The Port of Baltimore


Moving Goods 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.
Moving People
“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
[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 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.

Near Pratt Street, Baltimore,
America's Byways
Official (Historical Marker Database)
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