Place Category: Neighborhoods
“This is a remarkable and complicated community. It’s changing and residents are involved in community projects. People are proud of their history and working for a positive future .”
What’s great about Turner Station
- Housing is affordable
- Close proximity to Peach Orchard Creek, Bear Creek, Old Dundalk, schools, shopping, restaurants
- Easy access to 695, the Key Bridge, Baltimore City
- 695 (west)
- Dundalk Ave. (north)
- Peach Orchard Creek and Bear Creek
Turner Station is a venerable African American community dating back to 1888, and residents are committed to preserving its historic foundation while also supporting current cultural and recreational assets. Fleming Recreation Center, a division of the Department of Aging, is 17,000-sq. ft. and houses a senior center, several facilities for recreation and a Head Start program. The new 28,000-sq.-ft. Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center offers an auditorium, gym, classrooms, a 300-person banquet room, a full-service county library, and provides space for civic and church groups as well as area youths and seniors. It also houses the Turner Station Historical Center, which features exhibits that showcase the diversity of the community.
Turner Station has been home to an amazing array of achievers – military heroes, jazz greats, athletes, educators, a congressman, an astronaut, and many more notables. For much more, read the The Feb. 2, 2019 Baltimore Sun Turner Station story.
The population of Turner Station is approximately 3,000, the predominant land use is residential with small pockets of commercial zoning, and the land owned by BGE is utilized by residents as a community gardening program. The community is enhanced by parks and waterfront as well. The Turner Station Conservation Teams actively contribute to the improvement, growth and development of the community consistent with the recommendations in the Turner Station Community Conservation Plan.
Most of the homes in Turner Station were built from about 1919 to 1945, most as a result of increases in employment by Bethlehem Steel in the 1940s. More development occurred during World War II, when two large housing complexes were constructed. The balance of the residential development in the community occurred more gradually and includes a mix of frame and brick houses.
Housing is available as single family homes, semi-detached homes, row houses, and low-rise multi-family apartments. Baltimore County, State and/or Federal grants and loans are available for qualified current or first-time homeowners.
The Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center
323 Sollers Point Road
Completed in 2011, this 28,000-sq.-ft. one-story building includes a branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, a community meeting room, a recreation center, gymnasium, classrooms, commercial kitchen, auditorium and the Turner Station Historical Center.
Neighborhood and Civic Organizations
- Boy Scouts
- Head Start
- Day Village Resident Association
- Fleming Senior Center
- Masonic Lodge 102
- Turner Station Conservation Teams
- Turner Station Heritage Foundation
- Turner Station Recreation Council
- First Apostolic Faith Gospel Tabernacle
- Lady of La Vang Roman Catholic Church
- Friendship Baptist Church
- New Shiloh Baptist Church
- Greater St. John Baptist Church
- St. Matthews United Methodist Church
- Union Baptist Church
- Logan Elementary
- Dundalk Elementary (new school opening fall 2019), Middle and High Schools
- CCBC Dundalk
- Dundalk-Sollers Point High School (opened fall 2014)
The area that grew into Turner Station was once farmland owned by J. M. Turner as early as 1877. The rural character of the area began to change in the 1880s when the Pittsburgh Steel Co. built a steel plant on land known as Sparrows Point. The steel mill was bought out by the Maryland Steel Co., and at that time Mr. Turner sold a portion of his tract to the Sparrows Point Railroad Company. The railroad company erected a station, naming it for the Turner property through which the rail passed on its way to Sparrows Point. As the nearby community grew, it also took on the name ‘Turner Station’.
The Maryland Steel Co. created a subsidiary called the Dundalk Co. to oversee construction of housing for workers near Dundalk. Building had just started when WWI created a huge demand for ships constructed of steel. As a result of this increased demand for labor, many African Americans migrated to the area and created their own self- sustaining community with both housing and local businesses. Schools, churches, grocery stores, fraternal organizations, restaurants, barber and beauty shops, doctors, dentists, gas stations, liquor stores, and employment office and clothing stores sprung up and prospered around the Turner Station stop, with names such as the Balnew Cab Co., Allmond’s Confectionery, Fanny Major’s Community Laundry, the Anthony Theatre and the Adams Cocktail Lounge. The Adams became the most popular black lounge in Baltimore, and patrons saw entertainment greats there, including Chick Webb, Pearl Bailey and Billy Eckstein.
After World War II, the community experienced a decline. Between 1960 and 1970, the population decreased by nearly fifty percent, and services decreased as well. At the turn of the 21st century, however, dedicated residents partnering with Baltimore County and private companies have been diligently working to revitalize the community, and encouraging signs of redevelopment have occurred. The Turner Station Conservation Teams organization (with seven distinct teams) adopted the mission to change the community to a vibrant, caring and attractive area, and members are dedicated to the revitalization of Turner Station that pursues development connected to the community’s long history of education and faith, its unique waterfront location, and its unique place in history.
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