North Point State Park
|North Point State Park|
|Location||Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|Area||1,328 acres (5.37 km2)|
|Elevation||10 ft (3.0 m)|
|Operator||Maryland Department of Natural Resources|
|Website||North Point State Park|
North Point State Park is a public recreation area located on Chesapeake Bay in Edgemere, Baltimore County, Maryland. The state park includes the site of the former 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. Black Marsh, a 667-acre (270 ha) state wildlands area, makes up half the park's area. The park is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The park occupies the southeastern portion of Patapsco River Neck, a peninsula of historically agricultural use. 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 before becoming the site of Bay Shore Amusement Park, a popular destination for summer visitors from 1906 through 1947.
- Bay Shore Park
Bay Shore Amusement Park (or Bay Shore Park) was built on 30 acres in 1906 by the United Railways and Electric Company of Baltimore using plans drawn up by architects Otto Simonson and Theodore Wells Pietsch. During its time, the 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 pier. In addition to the trolley/streetcar from Baltimore, visitors could reach the park by steamboat from Baltimore to the park pier. Jimmy Doolittle won the Schneider Trophy seaplane race held at the park in 1925, an event attended by aviation pioneers Orville Wright and Glenn L. Martin.
In 1947, Bethlehem Steel bought and tore down the amusement park. The attractions were moved to a new park, Bay Island Beach, in the 1950s, which was then torn down by Bethlehem Steel in the 1960s. In 1987, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources purchased the land from Bethlehem Steel for five million dollars to create what was then known as Black Marsh State Park.
In 1992, Bay Shore Amusement Park and its trolley station were evaluated by the Maryland Historical Trust for the National Register of Historic Places. They were found to eligible because of their association with streetcar-related recreation. The park was a big proponent of the use of streetcars and used them for recreation.
Activities and amenities
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.
- "Bay Shore Park (historical)". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Fiscal Year 2016 DNR Owned Lands Acreage" (PDF). Maryland Department of Natural Resources. July 29, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "North Point State Park". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- "Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties Form: North Point State Park" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. June 30, 2004. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- "Park History". North Point State Park. North Point State Park Volunteers. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- Coleman, John P. (2014). Historic Amusement Parks of Baltimore. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. pp. 24–36. ISBN 978-0-7864-7814-9. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "Baltimore Amusement Parks". Kilduffs.com. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- Breihan, John R. (2009). Maryland Aviation. Images of Aviation. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738567000.
- "Coalition to Preserve Black Marsh: Historical Note". University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- "Individual Property/District Internal NR-Eligibility Review Form" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. August 31, 1992. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- According to Jacques Kelly, who went looking for the park after it was torn down, the area is still as beautiful as before, a “delightful summertime oasis.” Much of the old facilities, according to Kelly, has survived and/or has been renovated and still is visited with people daily. The landmarks that survived have given tourists and historians information on what the park was originally used for. Kelly, Jacques (July 26, 2013). "Site of old Bay Shore amusement park still an oasis". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 21, 2013.