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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Iron ore discovery in Howard County in 1700's

      In doing the research on the Underground Railroad in Howard County I came across some other information on how slaves were used in the production of iron in the County.  Slaves in Maryland and Howard County had been used mostly in the growing and harvesting of tobacco. As mentioned in yesterday's blog the discovery of iron ore in the County caused slaves to be used in the mining of the iron ore.  The ore was melted into iron in the Elkridge Furnace run by the Dorsey family.  The iron was used mostly by the railroads for rails and bridges.  We have two examples of bridges that still exist in the County.
This bridge is presently used on the trail from Columbia to Savage.
 Near this bridge the story of the iron ore mining in told with pictures from that time.
This is the Bollman bridge in Savage built by the B&O Railroad

The areas of the iron ore mining can also be still seen in the County.  Below is an area near the trail bridge that was one site.
A short distance away is the quarry that was mined.  It is now filled with water near a modern office building (Quarry Tech Building) that can be seen from Route 32.
Supposedly the water is hundreds of feet deep in this quarry pond.

In researching the past couple of blogs I also learned of the wheat grinding mill that still exists under a Route 32 bridge at Cedar Lane.
I also saw a picture of a log cabin house that still exists on Route 97 in Glenwood that was built for the daughter of a Howard County slave by the name of Sarah Dorsey.
I happened to have some history with this house.  I knew the owner of the home in the 1980's, Albet France, who was Sarah Dorsey's grandson.  He had contacted the Howard County Office on Aging about putting some storm windows on the house.  I supervised the Office home repair program and sent out our person to see what could be done.  There was only one small problem---the window frames were so out of square, as you can see in the picture, that he could only install plastic coverings to the window.  From the picture above that appears to still be the way the windows are still being insulated.

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