Baltimore: Gateway to America?
Baltimore was once one of the country’s busiest ports for immigration. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 1.2 million immigrants first set foot on American soil in Baltimore. Yet while Ellis Island draws millions of visitors a year, Baltimore’s immigrant history isn’t widely known. The new Baltimore Immigration Museum aims to remedy that. It tells the stories of the Europeans who landed here at the peak of immigration to the city, as well as the tales of those from other parts of the world who’ve come since. We’ll talk to the museum’s founders - Brigitte and Nick Fessenden - about those forgotten stories and the museum’s role in bringing them to light. Plus, JoAnn Best, a member of Locust Point Community Church, talks about a boarding house run by the church during the heyday of immigration to Baltimore.
For more help with finding immigration records, visit Baltimore's own Genealogical Publishing Company.
Correction: Caller Gary said his father arrived in Baltimore on the USS Maine, which later sank. Sheilah agreed, chiming in, “Remember the Maine.” But she misremembered the sequence: As another listener, John, noted, The Maine was a warship, not a transport, and it sank in Havana harbor on Feb. 15, 1898. So Gary’s father must have arrived on another ship.