Dorsey’s Search is a piece of land in Baltimore County, Maryland, that was patented by John Dorsey of Hockley-in-the-hole (1645–1714). (now Howard County). It took Richard Beard in December 1684 to survey the 479-acre (194-hectare) parcel of land close to the north branch of the Patuxent River, which was later awarded to Dorsey in March 1696.
In March 1723, the land situated between “Long Reach” and “Elk Ridge” was resurveyed to encompass 750 acres, an increase from the previous survey of 500 acres (300 ha). After numerous decades of inheritance, Rezin Hammond and Richard Ridgley engaged in a series of legal battles over the land in 1820, which resulted in the death of Rezin Hammond. In 1827, the site was purchased by Robert Oliver, the founder of Oakland Mill, who combined it with other estates totaling 2,300 acres to form Oakland Mill (930 ha). The land was purchased by George Gaither in 1838. Dorsey Hall was built on the site by John Dorsey’s grandson, “Patuxent” John Dorsey of the television show “Dorsey’s Search.”
Dorsey’s Search is one of ten communities that make up Columbia, Maryland, in the United States. It was named after a land tract that had a population of 7,500 people in 2014. The Development and Investment Corporation of Maryland purchased J Frank Gwynn’s farm along Font Hill in 1955, which was subsequently rezoned. Gwynn was a member of the Howard County Board of Trade at the time. For more information be sure to check out Ilchester, MD.
A plot of land of 715 acres was purchased from the Gudelsky family in 1968 by the Howard Research and Development unit of the Rouse Company. The Gudelsky family had attempted to rezone the area for high-rise residences in the 1960s, but were unsuccessful. In 1974, the “Mandel” site was proposed as a “Central Park” for Columbia, with a high school, county administrative buildings, and a landfill to replace the Carr’s Mill Landfill. However, the project was never completed. In 1969, the County attempted to purchase the land that would become Centennial Park by condemnation from a firm owned by land speculator Joel Kline for $3,180 per acre. The County was unsuccessful.
In the following months, Kline was indicted for real estate fraud, which was related to local officials all the way up to former Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was forced to resign. The County eventually purchased the Centennial Lake parkland from Kline’s creditors for nearly twice the amount that they had originally paid. Dorsey’s Search was occupied from 1980 till the present. In 1999, the village manager was arrested and charged with embezzling $121,000 from the village. There are around 7,500 people living there right now. Dorsey Hall and Fairway Hills are the two main communities in the village. With a portion of the community located north of Maryland Route 108, it is Columbia’s northernmost village by a long shot. Click here for some more information on Ellicott City, Maryland.
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