Page 26 - Baltimore County Quality of Life Guide and Business Directory
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Baltimore County’s history is brought to life at beautiful sites
Baltimore County traces its roots to the mid-1600s, when its name was derived from Cecil Calvert, 2nd
Baron Baltimore. Since then, the County has played an important role in shaping the state of Maryland.
The Hampton National Historic Site, located on the outskirts of Towson, features an 18th-century estate, including a Georgian mansion that was the largest private home in America at the time of its completion. Activities include walking tours and dance and musical performances.
One of the top five children’s museums in the state, the Lutherville-based Fire Museum of Maryland is also one of
the largest fire museums in the United States. It features antique fire engines,
a reconstructed 1871 firehouse and a Discovery Room where kids can dress up and climb up onto a 1938 Mack Engine. Other activities include Bucket Brigades, electricity labs and fire rescue games.
The Historic Village of Jerusalem Mill in rural Kingsville is one of the oldest, most intact mill villages in Maryland. The 1772 mill serves as the Gunpowder Falls State Park headquarters, and the surrounding property hosts living-history interpreters demonstrating 18th- and 19-century activities and a summer concert series.
Learn about space and flight at the Middle River-based Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum. A monthly Open Cockpit Day is held in the spring, summer and early
fall months, allowing for an up-close look at aircraft.
Shortly before Fort McHenry was attacked from the water during the War of 1812, the Battle of North Point occurred on land as enemy forces tried to fight their way through Baltimore County. The following sites played an important role during this fight.
Fort Howard Park, located in the Edgemere area, marks the landing of the British Army, which was the largest invasion of the United States. Nearby sites include Todd’s Inheritance, a house used as an American signal station and burned by the British; the Aquila Randall Monument, the second-oldest known military monument in Maryland, erected in 1817 to honor a private killed in an advance skirmish just before the main battle; Battle Acre Park,
a memorial marking the line of defense during the battle; and North Point State Battlefield, which spans nine acres. The “Defender’s Trail,” which traces part of the route taken by the British as they advanced on Baltimore, runs through North Point State Park. An annual Defender’s Day celebration organized by the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society is concentrated nearby at Fort Howard Park.
On the other side of the County, the Catonsville/Oella area features the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, located on the hiker-friendly farmstead
of this self-taught son of a free African- American woman and former slave.
Banneker was a scientist, astronomer, mathematician, abolitionist, surveyor, farmer and almanac publisher. This historic site offers an array of educational exhibits and environmental programs and includes walking trails and horticultural demonstration areas.
Baltimore County is also known for its working farms and an abundance of farmers’ markets, but there are also historic farmhouses. The Ballestone-Stansbury House, one of the last remaining early farmhouses in the Essex area, shows off
a collection of American decorative arts from the 18th and 19th centuries displayed within re-created period rooms. In addition to American Civil War reenactments, the Ballestone Preservation Society sponsors
a variety of seasonal events and special exhibits related to American history, American decorative and applied arts and the history of the site.
Other interesting places to see in Baltimore County include:
• Fort Garrison, built in the 17th century to guard the western expansion and trading routes, located on a small plot in Pikesville;
• A Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and a cannon from the Spanish-American War in the Court House Garden outside the historic County courthouse building in Towson; and
• Rockdale’s Emmart Pierpont Safe House, a former church that became a vital station on the Underground Railroad.
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