City and State: Baltimore, Maryland
Listed: 1969 (boundaries expanded in 1986)
Type of district: National Register Historic District
Major Intersection: Ann and Aliceanna Streets
Fells Point National Register Historic District Report and Fells Point National Register Historic District Extension Report
Fells Point National Register Historic District Map
Fells Point is named after its founding Fell family. William Fell, a Quaker, settled and built his first storehouse on what later became Fells Point at some time in the mid-18th century. In 1763, his son, Edward Fell, laid the area out as a town. It soon became a bustling harbor settlement, and was incorporated into Baltimore City in 1773.
As the port of Baltimore grew, Maryland’s shipbuilding industry, which was so closely tied to its commerce, moved up the Chesapeake Bay from the port of Annapolis to Fells Point. Between 1784 and 1821, at least 800 ships were built in the Fells Point shipyards. Among these ships was the first frigate of the Continental Navy, as well as several of the famous “Baltimore Clipper” ships for which Fells Point became well-known. Although today, Fells Point is more well-known for its watering holes than for its maritime roots, the architecture of its time as an early port of Baltimore still survives.