This blog is a photographers journey through the lens.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Fells Point Streets
One of my favorite aspects of Fells Point is the old and diverse buildings from the early years of Baltimore's history. Englishman William Fell purchased the land in 1726, realizing its potential for shipbuilding and shipping in colonial America. Beginning in 1763, his widow Ann Bond Fell and son Edward divided and sold the land to speculators and adventurers anxious to take part in the growth this natural deep water port promised. Docks, shipyards, warehouses, stores, homes, churches and schools quickly turned Fells Point into a bustling seaport that was the commercial heart of the area. Fells Point was annexed by Baltimore Town in 1773 and then the two were incorporated, along with Jones Town, as Baltimore City in 1797. Shipping traffic moved upriver to the docks at the Inner Harbor when its channel was dredged, but shipyards thrived here, most notably as builders of the famous clipper ships that irritated the British so thoroughly during the War of 1812 that they tried to capture Baltimore by land (stopped at North Point) and sea (stopped by Fort McHenry). The neighborhood was saved again in 1967 when locals banded together to form the Society for the Preservation of Fells Point and Federal Hill, which successfully blocked the extension of Route 95 along the waterfront – a project that would have destroyed not only the Fells Point neighborhood but also the Inner Harbor basin, Federal Hill and Otterbein. Since then, the Society and various community organizations have worked to protect the local heritage and vitality of this diverse and colorful neighborhood. How wonderful is it that we had folks with foresight and strength of conviction to save this treasured part of Baltimore history!