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Dundalk is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Marylandmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 62,306 at the 2000 census. In 1960 and 1970, Dundalk was the largest unincorporated community in Marylandmarker. It was named after the town of Dundalkmarker, Irelandmarker. Dundalk is considered one of the first inner-ring suburbs of Baltimoremarker.


Dundalk Shopping Center 2006
The area now known as Dundalk was first explored by John Smith in 1608, when while conducting an expedition up the Chesapeake Bay he landed on the area known as the Patapsco Neck. Up until this time, the area was occupied by the tribes of the Susquehanna Indians.

In 1664 Thomas Todd of Virginiamarker purchased 1,150 acres (4.7 km2) of land on the Patapsco Neck, this being the first deed in Baltimore County. The original house, “Todd’s Inheritance”, was burnt by the Britishmarker during the War of 1812, Battle of North Point. After the war the house was rebuilt, and it still stands today as a historical landmark.

In 1856 Henry McShane, an immigrant from Irelandmarker, established the McShane Bell Foundry on the banks of the Patapsco Rivermarker in the then far southeastern outskirts of Baltimoremarker. The foundry later relocated to the Patterson Parkmarker area of Baltimore until a fire during the 1940s caused it to move to 201 East Federal Street. In addition to bronze bells, the foundry once manufactured cast iron pipes and furnace fittings. When asked by the Baltimore and Sparrows Point Railroad for a name of a depot for the foundry, which was on their rail line, McShane wrote Dundalk, after the town of his birth Dundalk, Irelandmarker. In 1977 the foundry moved to its current location in Glen Burniemarker.

One of the original stucco houses in Old Dundalk.
1916 the Bethlehem Steel Company purchased 1,000 acres (4 km2) of farmland, near the McShane foundry, to develop housing for its shipyard workers. The Dundalk Company was formed to plan a town in the new style, similar to that of the Roland Parkmarker area of Baltimoremarker, excluding businesses except at specific spots and leaving land for future development of schools, playing fields, and parks. By 1917 Dundalk proper was founded, by then it had 62 houses, 2 stores, a post office, and a telephone exchange. Streets were laid out in a pedestrian-friendly open grid, with monikers like "Shipway," "Northship," "Flagship," and "Admiral." The two-story houses had steeply pitched roofs and stucco exteriors.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of , of which is land and , or 23.58%, is water.

Most of Dundalk is flat and very near sea level, with a few small hills close to the city of Baltimore to the west. Dundalk is part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Elevations range from sea level on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay to approximately above sea level along the northern reaches of Dundalk Avenue and North Point Boulevard.


Dundalk lies in the Humid subtropical climate zone. Summers are quite hot and humid, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Spring and fall bring pleasant temperatures and lower humidity. Winters range from mild to chilly by U.S. standards, with lighter rain showers of longer duration. Precipitation is evenly spread throughout the year, with each month recording between 3-4 inches of rainfall. Snow can occur in winter, but virtually always sporadic and light, with an average of 1-2 snowfalls per year, usually melting quickly. Dundalk's location along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and low elevation give it more moderate temperatures than locations further north and inland in the metro area, with higher low temperatures and lower high temperatures than neighboring Baltimoremarker. The greater Dundalk area lies within Plant Hardiness Zone 8.

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As of the census of 2000, there were 62,306 people, 24,772 households, and 16,968 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,689.5 people per square mile (1,810.1/km2). There were 26,385 housing units at an average density of 1,985.9/sq mi (766.5/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.58% White, 7.51% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.45% of the population.

There were 24,772 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

A springtime scene in Dundalk.
median income for a household in the CDP was $39,789, and the median income for a family was $46,035. Males had a median income of $36,512 versus $25,964 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,543. About 6.6% of families and 9.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.


Public transit

Public transportation between Sparrows Pointmarker, Dundalk and Baltimore Citymarker was operated by the United Railways and Electric Company's (later the Baltimore Transit Company) #26 streetcar line which ran down the middle of Dundalk Avenue until August 1958. Until the early 1950s, the line carried the famous "Red Rocket" streetcars which were two and three car trains of wooden trolleys. During World War II's rush hours on the line, trains operated on a 30 second headway.

Between 1940 and 1972, bus service in the Dundalk area was provided by Dundalk Bus Lines.

Today, public transportation is provided by the Maryland Transit Administration. Three major MTA lines that serve the area are Routes 4, 10, and 20.


Dundalk Elementary School
Dundalk contains a campus of the Community College of Baltimore County, known as CCBC-Dundalk. It was formerly known as Dundalk Community College.

For primary and secondary education Dundalk is served by the Baltimore County Public Schools system, with Dundalk High Schoolmarker, Patapsco High School, and Sparrows Point High School being the major high schools to serve the area.

In addition, Dundalk is home to Sollers Point Technical High School, one of the only high schools in the country to hold a ISO 9001 certification.

Natives and residents of note


  1. McShane Bell Foundry Business Ledger Vol I (1856)


Neidt, C., 2006, Gentrification and grassroots: Popular support in the revanchist suburb. Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 28, No. 2, 99–120.

Reutter, M. Making Steel: Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Vicino, Thomas, J. Transforming Race and Class in Suburbia: Decline in Metropolitan Baltimore. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

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