Roland Park, MD
1859 - 1951

Luella Bouton

Luella Sims was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She married Edward Bouton in 1888 and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where her husband pursued a career in land development during the ensuing real estate boom. The couple moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1891 after a speculative venture involving the sale of converted farm lots almost ruined them financially. Edward Bouton joined the Roland Park Company, which would develop several large neighborhoods in Baltimore, and the couple resided in the Roland Park suburb. Mrs. Bouton’s interest in landscape design is well documented, and it is likely that she worked in collaboration with her husband on all his projects in Baltimore, with the exception of the Guilford Viaduct. To remedy the lack of social life in the suburb where they lived, she founded the Women’s Club of Roland Park in 1896. She helped secure a prime lot from the Roland Park Company on Roland Avenue, by Ridgewood Road, where the club still operates today. Eventually the club joined citywide and national networks of women’s organizations around the country. Later, when her husband developed the west side of Roland Park, Bouton designed the Rusty Rocks estate where the couple would live from 1907 to 1921. The landscape, often mistaken for an Olmsted Brothers design, is situated on an erstwhile quarry amid a dense thicket. A cottage built with red stone from the quarry occupied a plateau on the north side of the plot, while the garden was terraced to descend to the building from the entry. Mrs. Bouton took great pains to retain the original wooded character of the property, with the shallow fish ponds and gazebo all constructed in a naturalistic manner. The garden became part of the social life of the suburb, acting as a venue for plays and parties. School children were also often invited to explore the garden and learn about the local flora. Luella Bouton died in 1951 and is buried beside her husband in Druid Ridge Cemetery, just outside of Baltimore.