Kingsville's covered bridge, leafy parks and Jerusalem Mill

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Local,Sarah E. Moran
No trip to Kingsville, or to northern Baltimore County for that matter, is complete without glimpsing the scenic Jericho Covered Bridge at Gunpowder Falls State Park. It's a 100-foot bridge supported by a timber beam and clad in cedar boards.

The best part? “You can drive across it,” said Judy Sibol adding that the Jericho Bridge, built in 1865 and restored in 1982 "is absolutely beautiful."  Driving across a bridge is something you can't do on most covered bridges today.

A longtime Kingsville resident, Sibol is heavily involved in the Kingsville Recreation and Parks Council and remains an avid fan of the area.

“I love the gorgeous horse farms here, the barns, the Kingsville Market and our parks,” she said.

Unincorporated Kingsville, with 4,200 residents and loosely bound by Harford and Sunshine roads to the north and Mt. Vista to the south, is dotted with roadside produce stands, flea markets, family farms and fields of flowers.


“Around here,” said Bill Marvelis, “you think you're deep in the country but you're not - you're 15 minutes from Towson. Kingsville has a nice feel; it's not congested and people are friendly, not pushy.”

Marvelis and wife Effie bought the old Fork Deli and Bakery two years ago and turned it into the Sunshine Grille.

Friendliness defines Kingsville. No wonder many residents that grew up in the community stayed, some on land their parents gave them.

The Sunshine is a family affair too; Effie's sister Penny Tsakiris works the counter and Penny's husband John, who once cooked at the Inner Harbor's Taverna Athena, is the chef.

“Penny knows everyone by name; she knows their spouses, their kids and where they live,” said Bill Marvelis with a laugh.

The restaurant is open all day and becomes a bring-your-own-bottle restaurant at night, meaning patrons can't buy alcohol there but can drink what they bring.

The Sunshine is where residents go to see and be seen, especially on weekends when the place packs 'em in for brunch. Out back during warm weather, the Marvelises show weekly flicks on a huge screen. As Halloween approaches, they want to show seasonal films, too. 

Dee Carr has worked at the Kingsville Market for 14 years where sister Kay Kahl - they call themselves “two peas in a pod” - is behind the meat counter. The two are widowed  and live together in Kingsville.

The family's roots are deep in the community.

Dee Carr shopped at the store -- the Kurrle family has owned the place almost 50 years - long before she started at the register. “I brought in my cooler and loaded it up," she said.

Many Kingsville businesses cater to neighboring farmers, including John McKenzie's traveling diesel truck repair service (he built the traveling truck himself) and Cherryworks, across the street from the Sunshine. Cherryworks makes cabinets and furniture.

"The coolest thing about Kingsville is the people," said Effie Marvelis. When she and her husband opened the Sunshine, husband Bill added, "People flocked here to welcome us, bringing plants, flowers and cards to welcome us."
 
10 Best Things: Kingsville
Jericho Covered Bridge
In Gunpowder Falls State Park on Jericho Road, just off Jerusalem Road, this covered bridge spans Little Gunpowder Falls. Take a drive across; it's one of six remaining covered bridges in Maryland.
 
Gunpowder Falls State Park
This largest of Maryland's state parks has 18,000 acres for biking and hiking and terrific fishing - trout and other fresh-water species plus tidal fishing -- in the Gunpowder River. Call (410) 592-2897.
 
Mill Pond Cottage
A charming Cape Cod in the middle of Gunpowder Falls State Park, Mill Pond is available to rent, for a two-night minimum, Labor Day to Memorial Day, weekly rentals during summer. Call (410) 592-2897.
 
Jerusalem Mill Village
This is a five-story 1770s grist mill and living history venue within Gunpowder Falls State Park.
 
Revolutionary War re-enactments
“The Redcoats Are Coming” occurs September 20 and 21 at Jerusalem Mill. A gunship, blacksmith and museum are other fascinating places to check out. Call 410-877-3560 for more information.
 
Kingsville Park
Part of the Baltimore County park system, this 22-acre park at 11600 Franklinville Road boasts a pavilion, picnic tables, a playground, seven athletic fields and two recently resurfaced hard tennis courts.
 
Gunpowder Falls Golf Course
This 18-hole public golf course at 1101 Raphel Road offers a great green to hit.
 
Fork United Methodist Church
In nearby Fork, this lovely church is the oldest Methodist congregation in Maryland.
 
Sunshine Grille
Find the Sunshine Grille at 12607 Fork Road -- a local hang-out and happenin' place. Greek food is on the dinnertime menu. The restaurant owners will host a Corvette show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday. Call 410-592-3378 for details.
 
Kingsville Market
A Kingsville institution since 1961, the market is known for its fresh-cut meats and long-time employees, several of them real characters. Elmer Kurrle owns the market; sons Blaine and Brian work with him. It's at 12037 Belair Road.
 
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