Inner Harbor in 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]
[Photo of immigrants on a ship, courtesy of the Maryland State Archives]
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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the The Historic National Road series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1729.
Location. 39° 17.131′ N, 76° 36.656′ W. Marker is in Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from Pratt Street. The marker is on the exterior wall of the USS Constellation visitor center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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’s Maritime Heritage (about 400 feet away); Together we remember the people of Maryland who perished on 9.11.2001Welcome (about 500 feet away); Baltimore Riot Trail (about 600 feet away); The Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Inner Harbor.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,404 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.