Hilton Mansion of the Community College of Baltimore County
"Hilton," the present-day site of the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, was previously known as “Taylor’s Forest.” The land was identified as “Taylor’s Forest” by a merchant named Thomas Taylor. The “Forest” was an 1800-acre rectangular plot of about three miles, as surveyed on March 29, 1678. The land at that time was still heavily forested, with streams flowing into the Patapsco River. Taylor did not own this land but rather became a tenant of Charles Calvert, the owner of all land in the colony of Maryland. According to the book Hilton Heritage by Bayly Ellen Marks, Taylor paid yearly for rent and held the land in its natural state. When Taylor died, the practice passed down to his son, John Galloway, then down to his great-grandson, Samuel Galloway with instructions to sell Charles’ lands. So, in 1761, Samuel Galloway sold the lands including “Taylor’s Forest” to Caleb Dorsey, ironmaster (1710-1772). The county had been well-known as a thriving tobacco port, and Taylor’s Forest became the site of the plantation that would become Hilton.
Between 1828 and 1835, the Hilton Mansion was constructed and was sold to one of the most famous men in mid-nineteenth century Baltimore, John Glenn (1795-1853). During Glenn’s ownership of the property, Hilton was a stable, dairy farm, and a summer home. Enslaved African Americans worked the dairy farm and trained and bred the horses. African Americans were the most important laborers in the U.S horse industry at that time according to the report "Black Studies in the Department of Labor, 1897-1907."
Over the years, Judge Glenn continued renovating the mansion, and in 1839, he assigned architect Robert Cary Long, Jr. (1810-1849) to build houses made of stone around the Hilton mansion. Mary Glenn, wife of John Glenn, noted at the time that “the house and farm have received some additional improvements and comforts.” Unfortunately, the house burned in 1843 and was reconstructed in 1846. The main house looked elegant and well-furnished. It had a small outside porch leading to enter the main floor, a living room on the front of the house, two dining rooms, one main dining room, three other bedrooms off the main hall, four bedrooms on the second floor, and a third story or “garret” divided into five rooms.
When Judge Glenn died, the Hilton estate including the mansion came under the supervision of William Wilkin Glenn (1824-1876), the son of Judge Glenn. By that time, the estate included several additional buildings, including a carpenter’s shop, meat house, dairy, garden house, and blacksmith house.
In 1917, Hilton was purchased by a native Baltimorean, who was the director-general of the newly formed National Enamel Stamping Company, George Knapp. Knapp hired Baltimore architect Edward Palmer to renovate the main house in the Georgian Revival style with wings. Hilton was the summer home of Knapp until it was sold to the Baltimore County Board of Education in 1962 for the campus of Catonsville Community College, now CCBC Catonsville.