Sunday, November 6, 2022

Maryland, My Maryland Part Five

Thank you for joining me on another jaunt through my native state of Maryland. If you missed my last post about the Eastern Shore region, follow this link: Today we’re going to visit the Central Region which is comprised Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties. Annapolis, the state capital and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, is in Anne Arundel county (referred to as AA by locals).

The county is named in honor of Lady Ann Arundell (later modernized by adding an e and removing an L), the daughter of Thomas Arundell and part of the ancient family of Arundells of Cornwall, England, who married Cecilius, the second Lord Baltimore in either 1627 or 1628. As was common at the time, theirs was an arranged marriage. Her husband was the founder and first lord proprietor of the colony Province of Maryland.

During the American Revolutionary War, citizens of the county supported the Continental Army by providing troops for three regiments. And in the War of 1812, the USS Constitution sailed from Annapolis prior to its victorious engagement with the British ship HMS Guerriere. Two years later and three miles away, Francis Scott Key would write the poem that would become the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem.

On May 22, 1830, the horse-drawn train of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad traveled thirteen miles,
Pixabay/Martin Winkler
making it the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the U.S. As a child, I often visited the B&O Railroad Museum ( with my grandfather.

Before its European colonization, Carroll County had been inhabited by numerous Native American tribes for thousands of years, the Susquehannock and Lenape the most prominent of the indigenous nations. Most of the roads in the county are ancient trails established by the Native Americans.

The American Civil War saw much division among the resident of Carroll County, with families and friends often on opposite sides of the issue. In 1863, there were significant troop movements through the area as part of the Gettysburg campaign.

Howard County was created in 1838 when Dr. William Watkins of Richland Manor, a land grant dating from 1719, proposed breaking off a section of Anne Arundel County and calling it the “Howard District.” Despite the fact that many area plantations in the county used slave labor, there were numerous stops as part of the Underground Railroad.

Bordered on the north and northeast by the Patapsco River and the southwest by the Patuxent River, Howard County is located on the Piedmont Plateau with rolling hills making up most of the landscape.

Interestingly, Harford County is named for Henry Harford, the illegitimate son of Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore. Harford was the last Proprietary Governor of Maryland but because of his illegitimacy didn’t inherit his father’s title. A deeply historic region, there are 79 properties and districts listed on the National Register.

The county sits at the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay along the Susquehanna River and is home to Aberdeen Providing Ground which was created in 1917. The geography is a mixture of flatlands of the Atlantic Coastal Plains and the undulating hills of the Piedmont Plateau.

Baltimore City, (pronounced bawl-da-MOR or BAWL-mer by locals), is the most populous of Maryland’s cities and the fourth most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic. Designated an independent city (separate from the county) in 1851, Baltimore is located about forty miles from Washington, DC. Nearly one-third of the city’s buildings (over 65,000!) are designated historic by the National Historic Register, and the city has sixty-six historical register districts and thirty-three local historical districts.

Port of Baltimore was created in 1706 for tobacco trade and the town was laid out in 1729. By 1752, there were twenty-seven homes, two taverns, and one church. Many of the streets were named to show loyalty to the mother country (King, Queen, King George, and Caroline streets). As the county seat, Baltimore built the courthouse in 1768. Lexington Market, founded in 1782 is the oldest continuously operating public market in the U.S. The city grew quickly, its plantations producing grain and tobacco, which, unfortunately, meant heavy use of slave labor.

On February 7, 1904, over 1,500 buildings were destroyed in what would be known as The Great Baltimore Fire. It took more than two years to rebuild, but lessons learned from the fire led to improvements in firefighting equipment and standards.

At more than 2,500 square miles, Maryland’s Central region is a beautiful and historic area.


Estelle's Endeavor

Will a world at war destroy a second chance at love?

Estelle Johnson promised to wait for Aubry DeLuca, but then she receives word of his debilitating injuries. Does she have the strength to stand by him in his hour of need?

Aubry DeLuca storms the beaches at Normandy, then wakes up in the hospital, his eyes bandaged. Will he regain his sight? Will the only woman he’s ever loved welcome him home or is he destined to go through life blind and alone?

Purchase Link:

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star Spangled Banner fame). Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors. Learn more about Linda and her books at

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting today and continuing your journey through your native state. What a rich heritage! And I love that you went to the railroad museum with your grandpa. Must be you came by your love for history naturally!