4 Center Place, Dundalk, MD 21222 410.284.2331
HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM, Inc.
The area that grew into Turner Station was once farmland owned by J. M. Turner as early as 1877. The rural character of the area began to change in the 1880s when the Pittsburgh Steel Co. built a steel plant on land known as Sparrows Point. The steel mill was bought out by the Maryland Steel Co., and at thattime Mr. Turner sold a portion of his tract to the Sparrows Point Railroad Company. The railroad company erected a station, naming it for the Turner
property through which the rail passed on its way to Sparrows Point. As the nearby community grew, it took on that name – “Turner Station.”
The Maryland Steel Co. created a subsidiary called the Dundalk Co. for the purpose of overseeing construction of housing for workers near Dundalk. Building had just started when WWI created an astonishing demand for ships constructed of steel. As a result of this
increased demand for labor, many African Americans migrated to the area and created their own self- sustaining community with both housing and local businesses. Schools, churches, grocery stores, fraternal organizations, restaurants, barber and beauty shops, doctors, dentists, gas stations, liquor stores, and employment office and clothing stores sprung up and prospered around the Turner Station stop with names such as the Balnew Cab Co., Allmond's Confectionery, Fanny Major's Community Laundry, the Anthony Theatre and the Adams Cocktail Lounge. The Adams became the most popular black lounge in Baltimore, and patrons saw entertainment greats there, including Chick Webb, Pearl Bailey and Billy Eckstein.
After World War II, the community began to decline. Between 1960 and 1970, the population decreased by nearly fifty percent, and services decreased as well. At the turn on the 21st century, however, dedicated residents partnering with Baltimore County and private companies have been diligently working to revitalize the community, and encouraging signs of redevelopment have occurred. The Turner Station Conservation Teams organization (with seven distinct teams) was organized with a mission to change the community from one that has suffered from neglect to a vibrant, caring and attractive area, and members are dedicated to the revitalization of Turner Station that pursues development connected to the community's
long history of education and faith, its unique waterfront location, and its unique place in history.
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