MOST PEOPLE don't know that the oldest fort in Maryland sits next to brick ranchers in the Baltimore County neighborhood of Stevenson.
Most also don't know that highway engineers did not plot the alignment of Joppa and Old Court roads. They follow an old Native American path that linked the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers.
Baltimore County is rich with history, yet few of us are acquainted with it. Suburbia is notorious for lacking culture and a "sense of place." But the Baltimore suburbs are full of interesting stories that could help us understand why things are the way they are.
Most people don't know that the Greenspring Shopping Center on Smith Avenue used to be the Curtis Wright Air Field.
They don't realize that Pikesville and Pike's Peak in Colorado were named to honor Brig. Gen. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, who died in the War of 1812.
Familiarity with local history provides us with a sense of identity and involvement. When we are connected to our surroundings, we have much more affection for our communities.
That's why we have to do a better job of preserving historical landmarks -- and celebrating them. We have to do a better job of educating adults and children about our community's heritage.
Civilization is a cumulative series of events, places and thoughts. If we sever links to the past, we run the danger of creating communities that we don't care about.