In the early seventies rural Howard County began just north of Route 108 and west of Route 29. It didn’t take long for a Columbia teenager to escape the burbs to a quiet country road for extracurricular activities. One of my personal favorites was Manor Lane, both for its relative proximity to the Columbia village I called home and for its almost total isolation. Back then Manor Lane connected Route 108 to Frederick Road by running up through the middle of the Doughoregan Manor farm. About a mile north of Route 108, the road turned from asphalt to dirt. After a couple of sharp turns through a stand of trees the road became a long flat straightaway to Frederick Road. There was nothing but open farm fields on either side of the road.
On some nights my friends and I would just stop the car in the middle of the road and get out and enjoy a few beers on summer nights. Other times I’d pull off into one of the fields for amorous encounters.
These days Manor Lane is no longer a thru road. I suppose that at some point the Carroll family grew tired of the shenanigans of young hooligans on their property and petitioned the county to have the passage through their fields blocked off. I really can’t say as I blame them.
With Doughoregan very much in the news lately my thoughts returned to that time when eastern Howard County was still fairly rural. The Carroll property is one of the last sizable farms east of Route 32. If the Carroll family’s development plan for 200 of the 900 acre farm helps preserve the balance for future generations I’m all for it.
You can read this month’s column here.