Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Joppatowne in Harford County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Olney”

 
 
"OLNEY" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 23, 2007
1. "OLNEY" Marker
Inscription. Surveyed as “Prospect ye 29th August 1705 for Thomas Preston.” Named changed to “Olney” in 1810 by Mrs. John Norris, an admirer of Cowper, the poet, and his friend the Reverend John Newton, who lived at Olney, England.
 
Erected by State Roads Commission.
 
Location. 39° 28.772′ N, 76° 22.519′ W. Marker is near Joppatowne, Maryland, in Harford County. Marker is on Old Joppa Road half a mile east of Maryland Route 152, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1001 Old Joppa Road, Joppa MD 21085, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Harry Gilmor’s Raid (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Harry Gilmor's Raid (approx. 1.3 miles away); Jerusalem Mills (approx. 1½ miles away); Franklinville (approx. 2.2 miles away); Annie McGann Cumpston (approx. 2.4 miles away); Ishmael Day’s House (approx. 3 miles away); Saint John’s Parish (approx. 3 miles away); Ma & Pa Heritage Trail (approx. 3.3 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  The Poems of William Cowper. Includes a short biography, some of John Newton’s poetry.
“Olney” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard C Norris, August 1954
2. “Olney” Marker
Standing next to the marker is Rollin Hosmer Norris, great grandson of John Norris (and my father)
(Submitted on June 24, 2007.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. History of family and site
John Norris was born December 24, 1774 and died October 16, 1829. In his later years, he was judge of Orphans' Court of Harford county.

His great great grandfather Edward was born in October 1639 in St. Mary's county. He was, in turn, the son of Thomas who was born in 1608 Congham, England and immigrated in 1630/31 to what became Nansemond County, Virginia.

In the early years, the Norris family, which passed this property down from generation to generation for two centuries, lived in a very small, one-room per floor, 3-floor plus basement stone house at this location. (see picture below)

John Norris married Mary Rooker from England, born April 12, 1785 and died July 8, 1868.

After marrying, he built a much, much larger brick house on the same land nearby, installing columns taken from a building in Baltimore city. (Editor's Note: Historical sources indicate the stone columns, frieze and achitrave were from the old Atheneum Club formerly at the corner of Charles & Franklin Streets, Baltimore, MD)


In 1810 Mary Rooker Norris named the place "Olney," as she was an admirer of the poet Cowper and his friend, the
“Olney” image. Click for full size.
By Richard C Norris, August 1954
3. “Olney”
Here is a picture of the original stone house (I am not sure whether it still exists)
Rev. John Newton, who lived in Olney, England.

I know of no way of verifying when the new house was built, nor when John married Mary. If we are to believe that the new name of "Olney" was given by Mary Rooker Norris, it would seem that the marriage might have been somewhat before, although she was only 25 in 1810. Also, construction of the new house may well have been somewhat after 1810.
    — Submitted September 3, 2011, by Richard C Norris of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 
Categories. Colonial EraNotable Persons
 
Olney image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 23, 2007
4. Olney
Private residence built in 1810 with several later additions.
“Olney” image. Click for full size.
By Richard C Norris, August 1954
5. “Olney”
New house with Rollin Hosmer Norris, great grandson of John Norris, standing out front next to his 1951 Studebaker convertible.
“Olney” image. Click for full size.
By Richard C Norris, August 1954
6. “Olney”
This is a picture of the new house.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 24, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,142 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 24, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on September 3, 2011, by Richard C Norris of Cambridge, Massachusetts.   4. submitted on June 24, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   5, 6. submitted on September 3, 2011, by Richard C Norris of Cambridge, Massachusetts. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement