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The African American community of I and J Streets on Sparrows Point had its beginning not long after the Pennsylvania Steel Mills built the first blast furnace in the late 1880s. As the furnace blast was being built, so was the communities that the workers would be residing in. On the South side of Sparrows Point, homes were being built for the White workers. On the North side of Sparrows Point, specifically I and J Streets, homes were being built for the African American workers.
Unfortunately, many of the African American workers who migrated to the Dundalk area of Baltimore County, were not able to secure homes for their families. Dundalk was closed to African Americans as it was the area that White workers were using for their homes.
Just below Dundalk in an area known as Turner Station, African Americans like the Neals and Thomas' built their little log cabins in a wooded area called "The Meadows." It was this area that eventually spread towards the waters edge and became the home for many of the African American families who worked for the steel mill or the shipyard.
Many of the African American families that resided on Sparrows Point made it a point to educate their children very well. One of the first high schools for African American children, called "Bragg School" was located on Sparrows Point. This was in 1939. There are so many African American highly successful in business, education, etc., all came from I and J Streets on Sparrows Point.
Brown Bunnies Social Club from Sparrows Point, Maryland.
Quarters, or barracks, on Sparrows Point, where single African American men who worked for Bethlehem Steel Mill resided until they were able to secure a home on Sparrows Point for their families.
Union Baptist Church that was located in the African American community on Sparrows Point. African American workers at Bethlehem Steel Mill began to occupy homes on Sparrows Point around 1888. By 1893 they built their first Church, the Union Baptist Church. This was the only African American church in the Sparrows Point-Dundalk area.
Doward Patterson who was born and reared on Sparrows Point. He is the brother of Dr. Theodore Patterson. Both are in the medical profession. Doward is walking down either I or J Street on Sparrows Point where the families of African American workers at Bethlehem Steel Mills or the shipyard resided.
Bragg Elementary School on Sparrows Point as it looked in 1915. The school was built by Bethlehem Steel Mill for the African American children of Sparrows Point and areas surrounding Sparrows Point, such as Edgemere, and Turner Station.
"The Company Store," located on Sparrows Point. It was owned by the Bethlehem Steel Mill and was used primarily for the workers of the mill and their families.
Some of the residents of I and J Streets on Sparrows Point in the old days. The names of these persons are not known.
Several of the retiress from Bethlehem Steel Mills on Sparrows Point, The person in the rear row, center, is Mr. Jerome Fowlkes from Bltimore, Maryland,, who worked for the steel mills for more than 30 years.
Left to right: Joseph Thomas, Jr., Doiward B. Patterson, Jr., Lucy Thornton-Berry, and Dr. Theodore Patterson.
Family of Roy Cragway from Sparrows Poiont, Maryland. L to r: Dr. Roy Cragway, Jr., Wilhemenia (Billy) Cragway, Roy Cragway, Sr., and Robert Cragway.
Earl Melvin with his wife, Gwendolyn Melvin. They both resided at one time on Sparrows Point.