Communities Past: Former Commerce in Rock Run, Harford County, MD

Rock Run United Methodist Church. Rock Run, Harford County, Maryland. RL Fifield 2007.

Rock Run United Methodist Church. Harford County was a site of early Methodist activity in America. Rock Run, Harford County, Maryland. RL Fifield 2007.

Driving through the countryside anywhere in America, you may pass any number of signs proclaiming towns that no longer exist. My grandfather was in the car  sometime in the 1990s, when we were driving on Rock Run Road toward the Susquehanna River. He pointed to a house on the left and said “that used to be the Rock Run Store.” He was born up the road a mile or so on the right, past the Rock Run Methodist Church. He couldn’t pick out the farm that day – perhaps it had been demolished, or memory had distorted its location. Bowmans have lived in the area since at least the 1780s (read a Bowman family probate inventory from Rock Run here). But the road now just looks as if it drives between farms. The industry on the river at the bottom of the hill is gone, including a brewery (read my post on Cox’s Rock Run Beer here). Fragments of a canal and a mill have been worked into a hiking trail along the river. The store is gone. A few farms trim the edges. Markers of effort during  the 18th and 19th century are gone.

Here’s an advertisement of some misdirected books belonging to a Rock Run resident that got shipped to the local store. Any genealogists in this area recognize the initials? Gallion family?

Rock RunMaryland Journal 03-08-1785

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.

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