Dundalk, Maryland: Americana At It’s Best

Dundalk, Maryland

The Dundalk Maryland area has its roots in the foundry industry and the history is a topic that the local residents carry with pride. Some of the nation’s best sports players have called Dundalk their home and the area loves and supports baseball and basketball as their key games. The community is now one of the first neighborhoods outside of Baltimore but the city’s name is all Ireland.

The original inhabitants of what is now Dundalk were the Susquehannock Native American tribe. According to the historic records, the area was actually discovered by John Smith but wasn’t established until a few years later when Thomas Todd actually purchased acreage and built a home. While the original home was lost in the War of 1812, it was rebuilt and remains in Dundalk today as part of their history.

It was an Irish immigrant by the name of Henry McShane that actually gave the area its name. McShane built a foundry for the production of iron and bronze bells that soon grew to iron furnace fittings and pipe products. The railroad that came through the area and became the main bloodline for the transport of the products. McShane was requested to give a railroad depot name and he chose Dundalk, the town of his birth in Ireland.

By the early 1900’s, the Bethlehem Steel Co. needed acreage to house the many workers for the shipyard and purchased around one thousand acres. Thus began the process of one of the country’s first well planned cities. The design was set up to compliment their close proximity to the Baltimore area, with focus on leaving areas for future recreational facilities and expansion. It was important to the planners to have a city that was friendly to the pedestrians for ease of navigation. Streets and walkways were lined up and the stores and downtown areas were easy to get to by foot. There was a focus on giving street names a decidedly maritime motif, which are still in use today.

Dundalk soon became one of the most coveted areas to live in, offering the incredible history with the location of Baltimore just minutes away. The residents of the area take pride in their town and this can be seen when one visits. Their Heritage Fair is held every year, along with numerous other fun events. They play host to some of the nation’s best performers for the fairs and in the spring and summer the music fills the air as people enjoy local cuisine and a walk around the town. Dundalk offers an especially excellent fireworks show for the 4th of July and you better get there early if you want to see it all. Sports is a hot topic in Dundalk, with more supporters of the local teams than one might find in other towns. Everyone attends the games, watching the scoreboards eagerly for their team’s next point score. The Dundalk Sports and Recreation area holds some of the top swimming competitions and coordinates many of the various sports games.

While some consider Dundalk at suburb of Baltimore, the people of Dundalk think of themselves as a unique entity. The encourage tourists and visitors to stop by and take a tour of their Heritage Park, stop in at one of the local restaurants and stay awhile to just chat with the locals. Visitors are encouraged to go to any of their team games as they are so proud of their athletes, teams and scoreboards. When you arrive at Dundalk, you feel like you are at home and I think that’s why McShane gave it the name.


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