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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Edgemere in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Dreaded Alarm

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Dreaded Alarm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, June 26, 2020
1. Dreaded Alarm Marker
Inscription.  
The cupola atop the Ridgely house, c. 1767 farmhouse located near here, served as a lookout station in 1813 and 1814, operated by Major Josiah Green. A white flag raised on September 11, 1814, indicated that a British fleet was moving toward Baltimore.

The warning was relayed to Baltimore’s Federal Hill. General Samuel Smith then ordered alarm guns to fire, signaling troops to muster and citizens to prepare for an attack.

Ship to Shore
The Ridgely house was part of an intricate early warning system that included schooners and gunboats, shore stations, and horse relays. The station communicated with flags by day and lanterns by night.

"[The Ridgely house is] a very large Brick one, with a steeple like lookout place on top, from whence there is a most perfect view…so that it would be next to an impossibility that any vessel or river boat could approach or pass with being observed."
- Major William B. Barney to Brig. Gen. John Stricker, March 23, 1813.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Dreaded Alarm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 18, 2014
2. Dreaded Alarm Marker
.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War of 1812.
 
Location. 39° 12.498′ N, 76° 25.566′ W. Marker is in Edgemere, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker can be reached from Old Bay Shore Road 1.7 miles south of North Point Road, on the right when traveling south. The marker is located on the grounds of North Point State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8400 Old Bay Shore Rd, Sparrows Point MD 21219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Rebirth of a Maryland Historical Treasure (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); About This Fountain… (about 600 feet away); Hard Travel (about 700 feet away); John Smith Explores the Chesapeake (about 700 feet away); The Trolley Station at Bayshore Park (about 700 feet away); Wetlands (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Presbytery of Baltimore (approx. 0.7 miles away); Todd’s Inheritance (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Edgemere.
 
More about this marker. (Inscription beside the painting of the house)
1931 painting of the Ridgley house. Image/From Old Baltimore, 1931.

(Inscription beside the sketch on the right)
Examples of some 38 different signal flags used by a network of water and shore stations.
 
Sign at the entrance to North Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 18, 2014
3. Sign at the entrance to North Point State Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 19, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 291 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 26, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   2, 3. submitted on December 19, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 27, 2020