“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cockeysville in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)


Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, October 22, 2011
1. Phoenix Marker
Inscription. Phoenix, one of the many mill towns of the 1800s in Baltimore County, survives today as a secluded little village beside the Gunpowder River and the Northern Central Railroad 15 miles north of Baltimore. Today's Phoenix, with its big Victorian houses with their characteristic gingerbread trim, developed in the 1890s as a suburb of Phoenix Mill and its company located a half mile to its north.

The first industry at what eventually became Phoenix, was a gristmill started in 1793 by Elijah Merryman and known as "Gunpowder Mills". A saw mill and a woolen mill soon followed. In 1848, Baltimore mill owner Thomas H. Fulton founded Phoenix Cotton Mill. When he died shortly after 1851, the property was sold at public auction. The auction notice listed a "factory house" 100 by 36 feet with an iron water wheel, a stone dam with 9 feet of waterfall, plus a town with 21 brick and log houses, a store, and a 2-story house. The property sold for $28,550. For the next few years the mill had a variety of owners. In 1875, the property was obtained by the Garrett family, noted Baltimore investment bankers. With improvements including a 54 inch turbine wheel and a 175 HP reserve steam engine, the mill was placed back in production in 1881. At this time the mill town had grown to 68 dwellings, the worker force numbered over 200, and 6,000 spindles
Phoenix Mill image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, October 22, 2011
2. Phoenix Mill
The Phoenix Mill, early 20th century, showing the mill in the center, the power plant on the left, a covered wooden bridge and a section of the NCR tracks on the right, early 20th Century.
were being used to manufacture twill and sheeting goods.

In 1903, the U.S. Cotton Duck Corporation, which now owned the mill, ceased its operations at Phoenix to take advantage of lower manufacturing costs in Alabama. By 1911, the town was nearly deserted as the area was expected to be flooded by the expansion of the Loch Raven Reservoir project. The final design of the Loch Raven high dam brought back the waters of the reservoir to the very walls of the mill. In 1922, Baltimore City obtained Phoenix, along with Warren Mill further downstream, for $1,000,000. Warren Mill was drowned by the reservoir expansion and Phoenix, with its 4-story mill of Beaver Dam marble, was demolished.

Today only a roadside pond, the remains of the millraces, some fragments of a rail spur, and a few stone foundations mark the location of the once prosperous cotton duck industry that created the original village of Phoenix.

The Baltimore County Union, Dec. 13, 1873
"Phoenix is a cotton manufacturing town of considerable importance on the Northern Central Railway .... containing a population of 350. Its commercial interests consist of a very extensive cotton mill recently erected to take the lace of an old one of less capacity. Also included in the town are 30 of the best and most convenient dwelling houses for the use of the operatives".
Phoenix Cotton Mill image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, October 22, 2011
3. Phoenix Cotton Mill
An aerial view of the Phoenix Cotton Mill, showing the manager's house, the entire mill complex, the mill race, and several 2 and 3 story structures. On the far side of the street between 2 boarding houses was Frazier Episcopal Church which burned down in 1928. At the left of the mill is Frames Methodist Episcopal Church which was moved to Mount Avenue in Phoenix and still exists today. Circa, December 1921.
39° 31.156′ N, 76° 37.17′ W. Marker is in Cockeysville, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker can be reached from Phoenix Road one mile north of Paper Mill Road (Maryland Route 145), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is up on the North Central Railroad Trail, accessed from the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Cockeysville MD 21030, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lime Kiln (approx. one mile away); North Central Railroad Trail (approx. 1.4 miles away); Gilmor's Raid (approx. 1.4 miles away); Sparks (approx. 1.7 miles away); Clynmalira (approx. 1.9 miles away); Hayfields (approx. 3.3 miles away); Gorsuch Tavern (approx. 3.5 miles away); My Lady's Manor (approx. 3.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cockeysville.
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, October 22, 2011
4. Phoenix Marker
Gunpowder River image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, October 22, 2011
5. Gunpowder River
View of the river at Phoenix.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 547 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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