In its beginnings, Baltimore County was covered with dense ancient forests of deciduous trees and so little undergrowth that it was said a man could gallop horses within them. Today horses gallop over bucolic pastures of renowned Thoroughbred farms amidst quaint historic towns seen dotting the rolling landscape. Named for the Lords Baltimore, Baltimore County was originally an expansive area extending well beyond today's boundaries. Founded in 1659, the county has evolved from tobacco farming to diverse industries ranging from steel manufacturing to picturesque vineyards. Both then and now, nearby Baltimore Harbor on the Chesapeake Bay provides lucrative opportunities for merchants to trade their crops and commodities. The county offers endless recreational pursuits on over 175 miles of shoreline. Baltimore County is proud to claim among its residents the noted neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson; baseball's all-time iron man, Cal Ripken; and famous author Tom Clancy.