BALTIMORE CITY ARCHIVES
(Harlem Park Commission)
In 1868 the mayor was authorized to receive the fee simple title to a ten acre section of the estate of the late Dr. Thomas Edmondson (or Edmundson), which was to be called Harlem Square after Doctor Edmondson's country home ("Harlem" or "Haarlem"). No commissioners appear to have been appointed by the mayor until four years later when R. Stewart Latrobe, James L. Ridgely, and John Murray were selected for two year terms. After 1874 the commission membership changed frequently, sometimes even on a yearly basis.
The commissioners of Harlem Park supervised the improvement of the area, the work of its keeper (a position established in 1872) and the condition of the grounds. The commissioners had the power to direct the expenditure of all appropriations "for preservation and adornment" and to hire any laborers they felt were needed to maintain the park. By 1900 the functions and powers of the commission and the commissioners of all public parks, squares, springs, and monuments were consolidated into a board of park commissioners and the individual supervisory bodies ceased to exist.
Ord. 13 (1866); ord. 9 (1868); res. 245 (1870); res. 246 (1871); ord. 65 (1872); ord. 21 (1876); and ord. 14 (1896).