More than a million people are expected to enjoy the Sailabration events that commemorate Baltimore's role in the War of 1812. Baltimore County provided financial support for Sailabration, and I thank those officials and volunteers who helped staff events over the past week. Our family joined the festivities at Martin State Airport and Downtown Baltimore, and it was a wonderful weekend.
Baltimore County, of course, was an important part of the War of 1812. The Battle of North Point, which occurred in September of 1814, delayed the British advance on Baltimore and bought valuable time for those defending the city. Landmarks such as Fort Howard and Todd's Inheritance are part of the heritage of southeastern Baltimore County.
In the Fifth District that I represent, some of our communities have important links to the War of 1812. The site that is now Camp Chapel United Methodist Church was the center of the lightly-settled Perry Hall area in 1814. On September 12, 1814, Reverend Henry Smith was preaching at the Camp Meeting Chapel, and he recorded hearing the sounds of the Battle of North Point: "The bombs were heard at Perry Hall, twelve miles from Baltimore, nearly all the night. It was an awful night. Fears were entertained that the enemy would take Baltmore, and overrun and plunder that part of the country...I rode down to Baltimore the day after the British had returned to their ships; and it was in the mouth of almost everyone, saint and sinner. 'The prayers of the good people of Baltimore saved the city.'"
Back then, Joppa Road was an abandoned Susquehannock Indian trail, and at the other end from Perry Hall was Towsontown. Ezekial Towson started the Towson Hotel at York and Joppa Roads in 1768 to serve farmers who brought their produce and livestock to the port of Baltimore. His brother Nathaniel Towson had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, commanding artillery at the Battles of Fort George, Stoney Creek, Queenston Heights, Chippawa, Lundy's Lane, and Fort Erie.
I believe we should recognize the contributions of Nathaniel Towson to our local history. I have suggested to Towson's civic and business organizations that we dedicate one of our structures in his honor, perhaps the bridge at Dulaney Valley Road leading into Downtown Towson. What do you think?