST. – Hayfields Farm Buildings, Worthington Valley, Cockeysville, Baltimore County, MD." Courtesy of Library of Congress.
  2. "John Merryman's Letter Head." Courtesy of Library of Congress.
  3. "The residence from south." Courtesy of Library of Congress.
  4. "The smaller and older residence showing meat house from east." Courtesy of Library of Congress.