A National Register Historic District, Fell's Point played an important part in the growth of Baltimore as the city became the key to Maryland's expansion to the west. The water itself was the reason Edward Fell (1733-1766) established a town there. Town-building came as the result of the growth of flour mills and other processing businesses rather than from the tobacco culture that was the economic basis of the early Chesapeake society. Though this Patapsco River port would never rival New York or Boston' s large harbors and direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, at a time when the only reasonable means of transportation and communication was by water, the deep-water port at Fell's Point offered many advantages to the area.
Reminders of Fells Point's proud industrial and maritime past which include shipbuilding operations, coffee, fertilizer, and other agricultural trades are present everywhere along the waterfront. Warehouses, piers,and nautical street names characterize the oldest streets of the district. Old belgian block streets wind between seemingly endless rows of 18 th , 19 th and early 20 th century buildings. Residents were mainly shipbuilders and sailors who had the same reputation as those at the Plymouth docks or Gosport in England.
Best known for the fast sailing schooners built and equipped there, Fell's Point was a center for privateering and the slave trade, and played an important role in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It was also an important early immigration depot and settlement location.