The land on which Knettishall was built was first owned by a settler named Stansbury, who bequeathed the land to one of his sons, who in turn gave a portion of it to his brother Thomas. Thomas Stansbury built his home on what later because the Administration Building of the Eudowood Sanatorium. In 1857, that land became the property of Eudocia Dawes, who married into the Stansbury family. The name Eudowood was given to the Stansbury land in 1882 when the Baltimore and Delta Railroad (later to become the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad) erected a station by that name in return for the right to put tracks across the corner of the property. At this time, the Stansbury Mansion, a three-story yellow-frame building standing in a grove of oak trees, was converted into the Hospital for Consumptives of Maryland, also knows as the Eudowood Hospital or Eudowood Sanatorium. The remnants of the old Stansbury Cemetery can be found between the two ball fields behind Pleasant Plains Elementary School.
The Union, May 27, 1911, reported that the Dr. R.C. Massenburg of Towson (a pharmacist), as the County Health Officer, had authorized the exhumation of several bodies from the Stansbury family burial plot on the Eudowood grounds and their re-interment in the family lot in Greenmount Cemetery held in the name of Mrs. Eudocia Stansbury. Involved in this removal were: Thomas Stansbury Sr. (d. 1816); Thomas Stansbury, Jr. (husband to Eudocia), d. 1856; Deborah (with a weather-obliterated last name), d. 1842; Annie Powell (d. 1837) and John Powell (d. 1838). It is unclear if any bodies remain in the cemetery today.
Over the years, the farmland became increasingly attractive to potential buyers. Anticipating a housing demand following World War II, developer James Dorment purchased 150 acres on the east side of Loch Raven Boulevard from William Hahn, a black angus cattle farmer, for $1,100 per acre, and started building the neighboring Loch Raven Village in 1946. In 1951, the Hahn farm, between Loch Raven Boulevard and Pleasant Plains Road, was purchased for $2,500 per acre. In 1955, 218 acres of land west of Pleasant Plains, known as the Eudowood Tract, were acquired by the developer from the Eudowood Hospital for $5,000 per acre, completing the Loch Raven village area, which now has 1,472 homes.
The land from Loch Ness Road to Putty Hill Road was purchased in 1948 by Ralph Simmers, Sr., and developed into townhomes. Before construction began, dogwood trees covered a large area of the neighborhood. The first homes were built on Thetford Rd, followed by Hardwick, Aberdeen, Pleasant Plains, Wyton, Byington, Loch Ness, and finally Loch Raven Blvd. At this time Putty Hill was a dirt road and Loch Raven Blvd was only partially paved.
The name for Knettishall and its streets came from a town in Suffolk County, England, 70 miles north of London that gave sanctuary to the 388th Bomb Group of the U.S. Allied Air Force during World War II. One of these weary pilots named our streets after the surrounding villages and air bases of English Knettishall, in tribute to the great kindness of the villagers during those war years. The original inscription of the first Knettishall sign read “This community of 365 homes is named after a quaint town in England, its streets after the surrounding villages, in recognition of the villager’s kindness to the 388th Bomb Group, USAAF, during World War II.”
The land on which Pleasant Plains Elementary stands was once an alfalfa field and dairy farm owned by the Eudowood Sanatorium. Trees lined Pleasant Plains Rd and continued up the lane past the cemetery. On the west end of the ball field in back of the school stand the original trees that surrounded to two caretaker mansions for the Sanatorium. In addition, the old barn standing on Glen Keith Blvd, now used by the Maintenance Dept of the Board of Education was part of this property.