Today we left Washington DC and followed I 95 to Baltimore in the pouring rain. We found parking, went for coffee and waited till 10:45a to take a trolley tour. We had a private tour in the rain with Tim, the bus driver, and Allen Paul, the tour guide.
Mr. Paul started by offering us water and a lollipop. Tim drove us from one area to another as Mr. Paul told us the history of Baltimore. At one time there were 1.7 million inhabitants working in the steel industry, textiles, ship building etc.
Railroads moved west....so did the workers...Irish immigrants. They sold their row houses to the Italians and the Irish segment of town became ittle Italy.
People from Europe were brought over to work. The workers were promised houses. Row houses, some 6 feet wide, some 9 feet wide and some eleven feet wide. All had kitchens at the back.
By 1976 the population had shrunk to 600,000. Most of the industry had moved on. Now there is a sugar refinery, Under Armour started by an ex-footballer when he found he sweat too much when he played sports. He invented a 'wicking' material. Proctor and Gamble has their headquarters here.
We went from one neighborhood to the next seeing things like the Star Spangled Banner House, historic Fells Point, desirable Mount Vernon, In all there were row houses. A second story has been added. Each has unique buildings like their inhabitants. Each area built their own church whether Polish or Italian, Chinese or English. Here there was freedom to worship your own way.
We went to Fells Point, Fort Henry learning the American perspective about the 1812 war with 'the British'. (Canada burned the Whitehouse during that war....and were victorious).
We saw Lexington Market,Camden Yards, the Basilica of the Asumption,City Hall, the Civil War Museum, the American History and Culture Museum, the home and final resting place of Edgar Allen Poe, the Babe Ruth Museum, the triangular building of the aquarium.
The Fizzing Clock Tower was pointed out. The man who discovered alka seltser had it built. He didn't want numbers so he used words to tell the time. (Unfortunately he put his alka seltzer in little blue bottles...made with arsenic) His tower is unique...and stands out.
We were 90 min. on tour and went for a quick lunch before heading back to I 95 to continue north across Maryland and Delaware to Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Our GPS took us again to the center of town. We are in the Holiday Inn on the corner of Walnut and 12th St. We have dined and are settling for the night.