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Sparrows Point was on the map nearly a century before the city of Baltimore was laid out and just 20 years after the colony of Maryland was established. After receiving a land grant from Lord Baltimore in 1652, Thomas Sparrow named the area Sparrow’s Nest; although he never lived here and his heirs eventually disposed of the 600 acres, his name stuck. In 1886, the Pennsylvania Steel Company purchased 385 acres from Capt. and Mrs. William Fitzell, and work began immediately on a new plant, a shipyard, and a company town. “Furnace A” was fired up in October 1889. That same year, passenger rail service to and from Baltimore commenced. Meanwhile, laborers who chose to reside in the company town rented houses on streets with letters and numbers for names in locations designated by their job and race. By 1916, Bethlehem Steel had acquired Sparrows Point. Over time, “the Point” would become the world’s largest steel mill, supported by a prosperous, selfsufficient town.
About the Author
In Images of America: Sparrows Point, threetime Arcadia author Gary Helton documents the area’s rise and fall through 200 vintage photographs collected from community members and organizations.
Table of Contents
From Peaches to Pig Iron 9
Mother Bethlehem 35
O Little Town of Bethlehem 57
Life as a "Pointer" 85
The End 121