Mariner Point Park

100 Kearney Dr, Joppa, MD 21085, Along the path past the parking lot, overlooking Gunpowder Bridge.

Mariner Point Park

History: On July 6, 1864, Confederate cavalrymen crossed the Potomac River into Maryland as part of a 12,000-man force under Gen. Jubal A. Early, who planned to attack lightly defended Washington, D.C. Union Gen. Lew Wallace's force, however, delayed Early at the Monocacy River on July 9. Early then ordered Gen. Bradley T. Johnson's cavalry brigade to cut off Baltimore and Washington from the north, then to free 14,000 Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout.

After destroying the Northern Central Railroad Bridge in Cockeysville, Johnson detached Maj. Harry Gilmor with 135 troopers to destroy the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad drawbridge over the Gunpowder River near Magnolia Station and Joppa. Gilmor arrived at the station at 8:30am on July 11 and captured the stopped northbound train from Baltimore. The engineer disabled the controls and fled. Unable to operate the train, Gilmor burned it. The next train arrived an hour later and fell into Gilmor's hands along with Union Gen. William B. Franklin. As flames from the burning train engulfed the bridge, the Federal soldiers leaped into the river. A few soldiers uncoupled two cars and rolled them to safety, but soon the draw span collapsed and several cars plunged into the water.

More to Explore: At Mariner Point Park, you can enjoy a beautiful picnic, a two-mile nature trail, and boat launching into the Gunpowder River. Children will certainly enjoy seeing the wildlife, especially the famous black squirrels of the park. Just be sure to keep an eye on your peanuts, as it's one of their favorite snacks! Just a short drive away is the Hammerman Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park, which offers mini-cabins for camping, a swimming beach, and boat rentals at Dundee Creek Marina. You can also enjoy fishing, playgrounds, and short hiking trails. The Muskrat Trail winds through the marsh, and features an observation deck and canoe/kayak launch.

Photo Credits:

  1. "Gunpowder Bridge, Maryland." Courtesy of Library of Congress.
  2. "Bradley Tyler Johnson." Courtesy of Library of Congress.
  3. "Major Harry Gilmor." Courtesy of Library of Congress.
  4. "Portrait of Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin, officer of the Federal Army." Courtesy of Library of Congress.