Towson is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland. The population was 55,197 at the 2010 census.
The first inhabitants of the future Towson and central Baltimore County region were the "Susquehannock" Indians who hunted in the area. Their region included all of Baltimore County, though their primary settlement was farther northeast along the Susquehanna River. Towson was settled in 1752 when two Pennsylvania brothers, William and Thomas Towson, began farming an area of Sater's Hill, northeast of the present-day York and Joppa Roads. William's son, Ezekiel, opened the Towson Hotel to serve the increasing traffic of farmers bringing their produce and livestock to the port of Baltimore. Towson located the hotel at current-day Shealy Avenue and York Road, near the area's main crossroads. The village became known as "Towsontown". The property in West Towson came from two land grants: 400 acre Gott’s Hope in 1719 and Gunner’s Range in 1706. In 1790, businessman Capt. Charles Ridgely completed the magnificent Hampton Mansion just north of Towsontown, the largest private house in America at the time. The Ridgelys lived there for six generations, until 1948. It is now preserved as the Hampton National Historic Site and open to the public.