Founded in 1729 and incorporated in 1796 by Maryland’s founding family, the six Lords Baltimore, the city grew from a tiny village of 200 homes to a prosperous shipbuilding center and port. Originally founded to serve the needs of 18th century farmers, its waterways grew to provide passage for cargo and citizens alike. Baltimore’s port was the second most popular point of entry for immigrants after Ellis Island. By 1860 Baltimore was the third largest city in America and is now the 13th largest. Its port is now 5th among United States ports.
Due to its long history, Baltimore has an amazing number of “firsts.” The Peabody Conservatory of Music is the oldest music school in the nation. St. Mary’s, built in 1791, was the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States. The city also is home to the nation’s first Catholic Cathedral; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption built in 1821. The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, founded in 1839, was the first dental college in the world. Jacob Russell started America’s first commercial ice cream factory in 1851.
Baltimore is also the birthplace of many infamous people. Billie Holiday, considered one of the world’s greatest female jazz singers, called Baltimore home. George Herman “Babe” Ruth, the legendary baseball player, was also born in Baltimore near beautiful Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles’ baseball field). And Edgar Allen Poe, America’s famous writer, died in Baltimore in 1849.
Baltimore’s baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, play their home games at the Camden Yards complex. This complex includes the landmark B&O Warehouse that houses a cafeteria, sports bar, gift shop, the Camden Club, and local businesses. This warehouse is the longest building on the east coast measuring 1,016 feet long by 51 feet wide. Behind the stadium, bronze baseballs are imprinted on Eutaw Street showing the location of home runs hit out of the park.