HSP HISTORY Blog
Interesting Frederick, Maryland tidbits and musings .
As I write this piece, I can't seem to get the song "The Things We Do For Love" out of my head. This was a smash hit by the British band 10cc in late 1976/early 1977. You remember it don't you?....
Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river
Too many lonely souls have drifted out to sea,
You lay your bets and then you pay the price
The things we do for love, the things we do for love
And I loved this song at the time, ironically being "10" years old and possessing a keen interest in pop music at the time but not as much as the band's earlier hit "I'm not in Love" (1975).... but I digress. 10cc really has nothing to do with this week's blog, but enormous sacrifices for love certainly do, as can be evidenced in the chorus of "The Things We Do for Love":
Like walking in the rain and the snow
When there's nowhere to go
And you're feelin' like a part of you is dying
And you're looking for the answer in her eyes
You think you're gonna break up
Then she says she wants to make up
A few years ago, I came across an article in the archives of the New York Times newspaper from July 17, 1881. It is a uniquely interesting news article about a Frederick woman named Anna Josephine Sifford (1844-1928) and "love and loss," but not the kind of loss you think. Nannie (as Anna was called) got the guy in the end, but her losses became great gains for the community.
As is usually the case with the newspapers of the day, especially with reporting on stories picked up from other newspapers, spelling errors and some inaccuracies occur. Estimates of the estate were reported to be at least $100,000. But Anna married well, so no need to worry about her making a bad financial decision. Husband Aubrey had served in the Civil War as a Confederate officer, and was quite successful in the business realm. They would reside in downtown Baltimore in the prestigious Bolton Hill neighborhood (about 1.5 miles north of the Inner Harbor) and had summer retreats outside of town such as Glyndon, just northeast of Reisterstown in northwest Baltimore County and Rose Hill near Pikesville. Col. and Mrs. Pearre lived rich lives both literally and figuratively. He passed in 1915, and she 13 years later in 1928. Both are buried in St. Thomas Episcopal Church Cemetery in Owings Mills.
Josephine left behind the home built by early Frederick physician (and War of 1812 veteran)John Baltzell. Built in 1834, this dwelling is located at 24 East Church Street, and is the current day home of the Historical Society of Frederick County. The house had passed to Alexander B. Hanson in 1854, then to successful businessman/farmer/philanthropist John Loats in 1871. Loats bought the property for $14,000. And speaking of property, the John Loats estate was located directly south of the City of Frederick, and in particular south of the original Maryland School for the Deaf property. I do believe this property included lands on both sides of the Georgetown Pike (MD85) and this included the ground that Harry Grove Stadium sits on today.
Loats passed in 1879, but is said to have always held a special place in his heart for Anna J. Sifford Pearre, his sister-in law by marriage. Thanks to the Pearre marriage, the property would soon become the Loats Female Orphan Asylum of Frederick City. It would serve in this capacity until 1959 and a contested legal battle ensued as "40 proven heirs" were making claim on the property. The Historical Society of Frederick County would take over in 1959, and have been here at this location ever since.
And now for your listening (and viewing) pleasure: