This stereoview depicts the Baltimore County country home of William T. Waltersand family, “St. Mary’s.” No publisher’s name appears, but it strongly resembles views published by William M. Chase.
Another view, taken from the side, was published in William and Henry Walters: The Reticent Collectors, by William R. Johnston. Johnston dates the view to ca. 1875, and the house depicted there is consistent with the house we see here.
According to Johnston, the original 32-1/2 acre estate on Woodbourne Avenue was purchased in 1866 from Augustine Kohler. Walters enlarged it to 130 acres, and spent much of his time after the war cultivating gardens and orchards, and raising prize fowl, cattle, and Percheron horses brought from France.
The property stretched from Woodbourne Avenue north to Belvedere Avenue, and included a gatehouse for the tenant farmer, a large carriage house full of a wide variety of vehicles, a hothouse, stables, a bowling alley. and a small lake created by damming the stream, Chinquapin Run, that ran through the estate.
The house itself was “an 18-room frame structure with a tower built in the Italianate style” (Johnston, 47). The estate was sold in 1924; the house was razed and the land became part of today’s Chinquapin Run Park.
The large bronze mastiff statue next to the entrance was originally installed “on the portico of Mrs. William Gilmor’s house facing the Battle Monument” (Johnston, p. 48).
According to author Susan Taylor Block, after William’s son Henry T. Walters married Sarah “Sadie” Jones, the widow of his close friend Pembroke Jones, Walters moved the mastiff bronze to her estate, “Airlie,” in Wilmington Cove, North Carolina.