History of East Towson
East Towson was settled as an African American community not too many years after the city of Towson itself was founded. During the slavery years, there were a few slaves scratching out a life co-existing with the slaves in Towson, but it was around the mid-1800s when Daniel Harris, a former slave of Governor Ridgley, owner of Hampton Mansion, freed him, along with many other slaves just prior to his death in 1829 or 1830. Rather than migrate to Baltimore City where most of the freed slaves went to, Daniel Harris remained in the Towson area, found different jobs, and eventually saved enough money to purchase a piece of land to build his home on - this was the beginning of East Towson. Today, the community still stands proud and strong, with many of its homes built by African Americans themselves. Some of these homes have African influence in them, such as “Shot Gun” houses.

The Fields family from Lennox Avenue in East Towson. Left to right is Mrs. Esther Fields, Mr. Amos Fields, Sr (sitting), Amos Fields, Jr (standing in front of his mother), and Jane Fields Moore (sitting on her father’s lap.

The photograph was taken in 1937
Geraldine Wiggins Batty from Railroad Avenue in East Towson.

The photograph was taken in the 1920s
Raymond Smith from Railroad Avenue in East Towson. He served in the US Army in France during World War I.

The photograph was taken around 1917 or 1918

Left to right is Dorothy McManus, Fannie Scovens, and Carrie Hall. They were standing on the front stept of St. James A.U.M.P. Church on Jefferson Avenue in East Towson.

The photograph was taken in 1975

Back to Top