In 1804 the Ropewalk was established by Richard Parrot, one of the earliest owners of the property. Parrott had a woolen and cotton mill on Rock Creek and added to that a business of making rope. Ropemaking required a long level path for the spinning and twisting operation used to manufacture lengths of rope from hemp. The Ropewalk was burned by British troops during the War of 1812. The straight path was used as a drive in the later estate gardens on the property, and was retained as a landscape feature when the property became a park.