HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM, Inc.
4 Center Place, Dundalk, MD 21222 410.284.2331
Berkshire has been a close-knit community since its first houses were built in 1947. Members of this working class neighborhood found the area suitable in price and location for mostly blue-collar jobs at the steel mill or GM plant – and they stay for the long haul, as evidenced by the generational stability of home ownership.
Before Berkshire’s development by the Requard Real Estate Company it was simply a portion of the path to and from Baltimore City, but through it coursed Bread and Cheese Creek. Legend maintains the stream was a resting spot for soldiers, and where they ate their rations of hardtack
and cheese. Approximately 3200 men under Genl. John Stricker made camp on Bread and Cheese Creek before their defeat of British forces in 1814.
After its brief crossing of history’s path, Berkshire returned to its quiet nature for well over a century until a nationally publicized incident involving Joseph Palczynski, who in March 2000 terrorized residents by killing four people and taking a family of three as hostages in one of the longest one-man standoffs ever known. The incident was a blight on the reputation of Berkshire, but residents - in typical fashion - banded together to restore the neighborhood’s image and make the area one of
the most stable and attractive in the region.
Generations have spent their lives happily in the brick homes and single bungalows among the small winding streets that are distinctive for the neighborhood feel of corner stores like the long-standing North Point Grocery. Berkshire Elementary School has been a mainstay in the community since its construction in the mid-1960s, and Eastview Station of the Baltimore County Fire Department has provided a sense of security for decades.
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