Linthicum was formed in the early 1900s when five brothers, including J. Charles, started the Linthicum Heights Real Estate Co., and people began referring to the area by their name. The Linthicums owned several homes in the town, including one on Turkey Hill, named for the fowl that flourished there, and Twin Oaks, named for the trees on its front lawn. The Linthicums were always an influential Maryland family, producing congressmen.
The Linthicums don't own the town of about 10,000 anymore. But as founders, the family still permeates the town -- through the handful of mansions members have built, the streets named after relatives and the descendants who still live there. The family's heritage has become something like public property -- embraced and passed down by generations of Linthicums and shared with town residents in popular house tours.
Thomas Linthicum was an 18-year-old farmer who came to America, like many others, for a better life. In Maryland, he married, developed land and had four children. When he died, he owned 1,200 acres of Anne Arundel County. More important, he began generations of Linthicums who would become prominent Maryland farmers, businessmen and politicians, including J. Charles Linthicum, the congressman who sponsored the bill that made "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem.