Aberdeen, originally called Hallís Cross Roads, was incorporated in 1892. It is perhaps best known for two things: the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Cal Ripken, Jr. The Aberdeen Proving Grounds, founded in 1917 to test and develop ordnances, is home to the Aberdeen Test Center, the Armyís Ordnance Center and School, and the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum. Under the guidance of the Department of Defense, the Aberdeen Test Center is the lead test center for automotive testing, ground vehicles, and guns and munitions, sharing technology and findings with its partners and industry. The Ordnance Center and School continues the original mission of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds to test and develop ordnances. The Museumís collections include U.S. and foreign artillery and tanks, and army artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War. The Aberdeen Proving Grounds has golf courses that are open to the public.
Aberdeen is the hometown of Cal Ripken, Jr., baseballís Iron Man and member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ripken Stadium, home of the IronBirds and the Baltimore Orioles Class A minor league team, provides entertainment for the entire family and features 6,000 seats. Next to Ripken Stadium is the Ripken Youth Baseball Academy where the Cal Ripken World Series is held each July. Sixteen teams of 11 and 12 year olds from around the world compete to be the champion of the Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. The Academy features youth-sized fields modeled after major league ballparks. The Ripken Museum celebrates Cal Ripken, Jr.ís achievements with photographs, newspaper articles, letters, and memorabilia.
There are three state parks in Harford County. Gunpowder Falls State Park has more than 100 miles of trails, excellent fishing, a boat launch and a marina. The park was created to protect Big and Little Gunpowder Falls and the Gunpowder River. The park features tidal marshes, wetlands and steep, rugged slopes. Susquehanna State Park in the Susquehanna River Valley is a popular mountain biking area. Fishing, boating, flat water canoeing, hiking, cross country skiing and camping are also popular activities. The Rock Run Historical Area in Susquehanna State Park is home to a working grist mill, the Archer Mansion, the Jersey Toll House and the remains of the Susquehanna Tidewater Canal. Susquehanna State Park and Rocks State Park are made up of dense forests, massive boulders and large outcroppings from steep slopes. Hiking trails in Rocks State Park offer sweeping views of Harford County. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, canoeing, rock climbing and repelling are popular activities at Rocks State Park.
Harford County events include the Harford County Farm Fair where 4-H exhibits, tractor pulls, arts and crafts, food and live music can be enjoyed the last weekend in July. The Darlington Apple Festival is filled with arts and crafts, entertainment, country markets and lots of apples. The Festival is held the first week in October.
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