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Ten Hills Collection

Identifier: R0152-TH

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Content Description

The Ten Hills Collection contains the records of the Ten Hills Community Association (THCA), records and research materials of Stephen Israel’s that relate to the development of Ten Hills, and clay model buildings that represent the neighborhood of Ten Hills in Baltimore, Maryland. This collection ranges from approximately 1800 – 2013, and contains information not only about the Ten Hills neighborhood, but about Baltimore City, Hunting Ridge, Edmondson Village, and immediately surrounding parts of Baltimore County. Materials to be found in this collection include meeting minutes and notes, records of financial activity, correspondence between THCA members and to Baltimore City officials, original and photocopies of maps, photocopies of Ten Hills land deeds and legal documents, and research about the history of Ten Hills from Stephen Israel. The research materials include original and photocopied photographs, correspondence, presentation materials, photocopies of maps, and excerpts from resources that Stephen Israel used in his research on Ten Hills.


  • 1850-2013


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, the donor has assigned the copyright of this collection to the University Foundation. However, copyright for some items in this collection are held by their respective creators.

Historical Note

The Ten Hills Community was established around 1909, by Baltimore realtor and developer Charles H. Steffey and his team. The community was developed on an estate known as Bellevue. Bellevue was formerly owned by the Chappell family, whose patriarch, Phillip S. Chappell, was in the chemical manufacturing business. The estate was shared by three prominent families as a summer retreat between 1855 and 1899. In the 1880s, the estate was renamed, “Ten Hills.” In 1899, a fire destroyed the estate, and after a battle over Phillip S. Chappell’s inheritance, the estate was sold to real estate developers Caughy, Hearn, and Carter. Charles Steffey, employed by Caughy, Hearn, and Carter at the time, began work to develop the land for a “country suburb.” Ten Hills was annexed by Baltimore City in 1918, and by the 1940s the community was fully engrossed in city life due to growing trolley lines and the mainstreaming of automobiles.

The Ten Hills Community Association (THCA) was formed in 1936, taking on the duties of maintaining the Ten Hills neighborhood that the Ten Hills Corporation had once managed. These duties included enforcing the strict covenants that were established to protect the architectural beauty and cultured environment that the Ten Hills Corporation envisioned for the place. The THCA was made up of its President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and board members, who included past officers, committee members, those elected to the board. The members of the community association have worked together from the beginning, creating community clubs, organizing neighborhood events, and establishing committees to handle various aspects of the community’s life, such as education, security, and preserving the historical architecture of each house. In 2001, Ten Hills was designated a historical district by Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP).

Stephen Israel moved to the Ten Hills Community in southwest Baltimore in 1999 and devoted much time to research and advocacy of the neighborhood. He received his Master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, finishing it after a tour in Vietnam with the US Army Map Services. After graduation, Israel began working as an archaeologist in historic preservation and restoration and research projects, following the Historical Preservation Act of 1966, and joined the Army Corps of Engineers office in Baltimore and undertaking environmental and archaeological studies. He worked there until his retirement in 2003. Stephen Israel was involved with the Ten Hills Architectural Review and Design Committee, working to preserve the architecture and history of the community. He also presented papers on the history of Ten Hills at local conferences and community events, and remained active in the archaeological profession. In 2012, he received the William B. Marye Award from the Archaeological Society of Maryland, in recognition of his five decades of contributions to the archaeology field in Maryland. In 2015, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council for Maryland Archaeology.


10.33 Linear Feet (10 containers)


Collection is arranged in three series:

  • Ten Hills Community Association Records, 1910-2013
  • Stephen Israel Materials, 1850-2012
  • Rittenhouse Clay Houses, 1925-2006

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some materials in the collection are of a fragile nature and care should be taken when handling them. These materials include the Ten Hills Association ledger book, 1927-1963 and the clay miniature model homes representing various buildings in Ten Hills. It should also be noted that when handling photographs in this collection, wearing gloves is advised for preservation purposes.

Custodial History

The Ten Hills Collection was assembled and held by Stephen Israel, then jointly donated with the Ten Hills Community Association in September 2015. An agreement was signed by Stephen Israel and Jeffrey Hochstetler of the Ten Hills Community Association on September 22nd and 21st, 2015, respectively. Three additional accessions of records and electronic files belonging to the collection were donated by Stephen Israel between January 2016 and February 2017.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Caroline Hayden in April 2016.

Finding aid for the Ten Hills Collection
Finding aid created by Caroline Hayden (2016).
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Baltimore Studies Archives Repository

H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, Room 104
1415 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21201 USA