Towson is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland. The population was 55,197 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Baltimore County and the second-most populated unincorporated county seat in the United States (after Ellicott City, the seat in nearby Howard County, southwest of Baltimore).


1600’s –

The first inhabitants of the future Towson and central Baltimore County region were the Susquehannock people who hunted in the area. Their region included all of Baltimore County, though their primary settlement was farther northeast along the Susquehanna River.

1700’s –

Towson was settled in 1752 when Pennsylvania brothers, William and Thomas Towson, began farming an area of Sater’s Hill, northeast of the present-day York and Joppa Roads.  William’s son, Ezekiel, opened the Towson Hotel to serve the growing number of farmers bringing their produce and livestock to the port of Baltimore. He built the hotel at current-day Shealy Avenue and York Road, near the area’s main crossroads.  The village became known as “Towsontown”. The property in West Towson came from two land grants: 400 acre Gott’s Hope in 1719, and Gunner’s Range in 1706.

In 1790, businessman Capt. Charles Ridgely completed the magnificent Hampton Mansion just north of Towsontown, the largest private house in America at the time. The Ridgely’s lived there for six generations, until 1948.  It is now preserved as the Hampton National Historic Site and is open to the public.



Hampton National Historic Site is operated by the U.S. National Park Service. The home and grounds were formerly the core of the vast Ridgely estate. The site includes the Ridgely’s 18th-century Georgian manor house, gardens, grounds, and the original stone slave quarters. The National Park Service offers free admission and guided tours.


Towson Town Center is Baltimore County’s largest indoor mall, with four stories of shops and a parking garage. Nearby is Allegheny Avenue, the main street of downtown Towson, with a variety of eateries and stores.


The Shops at Kenilworth is a mall in Towson, Maryland. It has more than 30 stores. The mall opened in 1979 as the Kenilworth Bazaar.The original anchor stores were Stebbins Anderson and Hochschild Kohn’s.

Other former tenants include an express location of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, which closed on September 23, 2005, in favor of a new location elsewhere in Baltimore County, and a location of European clothing retailer Ulla Popken, which opened in 2000 and has since closed.

In 2008, the mall started to undergo a multimillion-dollar facelift.  The mall managed to attract new tenants, despite a downturned economy that year.

In 2009, the mall celebrated its 30th anniversary and stated that its retailers were doing well, despite the downturn in the economy.

In 2015, the new owners of the mall, Greenberg Gibbons, announced that they plan a massive renovation and expansion of the decades-old mall, including reconfiguration of the current retail space to give the mall street frontage on Kenilworth Drive. The expansion was planned on being completed by the summer of 2017. As part of the process, Stebbins Anderson has downsized to one floor, ultimately planning to occupy only the lower level of its former two-level space. Trader Joe’s then moved its store from downtown Towson to the upper level in Spring 2017.

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Towson Place is a major shopping area near Joppa Road, Goucher Boulevard, and Putty Hill Avenue. Built on the site of the Eudowood Sanatarium, the original Eudowood Plaza shopping center was an open mall anchored by Montgomery Ward. Renovated in the early 1980s to an indoor mall and renamed Towson Marketplace, the location was then redeveloped in 1998 as an open-air collection of big box stores and other stores and restaurants, including a Walmart, Target, Marshall’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. Towson Place is next to Calvert Hall College High School, a Roman Catholic Lasallian Christian Brothers secondary school which moved in 1960 to its suburban location from its original site, founded 1845 in the city’s Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood on Cathedral Street at West Mulberry Street.


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