Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Port of Baltimore
The National Road begins and ends here
Since 1729, Baltimore has owed its existence to its deepwater port. The city looks east to the Chesapeake Bay and ports around the world. It also looks west with access to markets in America’s heartland. It began with local farmers bringing in their crops. In the early 1800s, the National Road, which started here as the Baltimore and Frederick-Town Turnpike, gave the port more and more reach inland.
“The long ocean trip is ended and the great unknown is before them.”
Baltimore has always welcomed immigrants. Many have been poor and desperate, fleeing war and famine. They were seeking comfortable lives and religious freedom. At first, most were Germans and Irish. Later, they were Poles, Italians, Scandinavians, Czechs, Lithuanians, Greeks, Russians and freed Blacks. Many traveled west on the National Road, adding their ingredient to the American “melting pot.” Second only to New York, Baltimore was a doorway to a new life for millions.
[Photo of the Port of Baltimore, courtesy of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum]
Steam and sail once competed for business in a crowded Baltimore Harbor. Trucks still carry cargo to and from modern marine terminals on centuries old roads.
[Photo of immigrants on a ship, courtesy
As immigrants landed in Baltimore and took to American roads and railroads, they created a rich tapestry of cultures throughout the nation.
Erected by America's Byways.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 17.131′ N, 76° 36.656′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from Pratt Street. Click for map. The marker is on the exterior wall of the USS Constellation visitor center. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. USS Constellation (a few steps from this marker); An Active Port for 300 Years (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Top of the World Observation Level World Trade Center (about 300 feet away); Baltimore Riot Trail (about 600 feet away); Lightship Chesapeake (about 600 feet away); Baltimore Turns the Tide (about 700 feet away); Adventure Begins at the Bay's Front Door (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Baltimore Riot Trail (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
Also see . . . PDF version of the marker. (Submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
Categories. • 20th Century • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,230 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.