Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Avalon in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Iron Builds America

 
 
Iron Builds America Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, July 1, 2008
1. Iron Builds America Marker
Inscription. When European settlers discovered the Patapsco Valley, they found a source of untamed beauty rich in resources. Susquehannock and Pscataway Indians hunted and fished the valley full of elk, black bear, bison, gray wolves and deer. The white settlers also saw the valley's fertile and iron rich soil, fast-flowing streams, and deep shipping channels that led to Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

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 in exchange for British-made products. As the American Revolution neared, America's infant industries began to make products to be used in America.

On this site Caleb Dorsey's iron forge
A Walk Through Time image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, July 1, 2008
2. A Walk Through Time
This informational panel is attached to the Iron Builds America marker and indicates where historical markers have been placed throughout the Patapsco Valley State Park.
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. Touch for map. 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 Center parking lot. Entrance to PVSP is about 300 feet north of the US 1 - South Street intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Halethorpe MD 21227, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least
Iron Builds America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
3. Iron Builds America Marker
8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Place For Progress (here, next to this marker); Powering the Patapso 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 EraIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansWar, US Revolutionary
 
Lithograph of the town of Avalon image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
4. Lithograph of the town of Avalon
Close-up of image on marker
Photo of the Avalon Dam image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
5. Photo of the Avalon Dam
Close-up of photo on marker
Rusted 19th Century Iron Nails image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
6. Rusted 19th Century Iron Nails
Close-up of Brian Albright illustration on marker
Photo of undeveloped river valley. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
7. Photo of undeveloped river valley.
Close-up of photo on marker
Bison image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
8. Bison
Close-up of photo on marker
Painting of Elkridge Landing image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2014
9. Painting of Elkridge Landing
Close-up of image on marker
 
 
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 881 times since then and 30 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.
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