North Point State Park

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North Point State Park
Maryland State Park
Country United States
State Maryland
County Baltimore
Elevation 10 ft (3 m) [1]
Coordinates 39°12′27″N 76°25′38″W / 39.20750°N 76.42722°W / 39.20750; -76.42722Coordinates: 39°12′27″N 76°25′38″W / 39.20750°N 76.42722°W / 39.20750; -76.42722 [1]
Area 1,328 acres (537 ha) [2]
 - Wildlands 667 acres (270 ha)
Acquired 1987
Management Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Location in Maryland
Website: North Point State Park

North Point State Park is a state-owned, public recreation area located on Chesapeake Bay in Edgemere, Baltimore County, Maryland. A portion of the state park's grounds were once the site of Bay Shore Park, which was one of the state's premiere amusement parks during the first half of the 20th century. The park features restored remnants of the old amusement park as well as facilities for swimming, picnicking, bicycling, and hiking. The 667-acre (270 ha) Black Marsh wildlands make up half of the park's area.[3]

A satellite facility, North Point State Battlefield, opened in Dundalk in 2015. The 9-acre (3.6 ha) historical landmark commemorates a portion of the site where the Battle of North Point was fought during the War of 1812.[4]

History[edit]

Evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by humans 9000 years ago. During the War of 1812, it was on the route traveled by British troops intent on invading Baltimore from the southeast and several skirmishes were fought there. The site was used for farming for some three and a half centuries prior to its conversion to parkland.[3]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park has several piers and provides beach access to visitors for wading and swimming. There are picnic tables and grills on site. The historical fountain has been restored, as well as the old trolley station, which is used by permit for large gatherings.

The Takos Visitor Center, which opened in 2002, was named in honor of Volunteer Ranger Steve Takos who spearheaded the renovation efforts at the park. It was designed to resemble the amusement's park former hotel and restaurant, and boasts an educational science room, multiple history and nature-oriented exhibits, including a large saltwater fish tank, and a conference room.[3]

Bay Shore Park[edit]

1921 newspaper ad for Bay Shore Park

Bay shore Amusement Park (or Bay Shore Park) was an amusement park built in 1906 [5] by Otto Simonson and Theodore Wells Pietsch.[6] It was built upon 30 acres of North Point State Park [7] (previously named Black Marsh [5]) property. During its time, Bay shore Park was a lively and attractive place offering a variety of recreations and relaxation along the Chesapeake Bay. Activities included a dance hall, bowling alley, restaurant, and a pier to the bay.[5] There was also a trolley/streetcar from Baltimore to Bay shore Park, which was one of the ways people got there,[5] the other being by steamboat from Baltimore to the pier.[7] Bay shore Park was considered a must-see attraction in this time. In 1947, a company known as Bethlehem Steel bought the park land, and tore Bay shore Park down.[5][6] The attractions were moved to a new park, Bay Island Beach, in the 1950s but was also torn down by Bethlehem Steel in the 1960s.[7] The land is now owned by the department of natural resources as of 1987.[5] In 1992, Bay Shore Amusement Park fell under the Maryland Register of Historic properties, because of its association with streetcars.[8] The park was a big proponent of the use of streetcars and used them for recreation.[8] According to Jacques Kelly, who went looking for the park after it was torn down, says the area is still as beautiful as before, calling it a “delightful summertime oasis.[6]” Much of the old facilities, according to Kelly, has survived and/or has been renovated and still is visited with people daily.[6] The landmarks that survived have given tourists and historians information on what the park was originally used for.[8] In 1925, Jimmy Doolittle won the Schneider Trophy seaplane race held at the park that year and was attended by aviation pioneers Orville Wright and Glenn L. Martin.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bay Shore Park (historical)". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Fiscal Year 2014 DNR Owned Lands Acreage" (PDF). Maryland Department of Natural Resources. December 18, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "North Point State Park". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "North Point State Battlefield Park opens to public". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "North Point State Park". North Point State Park. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Kelly, Jacques (July 26, 2013). "Site of old Bay Shore amusement park still an oasis". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Baltimore Amusement Parks". Kidluffs.com. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "Properties, Inventory of Historic" (PDF). Maryland.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ Breihan, John R. (2009). Maryland Aviation. Images of Aviation. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738567000. 

External links[edit]