How the
were Named

This information
is courtesy of
Barbara Kellner,
Welcome Center,
run by the
Columbia Association

Village of Dorsey's Search
Photograph by Jan Adams
Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

Dorsey's Search

Dorsey's Search takes its name from the land grant patented to John Dorsey in 1696. Linden Hall, the village community center, takes its name from Linden Tree in the poem, Musa, by the 19th Century American author,
Oliver Wendell Holmes.


DORSEY HALL is named after the family home. The original Dorsey Hall still stands close to Route 29 at the intersection of Route 108. The street names come from the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, a 19th Century American author.

FAIRWAY HILLS takes its name from its location. It is built on the site of the former Allview Golf Course. Fairway Hills Golf Course opened in 1995. The street names come from the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, as they do in Dorsey Hall.


SNOWDEN RIVER PARKWAY was inspired by the historically original name for the Little Branch which was Snowden's River of Patuxent, according to historian Dr. Caleb Dorsey. Snowden's Cowpens and Snowden's Intent appear as land grant to Richard Snowden, patented in 1736.

MENDENHALL ROAD was named after Peter Mendenhall, the builder of a paper mill in the early 1800's.

DOBBIN ROAD was named after George B. Dobbin. By Act, Chapter 364, he was appointed Visitor from Howard County to the Maryland Hospital. He was the first such appointment.

The name for RUMSEY ROAD came from James Rumsey, who invented the first steamboat two years before Fulton launched the Claremont. General Washington witnessed the trial on the Potomac and gave a certificate of the success of the experiment.

WINCOPIN CIRCLE is derived from Wincopin Neck, a land grant given to Benjamin and Richard Warfield in 1702.

Broken Land was a land grant patented to Thomas Worthington and Henry Ridgely in 1722. This lent it's name to BROKEN LAND PARKWAY.

GOVERNOR WARFIELD PARKWAY was named for Edwin Warfield, the only Howard County resident to become a Maryland governor.

STERRETT PLACE comes from the owner of Oakland Manor, Colonel Charles Sterrett Ridgely.

BANNEKER ROAD was named after Benjamin Banneker (more details in Town Center).

LITTLE PATUXENT PARKWAY. Columbia's main thoroughfare takes its name from the Little Patuxent River which, with all its tributaries, runs through much of Columbia.

Columbia's 40-acre downtown park is the site of Merriweather Post Pavilion which was built as the summer home of the Washington Symphony. The Pavilion is names for Marjorie Merriweather Post, a symphony benefactor. This is how the area got the name of SYMPHONY WOODS.

The AMERICAN CITY BUILDING is named for its original tenant, the American City Corporation - a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Rouse Company, dedicated to improving the quality of life in existing cities.

Learn more about history and naming in the Columbia area.

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