Near Avalon in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Iron Builds America
Here emerged Maryland's industrial revolution. Beginning in the lat 1700s, the valley erupted into activity with iron, paper, grist (flour) and textile mills. Entrepreneurs dammed the river and diverted its flow to water wheels that turned machinery - grinding wheat into flour and hammering iron into tools.
The landscape changed - companies carved out factories and villages along the hollows and steep hillsides. Factory employees lived in modest homes built by the company and paid rent to their employer. The towns often included a company-owned store, school and church.
The area in which you are standing was the heart of an early 1800s iron-milling town. During the colonial period, raw pig iron was shipped from Elkridge to England
On this site Caleb Dorsey's iron forge made musket parts for the American militia, and the Ellicott's Avalon Iron & Nail Works made rails for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. These industries helped win America's independence and ignite Maryland's industrialization.
Text with main photo: Lithograph of the town of Avalon.
Text with middle left photo: Photo of Avalon Dam
Text with center photo: Rusted 19th Century nails. (Illustration by Brian Albrigth, 2006. Text with lower left photo: Photo of undeveloped river valley.
Text with lower right photo: Painting of Elkridge Landing.
Erected by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
Location. 39° 13.686′ N, 76° 43.3′ W. Marker is near Avalon, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Washington Boulevard (U.S. 1) and South Street. Marker is within the Patapsco Valley State Park - Avalon area, on the northern side of the Patapsco River, just under 1 mile from the park gate building, in the Avalon Visitor Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Halethorpe MD 21227, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Place For Progress (here, next to this marker); Powering the Patapsco Valley's Industries (a few steps from this marker); Forging Freedom and Nails (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elkridge Landing (about 400 feet away); The C.C.C. Builds Our Park (about 400 feet away); Drinking Water for the Public (about 400 feet away); The Baltimore County Water and Electric Company (about 500 feet away); The Thomas Viaduct (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Avalon.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • War, US Revolutionary •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 939 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 5, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on February 6, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.