Bear Creek has always been a major factor in the development of the North Point, transporting people, animals and supplies throughout the peninsula since before its settlement in the late 17th century. It was named for its bear population, which became non-existent shortly after the arrival of settlers and farmers of the following century. Other wildlife like fox, pheasant, quail, raccoon and mallards are not as abundant as they once were, but still inhabit land that was once part of the Todd’s Farm.
By the late 19th century, merchants used the area to pick up the vegetables that were grown on the surrounding farmlands. Boats would sail up Bear Creek and into the coves to receive the produce and deliver it to Baltimore. In fact, remnants of the piers still can be seen in the coves.
Homeowners have always prized the remarkable shoreline of its many coves and inlets. The Patapsco-Back River Neck Railroad connected locals to other points of commerce, as well. In 1952, the PBRR established the east belt line that supplied Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point. The Wise Avenue Bridge spans Bear Creek to connect those areas with the
heart of Dundalk.
Sparrows Point Country Club
, located on 280 acres off Schoolhouse Cove, was once a clay quarry once owned by Baltimore Brick Company, and has been a signature feature of the community since 1955.
Unlike many industrial sites that are surrounded by other industry, the Sparrows Point mill sits near modest waterfront homes and parks where people fish and crab. Swimming ladders can be seen on the piers of some of those homes, although some residents say you are as likely to see swimmers these days as black bears.Scientists Confirm Toxic Chemicals in Bear Creek
Scientists commissioned by CBF have concluded an investigation and analysis of offshore pollution at the former steel mill at Sparrows Point. They found high concentrations of toxic chemicals in the sediments in Bear Creek at levels which are deadly to organisms and the ecosystem, but sediments and water present a minimal risk to human health for people who might swim, crab, or recreate there. The studies were funded by the Abell Foundation.