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Route 1: 1940

June 1940. "Baltimore-Washington Boulevard. U.S. Highway No. 1. Baltimore, Maryland." Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

June 1940. "Baltimore-Washington Boulevard. U.S. Highway No. 1. Baltimore, Maryland." Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Aunt Jimmie From West-by-God-Virginia and Pigtown

This photo was taken at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Harman Avenue, known as the Morrell Park area.

My Uncle Walter, who started to brew beer during Prohibition and my Scots-Irish Aunt Jimmie from West Virginia lived on Harman Avenue. Uncle Walt's brewing went on for many years to mixed reviews but it was always an adventure when visiting because he never got the bottle capping procedure down right, and once in a while you would hear a cap pop in the basement.

My Aunt Jimmie introduced me to the pleasures of bluegrass music and festivals where they actually do pickin' and grinnin' in the audience.

On a historical note just beyond Montgomery Wards towards Baltimore is Mount Clare, the 18th-century plantation of Charles Carroll, an original signer of the Declaration of Independence plus the first RR station in the US.

Farther east of Mount Clare is an section of Baltimore called Pigtown.

Supposedly the denizens of Pigtown would rustle pigs though the coal chute windows into their basements.

Old Montgomery Ward's

I thought that was the old Montgomery Ward's in the background. We used to drive all the way from Southern Md. to go there.

Marble Steps

When I was a boy, the National Geographic Magazine had an article on Baltimore. Many row houses had marble steps, and in one picture some neighbors were scrubbing theirs. I remember thinking, "That's too much work!"

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Always an adventure

This website, coupled with a bit of curiosity, can take the visitor on many adventures. At first glance, I felt this photo offered little content, but it was Baltimore -- my childhood home 6 years before I was born.

So a little detective work. The key clue: the Lord Calvert theater on the left. The building still exists (as a church) and is located at 2444 Washington Blvd -- in the Morrell Park neighborhood of Baltimore.

This theater operated from 1935 until 1954. The owner would sue the city for its failure to widen the street and preventing a newer building from obscuring the view of the theater. The owner won, years after it closed.

The two-story house with attic on the left still exists with new siding. You can still see the older shingles in the attic areas.

The brick row houses on the right still stand, but are worse for wear.

My father worked in the Morrell Park area in the 1950s and we lived several miles away near the "North Bend".

Shorpy plus curiosity equals adventure.

Ward Warehouse

The nine-story ivory building in the distance is the Montgomery Ward Warehouse and Retail Store, built in 1925. The warehouse served a large part of the East Coast. It's been converted into Montgomery Park, an office complex, and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2000.

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