Happy moments along Stony Creek Anne Arundel County: Turn-of-the-century resort area will come back as a county park.

February 14, 1997

THERE WAS A TIME around the turn of the century, when Curtis, Rock and Stony creeks were "crowded throughout their length with little resorts much frequented in season," according to a contemporary report.

On hot and lazy summer days, competing steamboats ferried city dwellers from Baltimore to those beaches. Revelers came to have a good time -- carrying baskets of sandwiches, cold chicken and deviled eggs.

We all know what has happened since: The Curtis Bay area became a base for chemical industry. And the cabins and cottages of Rock and Stony creeks -- which were built for summer use only -- either were enlarged and modernized or razed and rebuilt as the Riviera Beach area became a year-round residential community.

Neither the steamboats nor the old Stony Creek drawbridge, a rickety one-way affair with a 15-mph speed limit, will ever come back. But unless some unexpected hiccups develop, the Stony Creek area will soon again be an oasis as Anne Arundel County finalizes its purchase of waterfront land totaling 200 acres.

"I'm hoping within the next month we should have resolution on all the technical issues and should sign a sales agreement. Then we'd go into settlement," said Betty Dixon, a county spokeswoman of the $1.2 million acquisition that is partially funded from state sources.

This is good news for Anne Arundel countians. Residents of densely populated Glen Burnie and North County residents need more open space. Additional park land will also make the older communities more desirable for new homebuyers and in-fill developers.

There is the unresolved matter of spelling, however.

In our research we have discovered several instances where the name of the creek is spelled either Stony or Stoney, without consistency.

This may not be surprising: It was not until 1930 that the federal government settled on a correct spelling for Glen Burnie, which had been known as Glenn Burnie, Glenburnie and Glen Burney. However Stony Creek is spelled, the new park along its shores will be greatly welcomed by bird-watchers, joggers and picnickers alike.

Pub Date: 2/14/97

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