“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Historic Canton

Historic Canton Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 9, 2007
1. Historic Canton Marker
Inscription. Through the efforts of the Canton Improvement Association this old and densely populated ethnic neighborhood was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The two-story red brick row houses are especially noteworthy for their hand painted screens, white marble steps and occasional movable wooden steps. The U.S. Frigate Constellation, now in the Inner Harbor was launched in 1797 at Major Stodder’s shipyard on Harris Creek. The Canton Ironworks rolled the armor plates for the U.S.S. Monitor in the 1860’s. The Canton Company was involved in the building of the first American locomotive, The Tom Thumb. The first Whig Convention was held at the Canton Race Track on May 4 1840 when Henry Clay and Daniel Webster spoke and William Henry Harrison was nominated for president.
Erected by The Canton Improvement Association and Maryland Historical Society.
Location. 39° 16.814′ N, 76° 34.45′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of O’Donnell Street and Potomac Street, in the median on O’Donnell Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21224, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Captain John O'Donnell (within shouting distance of this marker); The Canton Library (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Former Glory (approx. 0.3 miles away); Baltimore Regional Trail
Statue of Captain John O'Donnell with dwellings in background image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 9, 2007
2. Statue of Captain John O'Donnell with dwellings in background
1979 bronze by Tylden Streett (1922– ) is approx. 8 feet high on a six foot granite base.

From the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System: “John O’Donnell, a native of Limerick, Ireland, arrived in Baltimore in 1785. Already a wealthy merchant, he purchased several tracts of waterfront land east of Fells Point and named his property after Canton, China, from where he imported many of his goods. He represented the city of Baltimore in the State legislature, gained a repuation as an orator, and became known as the ‘Father of the Potomac Canal.’ Although a Colonel in the Militia, he was known as Captain O’Donnell because of the many ships he owned and sailed. During his career, he was, among other things, a clerk, an accountant, a ship owner, a wine maker, a politician, an adventurer, and was once captured by Arabs and sold into slavery. He held a position in the East India Company. At the age of 56, he was one of the wealthiest men in America.”
(approx. 0.3 miles away); General Casimir Pulaski (approx. half a mile away); The Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Monument (approx. 0.8 miles away); This Cannon Marks Rodgers Bastion (approx. 0.8 miles away but has been reported missing); Show of Strength (approx. 0.8 miles away); Patterson Park (approx. 0.9 miles away); Prelude to War (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. John O’Donell’s gravesite is commemorated by this marker.
Also see . . .  Canton Community Association - History. (Submitted on September 10, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable EventsNotable PersonsPoliticsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,181 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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