CONTACT: 410-887-2503

Sherwood History

Sherwood History


Frances Sherwood acquired the majority (80 acres) of Sherwood Farm in 1934 from Eben Finney, being a part of a much larger tract (256 acres) that Finney had just acquired from John Lindsay Clark. Clark had obtained this part from Duane Rice's will in 1924, then known as "Valley View Farm". Duane Rice had acquired the land in 1890 from Sarah Burke.

The unique Sherwood House was constructed in 1935 for Mr. Donald Henry Sherwood (1898-1989) and his wife, Frances Wellington Sherwood (1899-1992), at an approximate cost of $37,000. The English manor style mansion was built by Palmer and Lamdin Architects and has 27 rooms, including five bedroom suites, eight bathrooms, five fireplaces, and living quarters for up to four servants. The 108.5 x 94.5 foot house has stone walls that are 18.5" thick. There are 28 windows on the first floor and 34 on the second. The push button on the wall in each of the rooms in the living quarters was used to summon the servants. The house was heated with a boiler to service the radiant heating system.

The house was placed on the Baltimore County Landmarks List on July 23, 2006, thus affording it an additional measure of protection and requiring the owner (Baltimore County) to preserve it.

Donald Sherwood went to work at an early age for his brother-in-law, Arthur Gregg Wellington, president and founder of the Maryland Car Wheel Company, a manufacturer of railroad car wheels.

The company principally supplied the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with wheels until Mr. Sherwood liquidated the company following WWII, investing as a majority stockholder in Ellicott Machine Company. A worldwide supplier of dredges and dredge machinery, Ellicott Dredges, Inc is still in business.

In his later years, Donald Sherwood and his neighbor to the East, Robert Merrick, planned a residential development to be located on the adjoining farms. When that plan ended, the park came into being.

The main structure on Sherwood Farm is the Sherwood House, built in 1935. The house serves as the Park office and contains a meeting room which may be used, for a fee, by county and school groups, as well as some non-profits. Enquire at the office about the availability. Sherwood Farm also contains several outbuildings from the previous farm operation.

Friends of Sherwood House

The Friends of Sherwood House is a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of the Sherwood House located in Cromwell Valley Park.


  • To preserve and maintain the structural integrity, beauty, and character of the mansion for the use of the citizens of Baltimore County.
  • To provide volunteer service for projects that enhance the Sherwood House and its grounds.
  • To raise funds from private and governmental sources in order to accomplish this mission.
Childrens Garden

To volunteer in the Sherwood House contact the Park Office at 410-887-2503.


Come and visit the new Arthur W. Sherwood Nature Reading Room! It offers an extensive collection of books on natural history, gardening, plants, insects, biology, ecology, and, of course, books about the Chesapeake Bay. It is our sincere hope that the Arthur W. Sherwood Nature Reading Room will continue to inspire and educate the citizens of Baltimore County, just as Arthur inspired so many people to become stewards of the environment.

The library was dedicated on April 13th, 2003 with Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger as Master of Ceremonies. He thanked the Family Support Foundation for their generous grant to make the Reading Room a reality. He also thanked Mr. Jim Fish, Director of Baltimore County Public Libraries, for coordinating the acquisition of books, and artist Henry Coe, whose artwork now hangs in the Sherwood Room. Mrs. Arthur (Sue) Sherwood was guest of honor and spoke about her late husband’s vision for a Nature Reading Room, and of his work in founding the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Call the Park Office at 410-887-2503 for hours.

The Sherwood Park Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sherwood Entrance

To volunteer in the Sherwood House contact the Park Office at 410-887-2503.