Sep 20, 2010 0
Monday’s Maryland Lawyer cover story is about a controversy surrounding the paved parking lot of The Oregon Grille. One thing I could not fit into the story is a bit of the history and significance of the restaurant’s building, which adds some context to the legal dispute.
The Oregon Grille occupies the last company store in use in Baltimore County, according to Ruth Mascari, who sits on the board of directors for the Baltimore County Historical Trust. The store dates back to at least 1846, when county records note storekeeper C.J. Rosan had an inventory worth $1,200, according to the Baltimore County Public Library’s archives.
The nearby Oregon Furnace started up three years later. It was destroyed by fire in 1853, but ore mining continued at the site for another 30 years, according to John McGrain, a former county planner and historian who has written about the county’s manufacturing villages.
Thomas Kurtz, Oregon’s last foreman, then bought the entire 457-acre tract and continued operating the general store, according to McGrain.
The property remained in the Kurtz family until the county purchased it in 1969 and created Oregon Ridge Park.