Canton and Brewers Hill

Baltimore, Maryland

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Many locals know Canton primarily as a desirable and safe neighborhood, full of shops and restaurants, new residential construction projects, and an enviable position abutting the northeast section of the Harbor. It is all those things. But Canton also hides an extraordinary history, able to tell some of the more interesting stories in Baltimore’s history. Situated east of the original Baltimore-Town and oriented toward the water, Canton was the site in 1797 of the launching of the Constellation (see Walk 4) and the creation of the armor plates for the USS Monitor. By the 1820s, under the direction of Peter Cooper and Columbus O’Donnell, the son of Canton’s founder, John O’Donnell, Canton constituted the country’s first large industrial park, a 10,000-acre complex of various manufacturers, fertilizer plants, canners, and bottlers, plus nearby sea lanes and rail lines to export it all. But it wasn’t all work; racetracks and beer gardens abounded for recreation. When most of these places disappeared, the US government took over a large swath and created Fort Holabird, where, among other lasting inventions, engineers created army-olive paint, blackout lights, clog-resistant motorcycle fenders, and the US army’s inimitable and iconic Willys jeep. Canton today is a great destination, with wonderful residential spots, easy access to the water, and a bevy of watering holes that do its brewing history proud.

Canton & Brewers Hill Professional Review and Guide

"Many locals know Canton primarily as a desirable and safe neighborhood, full of shops and restaurants, new residential construction projects, and an enviable position abutting the northeast section of the Harbor. It is all those things. But Canton also hides an extraordinary history, able to tell some of the more interesting stories in Baltimore’s history. Situated east of the original Baltimore-Town and oriented toward the water, Canton was the site in 1797 of the launching of the Constellation (see Walk 4) and the creation of the armor plates for the USS Monitor. By the 1820s, under the direction of Peter Cooper and Columbus O’Donnell, the son of Canton’s founder, John O’Donnell, Canton constituted the country’s first large industrial park, a 10,000-acre complex of various manufacturers, fertilizer plants, canners, and bottlers, plus nearby sea lanes and rail lines to export it all. But it wasn’t all work; racetracks and beer gardens abounded for recreation. When most of these places disappeared, the US government took over a large swath and created Fort Holabird, where, among other lasting inventions, engineers created army-olive paint, blackout lights, clog-resistant motorcycle fenders, and the US army’s inimitable and iconic Willys jeep. Canton today is a great destination, with wonderful residential spots, easy access to the water, and a bevy of watering holes that do its brewing history proud."

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Baltimore
Distance: 2.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Year-round

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