Catonsville at the Turn of the 20th Centry consists of 15 late 19th and early 20th century photographs of historic buildings, people, and other scenes of life in Catonsville, Maryland.
Collection Location: Baltimore County Public Library, Catonsville History Room, Catonsville, Maryland
Collection Overview: This collection from the Baltimore County Public Library, Catonsville History Room focuses on Catonsville during the late 19th and early 20th century. The area, which lies west of Baltimore, was first home to the Piscataway tribe. The Europeans settled in the area around 1720 in a community known as Johnnycake. In the 1780s, a road was built by the Ellicott family for traffic between their flour mill, Ellicott Mills, and Baltimore. This route, Frederick Avenue/Route 144, became the main artery of Catonsville. In 1810, Declaration of Independence signer, Charles Carroll, commissioned his son-in-law to develop a large plot of land which would come to be known as Catonsville. Originally named Catonville, an s was added in the 1830s to become present day Catonsville.
Catonsville at the turn of the 20th century evidenced many wealthy Baltimoreans building large Victorian and colonial summer homes to escape the city heat. Merchants and artisans followed, setting up businesses to serve them. The completion of the Catonsville Short Line Railroad and electrified streetcar lines on Frederick Road and Edmondson Avenue brought Catonsville and Baltimore closer. Eden Terrace, developed by Victor Bloede, attracted affluent suburban residents and smaller builders built more modest cottages for people of average means. This era also saw the establishment of Catonsville’s first newspaper, the Argus.