The recorded history of Essex dates back at least to the 1600s, when five men were granted five separate plots of land. That land, which makes up today’s Essex, remained in separate parcels until the early 20th century. In 1908, the owner of Taylor Land Company decided to merge the parcels of land by purchasing 12,000 acres. Taylor Land Company named the area Paradise Farms. Just a year later, Paradise Farms was re-plotted for another community, which would come to be known as Essex, “The Rising Suburb of the East.”
In the first half of the 20th century, the development of Essex was supported by an airplane factory and a steel company. Both companies offered employment opportunities, which in turn stimulated a need for housing. In more recent years, Essex has grown its population and housing base on the strength of its quality of life—the community’s recreational opportunities and safe atmosphere have proved to be strong selling points for family-oriented households.
Essex covers about 12 square miles, about three-quarters of which is land. The character of the land itself is moderate, featuring mostly flat areas along with some rolling hills and marshes. The waterways of Essex are primarily tributaries running inland from the Chesapeake Bay.
Home seekers might be surprised to learn that the climate of Essex is somewhat warmer relative to Baltimore’s inland suburbs. Year-round average temperatures range from the mid-20s in December and January up to the high-80s in July. The humidity level remains high throughout the year, as each month produces about three and a half to five and a half inches of rain. Total year-round precipitation averages about 51 inches.
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