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A Towson, Maryland newspaper, The Advocate, on June 22, 1861, reported "news on abutments for new county bridge at Phoenix." This is believed to be the covered bridge that crossed the Great Gunpowder Falls providing access to the Phoenix Mills. The bridge likely stood until late 1921 or early 1922 when it was demolished as part of the plan for widening the Loch Raven Reservoir, which supplied water to Baltimore City residents. However, the expected backing up of the Gunpowder as a result of the expansion of the Reservoir was not as extensive as expected.
The location of the current bridge that crosses the Gunpowder near Phoenix is about 1/3 mile north of the old wooden bridge crossing and is a much longer bridge. The covered bridge was located close to the current Northern Central Railway Trail's parking lot near the intersection of Phoenix Road and Carroll Road.
|"The Phoenix Mill showing the mill, the power plant, a two-story frame structure used as the station master's house and the depot. Also shows signal tower, Faulkner's store and the covered wooden bridge." Early 20th century photo. Photographer unknown. Source: Maryland Historical Society. Permission granted by Baltimore County Public Library.||"The Phoenix Mill shows the mill, the power plant and the covered wooden bridge in the distance (right center)." Early 20th century photo. Photographer unknown. Source: Maryland Historical Society. Permission granted by Baltimore County Public Library.|
The area in central Baltimore County where the Great Gunpowder Falls flowed was home for many mills, one of which was the Phoenix Mills, located at Phoenix Station along the Northern Central Railway.
The first enterprise at what became Phoenix was a grist mill started on a trait of land called "Gunpowder Mills" by Elijah Merryman who had ground resurveyed under that name in 1793. Thomas Fulton opened a large new works called Phoenix Factory in January 1848. In 1872, a newer and larger factory was constructed. The new mill was three stories high.¹ Phoenix Cotton Mills are shown on the 1898 map of Baltimore County on the east side of the Gunpowder Falls. By 1911, the town of Phoenix was practically deserted.
¹ Phoenix Factory, a Baltimore County Mill Village, Historical Society of Baltimore County vertical files.