Check it out — Defenders Day at Fort Howard Park
If there is one thing Dundalk does well, it is history.
Led by the dedicated volunteers at the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society, the community has long cherished and celebrated its historical roots.
No where is this more evident than the annual Defenders Day celebration at Fort Howard Park. This year’s celebration will be held on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
From 1895, when William McShane mounted a shingle bearing the name “Dundalk” — his father Henry’s hometown in his native Ireland — on a makeshift freight station near his foundry in what is now St. Helena, to now, Dundalkians have worked to preserve the area’s rich history.
One of the richest veins of history around these parts is the Battle of North Point during the War of 1812.
On Sept. 12, 1814, British troops landed at what is today Fort Howard with the intention of laying siege to Baltimore, as they had done in Washington just weeks prior.
While history often overlooks the Battle of North Point in favor of the bombardment of Fort McHenry days later, its importance can not be overstated.
It was at North Point, at what would later become Fort Howard, that local militiamen were able to successfully hold of British forces long enough for defenses to be fortified in Baltimore.
The militiamen would inflict heavy casualties on the British, including killing British commander Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, before falling back. The British suffered approximately 325 wounded and killed, while about 163 Americans were wounded or killed.
While the British would go on toward Baltimore, the battle had taken its toll; American forces would ultimately repel the British invaders at Fort McHenry.
While the Battle of North Point is often a forgotten part of a forgotten war, the citizens of Dundalk, Edgemere, Fort Howard and surrounding areas continue to commemorate the battle and its impact on American history. Enter Defenders Day. A Maryland state holiday celebrated on Sept. 12 each year, the day serves to commemorate the militiamen that defended Baltimore from suffering the same fate as neighboring Washington, D.C.
Locally, the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society celebrates Defenders Day with a celebration at Fort Howard Park, 9500 North Point Road. The event is free and open to the public.
This year the celebration will be held on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gates open at 9 a.m.
As usual, the event will offer something for everyone, including battle reenactments, living history displays, period music, food, vendors and more.
So come on out, bring the kids and learn a little — or a lot! — more about an amazing and, too often, overlooked part of history than changed America forever.
And remember again why our community is just such a cool place to live.
For more information on Defenders Day 2016, visit dundalkhistory.org or contact email@example.com or 410-284-2331.
Defenders Day 2016 will be celebrated at Fort Howard Park on Sept. 4.