Where are we going? Where have we been?
The Dundalk, Edgemere and Fort Howard areas are a history buff’s dream.
From the War of 1812 to the rise and fall of Sparrows Point, the history of our community and her people is rich, proud and, importantly, well-documented by many intelligent, skilled and highly-dedicated local historians.
You may never have noticed, but take a look around. Many historical markers note points of interest across the community, from Logan Field to Battle Acre to the Dundalk, Maryland, marker on Dundalk Avenue near the American Legion.
Much of what I’ve covered over my years at the
Eagle has revolved around the area’s reverence for local history.
In recent months, we have covered many celebrations of this history, including Norris Ford 100th anniversary, Edgemere Elementary’s local history project presentation, the opening of the Historical Society’s 50-year-old time capsule and celebration of the 100th anniversary of Old Dundalk, Turner Station’s celebrations of Black History Month and the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, Defenders Day … the list goes on and on.
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending an- other event of historical significance — a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the dedication of the Aquila Randall Monument on Old North Point Road (see front).
The heat, as you know, was stifling. I can’t complain, at least not in the presence of re-enactors bearing those temperatures while wearing wool suits, but it was hot.
Yet, despite a heat index already pushing triple digits by 10 a.m., the small plot of grass surrounding the monument was packed with attendees, undeterred in their desire to pay tribute to local history and heroes.
The ceremony was beautiful. As the dulcet tones of the Chorus of the Chesapeake floated on the thick, humid air, the stone monument gleaming white in the sun, I was reminded of one of the reasons I love this community, our appreciation for history.
This sentiment was reflected in a remark by Councilman Todd Crandell during the ceremony last week.
“The only thing that keeps us strong is a reverence for where we came from” he said.
While we may have our ups and downs, here and across the nation, we can not and do not forget where it started.
Without sacrifices like those made by Aquila Randall, a 24-year-old private whose blood was spilled to preserve our nation, we would not be the nation we are today.
Across Dundalk, Edgemere and Fort Howard, you can see monuments and memorials to people who sacrificed to build our community and nation.
There are the soldiers, yes, but it goes beyond that.
A walk through Heritage Park brings you to the memorial to fallen steelworkers (re-homed in recent years from the Dundalk Steelworkers hall). These are workers who paid the ultimate price building our community, our country and supporting their families.
There is the memorial plaque to Henrietta Lacks at her former home on New Pittsburg Avenue in Turner Station. Though an unwitting donor, Lacks’ suffering and death gave rise to treatments for some of humanities most dread diseases.
Our community is a living monument to the strength and courage of our ancestors — a monument preserved through the hard work of local officials, community leaders and historians.
So take a tour of the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society. Visit Fort Howard Park. Tour Turner Station. Visit Battle Acre.
Remember where we came from. It is key as we figure out, together, where we are going.
Speaking of local history, after a long hiatus, Scrapbook is back in this week’s issue.
I am pleased to announce the return of the popular feature, which offers a glimpse into issues the Ea
gle was covering 40, 30, 20 and 10 years ago.
So check it out and let us know what you think!
Opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not represent the opinion of The Dundalk Eagle or Adams Publishing Group.
The Aquila Randall monument on Old North Point Road.