BY ALLAN VOUGHT
A home built in an exclusive section of what was once considered among Harford County’s most upscale developments will be sold at public auction Thursday.
The home at 310 Greenway in Country Club Park, south of Bel Air, was custom built in 1965 for Frederick and Jean Ward, who lived there until their deaths in 2009 and 2008, respectively. The 2,700-square-foot, two-level, ranch-style home built of wood and stone, has a full walkout lower level and sits on a two-acre wooded lot. It overlooks Bynum Run and the fifth hole of the Maryland Golf & Country Clubs’ course.
Thursday’s auction will be at 1 p.m. at the property, which is near the intersection of Glenwood and Rolling roads. Alex Cooper Auctioneers is handling the sale.
Mr. Ward was the founder of Frederick Ward Associates, a Bel Air engineering and architectural firm started in the 1950s. A native of North Carolina, his family moved to this area when he was a youngster. He graduated from Bel Air High School, where he was senior class president and valedictorian, in 1945, served three years in the South Pacific with the Army at the end of World War II and then earned his engineering degree from the University of Maryland. He and Mrs. Ward, who were high school sweethearts, had three children, two boys and a girl.
The back story of the Wards’ home is its own encapsulated history of Harford County during its suburban boom from 1955 to 1960. One of Mr. Ward’s older brothers, the late R. Walter Ward, and his partner, the late Melvin Bosely, started out in the ’50s developing Howard Park on the west side of Bel Air, at a time when the post-World War II housing boom was sweeping the United States.
They, and other local real estate people, also turned their attentions to the south side of town, along Route 24 or Emmorton Road (present day Route 924), believing correctly that the area between Bel Air and Edgewood, once home to farms, had become fertile ground for housing. Frederick Ward, who specialized in surveying, laid out and did the engineering work on many of his brother’s and Mr. Bosely’s developments.
In the early 1960s, the Harford-based Ward and Bosely Company began developing Glenwood, a single-family home community just south of Ring Factory Road. The plan for the community was for single-family, ranch-style homes built on half-acre lots. It was the company’s most expensive and highly-marketed undertaking to that point.
“Those were different times,” said Craig Ward, one of Frederick Ward’s sons, who is president of Frederick Ward Associates. “They had this promotion called ‘Parade of Homes’ set up on the front lot. It was like a carnival used to promote this new community. It’s not something we would do today.”
Between the first sections of Glenwood and the new Maryland Golf & Country Clubs, a private golf course that opened in 1961, there was a wooded area that became a section of Country Club Park. Craig Ward said his father, his Uncle Walter, Mr. Bosely and the late C. Stanley Blair developed the section. At the time, Mr. Blair was the Ward & Bosely Company’s lawyer and a state delegate. He would go on to serve as Maryland Secretary of State and then as a federal judge.
“My father picked out the lot for his home,” Craig Ward recalled. “Melvin Bosely selected the lot next door.”
Craig Ward said his parents’ home was designed by Harford County-based architect Gerard Baxter. He can’t remember whom the builder was.
Frederick Ward was among a group of county residents who organized Maryland Golf & Country Clubs. The golf course was originally laid out and built by the late L.S. MacPhail over part of his Glenangus Farm. Col. MacPhail then sold the course to the local group. Mr. Ward, who retired from his engineering firm in 1993, was an avid golfer and enjoyed spending time at the nearby clubhouse.
The Ward house has hardwood and tile floors, a detached garage and three bedrooms. Perhaps its most unique feature is a sun-room which overlooks the golf course. According to the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation, the home has an assessed value for tax purposes of $563,850, modest by today’s inflated home values.
Craig Ward, who lives in Bel Air’s Shamrock neighborhood, said his childhood home is being sold as part of the settling of his parents’ estate.
“A lot of people have asked me why I don’t just live there,” he said, “but it’s way too big for me, and where I live now I can walk to work.”