Historic War of 1812 Battlefield Protected (MD)

Dundalk, MD, 9/14/2006: On the 192nd anniversary of the War of 1812 Battle of North Point, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced today the protection of a nine-acre site through an agreement negotiated by The Trust for Public Land. The land in eastern Baltimore County was part the site of the Battle of North Point, fought September 12-14, 1814, during which American soldiers staved off British forces and ultimately killed General Robert Ross, who had captured Washington, D.C.

The acquisition protects the property as a historic landmark and adds to the nearly 70,000 acres of land the state has purchased under the Ehrlich administration for environmental, historical, and recreational purposes.

“My administration is proud to preserve this land for its historical value to Maryland,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Like other state-owned landmarks such as Fort Frederick or South Mountain Battlefield, the North Point Battlefield will be enjoyed by historians and visitors alike for generations to come.”

The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit land conservation organization, negotiated the purchase of the land from Mars Super Markets for $1.75 million using Program Open Space funding. The land will be owned and managed by the Maryland Park Service and tie into the Star Spangled Banner Trail proposed to link War of 1812 sites throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

“It is time that we remember what has largely been a forgotten war,” said Richard Ross, senior project manager for The Trust for Public Land. “On this battlefield, Baltimore was successfully defended against a British invasion during the War of 1812 and it is gratifying to be able to protect this spot so that current and future generations can remember its significance.”

This important and unprotected section of the North Point Battlefield is the only undeveloped remnant of the land upon which 3,000 Maryland patriots in the 5th and 27th Maryland regiments of militia stood their ground against 4,500 invading British Army regulars intent on burning the city of Baltimore.

Mars Super Markets had owned the land since the early 1970s. Marked for construction of a grocery store, the land sat undeveloped after Mars purchased a competitor’s store nearby. “It has seemed destined to be preserved somehow, and maybe this was providence in some small way,” said Robert Reyes, president of the Friends of North Point Battlefield and an advocate for the protection.

Legislation to establish the Star Spangled Banner Trail, a driving trail proposed to run for 290 miles, was introduced in Congress by U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes and U.S. Representative Benjamin L. Cardin. It was unanimously approved by the Senate and awaits hearing in the House of Representatives.

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.2 million acres of land in 46 states, including more than 7,000 acres in Maryland.