Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Fell’s Point Small Street Renaming Project

Poppleton Map 1822Once upon a time, the people of Fell’s Point knew the small street between Caroline and Bond Streets as Strawberry Alley. Since then, it has been renamed to Dallas Street. I think we can all agree that the new name is much less fun.

The area of Fell’s Point was founded in 1730 by William Fell, and during the 18th century it became a center for shipbuilding and trading on an excellent deep water harbor. In 1763, William’s son Edward Fell laid out streets and sold plots of land for homes. Families built rowhouses along streets both narrow and wide. The area prospered on tobacco, flour, and coffee trades. In 1797, Fell’s Point merged with Baltimore Town and Jones Town. The City of Baltimore was born.

Just before the war of 1812, Thomas Poppleton was asked by the City of Baltimore to create a plan for the fast-growing City of Baltimore. In 1823, the plan was finally published. His original map remains a treasure for historians to imagine the grand ambitions of the city in the early 19th century. We at Small Streets love the map because it maps every small street both existing and planned for the city, along with all of the buildings that stood on those streets at the time.

Fell's Point Poppleton

A resident of Fell’s Point today might look at the map and feel a little confused. Nearly all of the names of the neighborhood’s small streets have changed. In 1822, the names of the small streets east to west were as follows:

  • Spring Alley
  • Strawberry Alley
  • Apple Alley
  • Argyle Alley
  • Happy Alley
  • Star Alley
  • Castle Alley
  • Duneau Alley
  • Madeira Alley

In 2012, only Spring, Castle, and Madeira Streets retain their original names. The names of all the small streets today are as follows:

  • Spring Street
  • Dallas Street
  • Bethel Street
  • Regester Street
  • Durham Street
  • Chapel Street
  • Castle Street
  • Duncan Street
  • Madeira Street

At Small Streets, we prefer the original names, but at this point in time, we can’t afford to buy all new street signs, and we’re not ready to petition the City to do so either. But how about Google Maps? That’s free. Try making a search for “Strawberry Alley, Baltimore”.

Strawberry Alley

Yup, that’s right. We proposed to add all of the historical names in Google Maps, and they were all approved. Now if you want to find directions to Happy Alley (or Argyle Alley, or Star Alley…) in Baltimore, just ask Google Maps.