The Middle River/Essex area was not developed at the turn of the 20th century.
Essex was a mere ten blocks back in 1909. The land was owned by the Taylor Land Company. The main purpose of the area at the time was to provide an inexpensive area for residents of Baltimore to grow gardens outside of the city. In 1910, the first general store was built, and soon after Taylor Land donated land for the building of Essex Methodist Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, and the volunteer fire department station. Later in 1921, the permanent fire station opened. As development continued to occur very quickly, the elementary school and high school opened in the mid 1920s, followed by Essex Community College in 1957. That same year though, a fire erupted on Eastern Avenue and destroyed numerous businesses. This led to the building of new shopping areas.
There was no shortage of jobs in Middle River. Most folks worked at the Glenn L. Martin Company–53,000 people worked there following World War II! Another company which influenced the area was Eastern Rolling Mill. This company produced carbon sheet steel and after a merger formed Easco. This company is still in existence today and is a great source of employment for the Middle River/Essex area.
Middle River continues to be revitalized and more homes, shopping centers, and restaurants are popping up. There is definitely no shortage of beautiful scenery either. Many homes dot the water and recreation is plentiful in the area. If you are a boating enthusiast, or enjoy fishing, Middle River is a great area to plant your roots.