St. Helena has been part of the steel manufacturing story since its very early days. It began to change from a farm area to an urban community as early as 1882, the year the first railroad was built after Sparrows Point had been purchased by the Maryland Steel Company. As that industry grew, homes for workers were erected, and much of St. Helena’s housing was constructed for bachelor boarders, who ate in commissaries; many original homes had no kitchens! Renovations to add kitchens were finished before housing in other parts of Dundalk were even built.
Today, St. Helena has eclectic mix of housing that includes wood frame, concrete, brick and Formstone. Most date from the early 1900s through the 1940s, although there are some newer homes to be found. The neighborhood is partly within the city of Baltimore but most is in Baltimore County, surrounded on three sides by industry, and has a secluded, insulated feel. Lots of residents grew up in St. Helena and have family here, although the area has attracted young families as well.
For a small neighborhood, there are plenty of churches and parks to go around! St. Helena Park has a playground, ball fields, a bathroom building, a dog park, and new shrubs and landscaping. Cornell Playground is tucked away in the neighborhood, and Cimaglia Park at Fort Holabird will be completed in Nov. 2013. Once finished, it will offer residents a reforestation area, open meadow, wetland with a scenic overlook, open recreation area, ball fields, community gardens, a natural spring system, basketball court, picnic area and parking lot.
St. Helena residents support an amazing number of events – neighborhood cleanups and dumpster days, a year-long aluminum can collection to fund an annual college scholarship, a community Christmas party, the Annual Harvest Fest, the Annual National Neighborhood Day, a community yard sale, and Dundalk Antiques Appraisal Day. The community sponsors Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and also conducts an annual food drive for Thanksgiving distribution.