Do you know the history and meaning behind the name of some of BRC’s rowing shells? BRC has system for naming, or in some cases renaming, its shells that links BRC to Baltimore neighbors, landmarks, bodies of water, known and lesser known historical figures, and in one case a continuation of a tradition.
Fours and Eights are named after Baltimore neighborhoods
A peninsular neighborhood in Baltimore, Locust Point is located in South Baltimore and the neighborhood is entirely surrounded by the Locust Point Industrial area. The traditional boundaries are Lawrence street to the west and the Patapsco River to the north, south, and east. It once served as a center of Baltimore’s Polish-American, Irish-American and Italian-American communities.
In 1776, with the outbreak of the American Revolution, the citizens of the City of Baltimore, assisted by the State of Maryland, dug fortifications at the end of the “Whetstone Point” peninsula that juts into Baltimore Harbor between the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River on the north and the Middle Branch and the Ferry Branch. This fort was named “Fort Whetstone”.
Starting in 1793 the Fort was rebuilt from scratch. By 1798, a new star-shaped fortification with additional buildings, barracks, storehouses, and bunkers was constructed under the design of French military engineer Jean Foncin, and it was renamed Fort McHenry for James McHenry of Maryland, third U.S. Secretary of War.
When Fort McHenry blocked the attempted invasion of Baltimore’s inner harbor by British warships in September 1814, it was located on a grassy peninsula that was used for pasture. The grassy but jaggedly shaped peninsula point had been known as Whetstone Point. Whetstone Point and the future South Baltimore peninsula was annexed by the City of Baltimore in 1816. The peninsula was renamed Locust Point in 1846, for the locust trees growing on the peninsula.
Many of the streets built here during the later half of the 19th century bear the names of local heroes from the War of 1812. The oldest buildings are from circa 1840-1850, two-story houses on Cuba, Clement, and Towson Streets. Portions of the neighborhood were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012
The area of Locust Point played prominently in the second season of the Home Box Office cable TV series The Wire.