When John H. Murphy, Sr. purchased the Afro-American Newspaper in 1897, the idea of sending a poet to cover a civil war in Spain was probably far from his mind, especially a poet as distinguished as Langston Hughes. His paper, after all, had a…

In almost every kitchen in Baltimore, and maybe Maryland, there is a tiny yellow, blue, and red tin of Old Bay seasoning. It is an essential part of local cuisine. Yet, most people are unaware of the spice’s dramatic Jewish history. Old Bay was…

Augusta T. Chissell was one of the most influential activists in the women’s suffrage movement in Maryland. She lived in the red painted row house at the corner of Druid Hill Ave and McMechen St. Through her tireless participation in important civil…

From the humblest of beginnings, John H. Murphy Sr. rose to become the founder of the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, which had an office here at 1336 N Carey St in the 1910’s. Murphy was born enslaved in Baltimore on Christmas Day, 1840. He was…

The white two-story house at 2702 Elsinore Ave was once the home of Violet Hill Whyte, the first African-American police officer in the Baltimore City Police Force. It was through her service as an officer and a social worker that Whyte became a…

Amidst the grand old houses, some vacant and in disrepair, and important civil rights historic sites in Historic Marble Hill in West Baltimore sits the Henry Highland Garnet Neighborhood Park. It is a leafy green space, with flowers, trees, giant…

There are very few people who have made an impact on American popular culture like Tupac Shakur. His music served to inspire a generation of musicians--music that was inevitably shaped by his time in Baltimore. Although Shakur did not grow up in…

On Beechwood Drive, leading up to the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park stands a small historical marker. Erected in 1992, it sits where the main clay tennis courts in Druid Hill Park once stood. It was at these courts that one of the…

Before the corner of N Charles and W Eager was a CVS, it was a Baltimore institution: Club Hippo. For more than 35 years, Club Hippo was a refuge for Baltimore’s queer community. The dance venue was always a place where, as the club's motto read,…

Although the famed African American lawyer and civil rights advocate George McMechen is remembered fondly for his service to the community, he is best remembered for living on McCulloh Street. In June 1910, McMechen and his family moved to 1834…

In the middle of East Lexington Street stands a building that sticks out from the rest. Carved into its brick wall is the face of a horned figure looking out over the street. Today, this building houses Fred W. Frank Bail Bonds, but it was once the…

The first African American owned company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Parks Sausage Company, was headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Parks Sausage was successful because of its founder, Henry Parks. Parks started the company in…

Just outside the limits of Baltimore City, on a piece of land jutting out into the Patapsco River, Maryland’s first steel plants were built. In 1887, the Maryland Steel Company purchased an area of agricultural marshland called Sparrows Point. Four…

Tiny Bedford Square in Guilford, at the intersection of St. Paul and North Charles streets, hosts a life size bronze bust of Simón Bolivar. Also referred to as the “George Washington of South America,” the Venezuelan-born Bolivar was the military…

Two Art Deco columns, flanking the entrance of the 25th Street Safeway parking lot, serve as the only concrete evidence of the central decision-making site during Baltimore’s era of school desegregation. From 1931 to 1987, a complex of two…

In 1939 sociologist, activist, author, and cofounder of the NAACP, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois, had a house built at 2302 Montebello Terrace in the neighborhood of Morgan Park. Barred from many neighborhoods by Jim Crow laws and…

At the Upton Metro Station at Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street, an explosion of color greets transit patrons at the conclusion of their escalator journey. “Baltimore Uproar,” a monumental mosaic by the renowned African-American artist Romare…

As you drive up Charles Street through Old Goucher, you might notice some odd details on the facade of the neighborhood Safeway. A carved sentinel eagle keeps watch, and the word “CADILLAC” is etched onto a stone arch over the market’s main…

H&S Bakery began first as the vision of Isidore Paterakis, an immigrant from Chios, Greece. In 1943, Isidore Paterakis turned H&S Bakery into a reality by going into business with his son-in-law Harry Tsakalos. What began as a small…

At the corner of Saratoga and Liberty Streets, people will find an unassuming parking lot. While this parking lot does not appear interesting at first glance, this lot used to be the center of political life as well as a ritzy tourist…

Walking along Boston Street, people will run into a small store called “Canton Market.” Acting as both a convenient store and sandwich shop, Canton Market serves up a variety of sandwiches such as their cheese steak sub and their turkey club. Canton…

Formerly located on Boston Street in east Baltimore, Gibbs Preserving Company canned and packaged everything from oysters to jelly to candy to vegetables. The Gibbs Preserving Company exemplified typical working conditions in factories at the turn…

Edward J. Codd founded the E. J. Codd Company in the 1850s. The E. J. Codd  Company focused on industrial machinery and aided Baltimore’s booming shipbuilding industry by assembling boilers, propellers, and engines. At the turn of the century,…

In 1894, George D. Scarlett founded the William G. Scarlett Seed Company. Born in Baltimore in 1873, George D. Scarlett was a true entrepreneur who chased the American dream. At twenty-one, George Scarlett began working in the seed industry by…

In the twentieth century, Pier 8 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and then Broadway Pier in Fells Point used to be the launching point for the steamboats of the Wilson Line. The Wilson Line extended from Philadelphia to Wilmington to Baltimore and ran a…

Archibald Hilton Bull founded the A. H. Bull & Co. in 1902. The company originally ran steamship lines from New York to Florida. Eventually A. H. Bull & Co. expanded to include an office in Baltimore. In the early 1900s, when Baltimore’s…

In 1879, Charles T. Bagby and A. D. Rivers founded the Bagby and Rivers Furniture Company, the predecessor to the Bagby Furniture Company. Bagby and Rivers manufactured furniture and in their 1882 furniture catalog, the company advertises mainly…

For 50 years, the Hampden and Ideal Theaters operated within a few doors of each other in the 900 block of 36th Street in Hampden. Julius Goodman, who ran the Ideal for many years, described the competition: “Well, we were friendly competitors. We…

In the Progressive Age (1890-1920), movie theaters were a new and popular form of entertainment. They were being built all over Baltimore, and Hampden was no different. In 1908, Marion Pearce and Philip Scheck (who already owned six theatres) opened…

Hampden Hall was an important part of Baltimore even before the neighborhood of Hampden was a part of Baltimore. Six years before Hampden was incorporated into Baltimore City, Hampden Hall was constructed as a meeting hall for Civil War veterans in…