Sparks Glencoe in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
An interesting bit of history shows that the area along York Road today that we know as Sparks was once the town of Philopolis-Sparks was merely a cluster of homes and farms one mile to the east along the NCR tracks. Philopolis was the site of the Milton Academy, a well known private day and boarding school for boys. Also located there were a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, an undertaker, a milliner, and a general store. In time, the entire area
In 1909, six small rural schools were consolidated into what we know today as Sparks Elementary school (destroyed by fire in 1995). Initially the school was called the Agricultural High School - many of its students rode the NCR's Parkton local to get to school. In 1913 a general store and warehouse was build and the post office was moved from York Road to Sparks. Sparks State Bank was built in 1916 next to the store along the NCR tracks. Interestingly, both the bank and the post office have moved back to York Road which is now the main area of local business. The bank moved in 1954 due to a decrease in train activity as well as repeated flooding from the Gunpowder River - some of its safe deposit boxes were said to have contained water from past floods. The original Sparks Bank building is now operated as a Nature Center for young children by volunteers of Gunpowder Falls State Park in conjunction with the NCR Hike and Bike Trail which follows the old rail road path through northern Baltimore County.
[text with upper photo] Watchman's shack loated on the right side of the photo. The watchman is on the left side carrying a railroad stop sign. During this period of time there were no electric gates or warning lights. The watchman had to know the exact time that each train
[text with lower photo] In 1909 when Sparks Agricultural High School opened, transportation to school was difficult at best. Some students were fortunate to ride on the few county school buses available. Others arrived on foot, by stagecoach, or by horse and buggy. Still others came by train on the Northern Central Railway. They would be dropped off at the Sparks station and then walk a half mile up the hill to the school. Students who rode the train to school never complained as they were dismissed earlier than the other students in order to catch the return train home.
[text with lower middle photo] Monthly school ticket, c. May 1902
Erected by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland State Highway Administration.
Location. 39° 32.375′ N, 76° 38.301′ W. Marker is in Sparks Glencoe, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker is on Sparks Road 0.6 miles east of York Road (Maryland Route 45), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is about 50 feet south of Sparks Road, along the NCR Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Sparks Glencoe MD 21152, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this Clynmalira (approx. 1½ miles away); Phoenix (approx. 1.7 miles away); Gorsuch Tavern (approx. 1.8 miles away); Lime Kiln (approx. 2.3 miles away); North Central Railroad Trail (approx. 2.6 miles away); Gilmor's Raid (approx. 2.6 miles away); Scott's Quarry (approx. 3½ miles away); Hayfields (approx. 3.6 miles away).
Categories. • Education • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 9, 2016, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 345 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 9, 2016, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.