Rumsey Island is located in beautiful Joppatowne, Maryland. It is a family community with beautiful waterfront views and family friendly neighbors!
PO Box 196
Joppa, MD 21085
The original Joppa was a major seaport and commercial hub in the 18th century. The town proper was located on what is now called Rumsey Island, where the Big Gunpowder Falls and Little Gunpowder Falls meet to form the Gunpowder River. The only original building remaining is the Rumsey Mansion, once home of colonial patriot Benjamin Rumsey. There are original building foundations and gravesites on the adjacent Church of the Resurrection property. Ruins of the original wharf and docks, as well as the town jail, were still visible until Hurricane Agnes swept through in 1972. The Old Joppa Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Benjamin Rumsey (1734–1808), the namesake of Rumsey Island and the Rumsey Mansion (the only colonial building that survived the decline of Joppa), was a delegate for Maryland to the Second Continental Congress, and the first Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, serving for more than 25 years (1778–1806). In 1768 Rumsey married the widow of Colonel James Maxwell. He had been the primary planter and landowner in Joppa, and commissioned the "Rumsey Mansion" to be built between 1720 and 1724. Rumsey relocated from Cecil County to Joppa sometime around 1771, after having the Rumsey Mansion substantially renovated. Rumsey eventually acquired all the land where Joppa once stood, and all of the surrounding areas. This large estate came to be known as "Joppa Farm", a slave plantation. Upon Rumsey's death in 1808, Joppa Farm passed to his son John Beal Rumsey and/or his grandson Charles Henry Rumsey. Upon C.H. Rumsey's death, his children sold Joppa Farm to the Murray family. James Murray was the owner of Joppa Farm until it was purchased by Beulah Hare Chell in 1936. In 1961 the Panitz Brothers Company acquired the land from Beulah Hare Chell to develop a planned community Joppatowne. Maryland Historical Society records show the property was owned by the "Maryland-Virginia Joint Stock Land Bank" in 1936, during the heart of the Great Depression.
Before Joppatowne became known for its comfortable homes, convenience to Interstate 95 and popular waterfront park, it served as a major shipping port during the first half of the 18th century.
Originally known as Gunpowder Town and later as Joppa, the area also operated as the Baltimore County seat from 1712 to 1768, later becoming part of Harford County.
In the early 1960s, the plan for Joppatowne, laid out by developer Leon Panitz as one of the country's first planned communities, combined everything residents would need such as retail, open space, recreation, schools and a mix of housing, according to the Harford County Community Plan for the area.
Today, Joppatowne offers a mix of friendly neighbors, tree-lined streets and waterfront appeal.
Rumsey Island, a manmade peninsula, offers large waterfront homes as well as smaller single-family houses and townhouses, many sitting on canals with piers and concrete bulkheads. Summer weekends are a lively mix of cookouts, boating and hanging out with neighbors.
"People tend to move here and they don't really move on," said Scott Chilton, [former] president of the Rumsey Island Residents' Association. "Where else can you walk down 75 feet to your bulkhead to your private pier and be within the mouth of the (Chesapeake Bay) in 15 minutes."
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