Fell's Point Historic District

Fell’s Point Historic District

A National Register Historic District, Fell's Point played an important part in the growth of Baltimore as the city became the key to Maryland's expansion to the west. The water itself was the reason Edward Fell (1733-1766) established a town there. Town-building came as the result of the growth of flour mills and other processing businesses rather than from the tobacco culture that was the economic basis of the early Chesapeake society. Though this Patapsco River port would never rival New York or Boston' s large harbors and direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, at a time when the only reasonable means of transportation and communication was by water, the deep-water port at Fell's Point offered many advantages to the area.

Best known for the fast sailing schooners built and equipped there, Fell's Point was a center for privateering and the slave trade, and played an important role in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It was also an important early immigration depot and settlement location.

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Image Credit: NPS/ © Middleton Evans


Visitor Center Hours:

April 1 to May 10: Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
May 11 to Sept. 5: Wednesday - Sunday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Labor Day through November 20: Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


  • Robert Long House Tours, docent led
  • Ghost walk Walking Tour, decent led
  • Maritime History Walking Tour, docent, led
  • Immigration in Fell's Point Walking Tour, docent led
  • Historic Harbor House Tour, self-guided


During the War of 1812, Fells Point was a hub for American privateers.

These sailors and private ships were authorized by the government to harass, damage and capture British merchant ships. The British called the port of Baltimore a “nest of pirates.”

The fast, agile privateer schooners—known as “Baltimore clippers”—were designed and built at Fells Point and other Chesapeake Bay shipyards.

Privateers sailed the high seas looking for British merchants to pillage. They did major damage to Great Britain’s sea trade.

One famous privateer was Thomas Boyle, commander of the Chasseur, known as “the Pride of Baltimore.” He captured a British ship and used it to carry a proclamation to London.

In the proclamation, Boyle mockingly declared a blockade of all British ports—a commentary on how Great Britain had no authority to enforce such a blockade on the United States.


Last updated: May 23, 2022
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