Maybe you’ve driven through it. Maybe you’ve spent the day there. Maybe you even live there. Whichever it may be, we all have a special place in our hearts for the Southeastern Baltimore neighborhood of Fell’s Point.
Giving off a trendy, yet historic vibe, the cobblestone streets of Fell’s Point have quite a storied past. So next time you’re in the old neighborhood for a bite to eat, a stiff drink, or just a walk around the shops, try to keep in mind these four things about Fell’s Point:
- Fell’s Point was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 21, 2007
First named Long Island Point in 1670, Fell’s Point was established in 1730 by an English Quaker named William Fell. After purchasing 100 acres on the Patapsco River, Fell established the area’s first shipyard. Thirty-three years later, William’s son Edward plotted out streets on the land and began selling lots, thus creating Fell’s Point. If you walk around the neighborhood today, you’ll find most of the streets laid out by Edward almost exactly the same as they were over 250 years ago. Fell’s Point is also still home to the oldest standing residence in Baltimore City, the Robert Long House at 812 S. Ann Street.
- It was once known as the nation’s largest shipyard
Fell’s Point, the deepest point in the natural harbor, soon became the colony’s main ship building center. As shipyards began to grow up the river, some of the most storied vessels in American sailing history were built. Among these vessels were the Constellation, which was the first ship to be commissioned in the United States Navy in 1797, and the Chasseur used in the War of 1812.
- It was once home to brothels, bars, and boarding houses
Fell’s Point is still home to many 18th- and 19th-century houses and storefronts, most of which once served as boarding houses, brothels, and bars. Sailors arriving from all corners of the world once crowded into rowdy saloons and lewd boarding houses of Fell’s Point while they awaited the next ship. As Fell’s Point became known by the mid 1800s, news stories about wild brawls outside of taverns and prostitutes robbing their clients were standard.
- Many people believe that the old buildings are now haunted
Ghost tours are readily available in the neighborhoods of Baltimore, and you can see why. The many haunted taverns, shops, and residences in the community seem to come alive at night according to the residents. Some of the eerier spots include The Horse You Came In On, a pub on the last street before docks, where it is rumored to have been one of Edgar Allen Poe’s favorite drinking spots. There’s also The Cat’s Eye Pub which, according to many patrons, is haunted by several ghosts who lived when the bar was a brothel.
Fell’s Point is just one of the many neighborhoods that contribute to the city’s historic charm. Knowing more about each area helps us all to appreciate them just a little bit more.