A Union of Brothers and Sisters

A Union of Brothers and Sisters

If you turn left onto the historic Philadelphia Road leaving my house, you will cross the Gunpowder between the sites of Ridgely's Forges and Joppa Ironworks, also the site of Patterson's Nailworks. If you turn right, you will pass the Union of Brothers and Sisters of Fords Asbury Lodge No. 1.

Union of Brothers and Sisters Fords Asbury Lodge No. 1
Photo: Rose Anderson, 2019

In a Maryland Historical Trust document about the lodge, there is this passage:

"Local historian Matthew Johnson found memories of the lodge holding a meeting at the "rocks with the iron bolts" on Great Gunpowder Falls near the present B. & O Railroad bridge where the Joppa Iron Works once operated.

"Confirming Mr. Johnson's discovery, a newspaper item reported that a Union Camp for revival services attended by both black and white participants took place near Patterson's old nailworks, Baltimore American, September 12, 1887."

When I read this, I already had photographs of those rocks with iron bolts.

Iron bolts at the old site of Joppa Ironworks
Photo: Rose Anderson, 2018

Iron bolt at the old site of Joppa Ironworks
Photo: Rose Anderson, 2018

The text on the historical marker reads:

“Built for the African American Community in 1874 as a school for children in the Loreley area and as home to this benevolent society. Founded in 1872. Beginning in the late 18th century, such mutual aid societies, often formed by church congregations, were part of a national humanitarian movement to provide emergency assistance to members in times of sickness, accident, and death, and to benefit communities through social, commercial and political networks.”

Historical marker for Union of Brothers and Sisters Lodge
Photo: Rose Anderson, 2019

For This is Sacred Ground Archival Pigment Print 48 inches by 27 inches Rose Anderson, 2019

For This is Sacred Ground
Archival Pigment Print
48 inches by 27 inches
Rose Anderson, 2019

Autodidact

Autodidact

Woman on a Pedestal

Woman on a Pedestal