Before the residential area known as Dunloggin in Ellicott City, Maryland was developed, there was a dairy farm called Dunloggin, home of quality purebred Holstein Friesian cattle. Before it was called Dunloggin Farms, the 523 acres was called “Chatham Springs”. The property had been a wedding present to one of the daughters of Thomas W. Ligon. Ligon was governor of Maryland from 1854-1859. The daughter and her husband lived in “White Hall” which is still a private dwelling now listed on the Registry of Historic Places. It stands on Chatham Road at Dunloggin.
In 1926, Joseph Natwick, a lumberman from Baltimore, saw the property which was covered with a pristine stand of white oak, and offered to buy the land from the two elderly Ligon sisters. The ladies wanted to sell but were horrified that their land would be raped of its trees so a deal was made where a swath of timber between their house and the rest of the property would be left so they wouldn’t be able to see the trees being destroyed. They were also allowed to live in their house for their lifetimes.
After logging the white oak he tried selling the property but was unable to find a buyer. He bought some prized Percheron draft horses and housed them on the farm and called the place “Dunloggin” as he said he was “done logging.” Being a native of Wisconsin he remembered how he loved the farms there with the black and white animals pastured on green backgrounds. So he went to Wisconsin to buy some Holstein breeding stock. He built barns and landscaped. Tree stumps were dug up and large rocks were blasted. Beautiful barns were built and quality cattle were brought to live there.
By a series of coincidences he hired a genius of a cowman, Paul B. Misner, from Pennsylvania, and a well known veterinarian, Dr. E. C. Deubler, from Neshameny Farms in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Dr.Deubler traveled to the farm on vaccination days or when an animal was sick. The herd grew, with luck and careful breeding, into what is still known as the model for the breeding of dairy cattle in the world. Dunloggin was one of the first herds to keep pedigrees and breed for confirmation as well as production. The herd was well known and revered in the 1930’s and 40’s and still remains the hallmark of the dairy breeding industry.
Dunloggin was an extraordinary coming together of a dream, a man with money to fund it, a genius of a cowman, and men who were loyal hard workers. The farm was sold to Hymie Kaplan, who with his brothers owned Shirtcraft, a firm in New York City. Mark Wakefield, Jr. a young developer from Louisville, Kentucky developed the property into one of the first subdivisions in Howard County.
Maps of Dunloggin
NOTE: If you look closely at the Historic Aerial Map pictured and compare it to its more modern version you can see the similarities. The hand drawing provided by the Howard County Historical Society is also of benefit.