Baltimore County, located in central Maryland, borders Pennsylvania to the north, and wraps around the city of Baltimore. About 80% of the county is on the gently rolling hills of the Piedmont Plateau and 20% is on the flat sandy Coastal Plain region. Baltimore County, formed in 1659 and named for Cecilius (Cecil) Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, is the third largest county in Maryland.
There are a number of historic sites in Baltimore County. The Maryland State Police Museum is located in Pikesville. The museum traces the beginnings of the state police to the advanced weapons and techniques of today with equipment, uniforms, photos, film and memorials to fallen officers.
Ballestone Manor features period furnishings from 1780 to 1880, exhibit space and a gift shop.
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum has collections of historical books, artifacts, prints and papers on African-American history and art, American Colonial history and Native American history.
The Fire Museum of Maryland houses hand-pulled, horse-drawn and motorized firefighting equipment, badges, uniforms, archival information and films. The museum celebrates the anniversary of the Great Baltimore Fire, which occurred in 1904.
Hampton, a National Historic Site, is an estate from the 1700s. The house is a Georgian mansion surrounded by formal gardens. In 1790, when the house was completed, Hampton was the largest house in the country. Seven generations occupied the house and exhibits showcase the family business and early industry and commerce along with changes in cultural taste. The people depicted include enslaved Africans, indentured servants and day laborers who made life at Hampton possible for the estate owners. The main house, cemetery, carriage house, slave quarters and grounds are open to the public.
Other activities include bird watching, wild life viewing and interpretive programs. Jericho Covered Bridge, built in 1865, is the only covered bridge in Baltimore County. The Townsend House, built using an 18th century floor plan, was willed to the Cantonsville Historical Society. It includes antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. The property also features a knot garden, intricate patterns of low or miniature clipped hedges that appear to cross over colorful plant material giving the appearance of knots.
The Pullen Musuem is home to the Cantonsville Historical Society. The museum was originally the decorator workshop of Mrs. Townsend. The Society houses its collections and research material here.
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