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Museum History

The Museum was founded by Bel Air native, J. Edmund Bull, Vice President of the First National City Bank of New York. After retiring in 1957, Bull returned to Maryland and purchased a farm situated between Dublin and Whiteford.



Mr. Bull was attracted to old woodworking tools due to his parentage; his father and grandfather were Harford County builders. Bull acquired his ancestors’ collection in 1958. After acquiring his family’s tools, he decided to grow the collection through purchases from local sales and auctions. The collection focused on tools and crafts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has grown ever since.  Mr. Bull served as president of the Harford County Historical Society, was a member of the Maryland Historical Society and the Bel Air American History Club. He authored a three-volume book, Revolutionary Harford County. 

After renovating several of his buildings, he opened his displays up to the public. By 1969, he had amassed over 6,000 hand tools. By 1970, an association of volunteers were formed, creating the Steppingstone Museum. With gradual growth the association grew to an 18-member Board of Directors, a small paid staff and a large network of volunteers. 

15. Opening Museum at Land of

On April 21, 1976 J. Edmund Bull passed away. In 1978, Steppingstone Museum Association was moved to its present location at the Land of Promise on Quaker Bottom Road in Susquehanna State Park.  

The museum is housed in 23 building across 23 acres. Steppingstone Museum is operated by volunteers and has hosted tens of thousands of visitors. Intended to preserve and display the rural heritage of Harford County, Steppingstone Museum invites you to take a "Step Back in Time.”


Images from Our Past 

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