Fell's Point, with its 19th-century charm and historic district status, offers a stark contrast to the Inner Harbor with its lively nightlife, great pubs, and excellent dining, especially in the tiny yet authentic Little Italy.

It's a very short walk from the Inner Harbor, and by the free Charm City Circulator bus or car.

Notable residents and former residents

  • Fredrick Douglass – abolitionist
  • Billie Holiday – Jazz singer [29]
  • Melissa Leo – Academy Award-winning actress
  • Edith Massey – actress known for her appearances in films by John Waters
  • Michael Phelps – Olympic Gold Medal-winning swimmer, former resident

With the stark contrast between the neighborhood's primarily white population and the neighboring area's majority Black and Latino population, some might argue that this is simply a result of market forces and personal choice. Others point to the role of city officials and developers in perpetuating segregation in the area. The decision to develop luxury housing in Fell's Point has led to increased rents and property values, making it difficult for lower-income families and people of color to afford to live there. Additionally, the lack of affordable housing and the displacement of long-time residents due to development projects have contributed to the neighborhood's demographic makeup. As a result, many see modern segregation in Fell's Point as a symptom of larger systemic issues.

"The Reservation"

Fells Point was once home to a large population of American Indians, specifically the Lumbee tribe. This neighborhood and nearby Washington Hill were affectionately referred to as “The Reservation” due to the high number of Lumbee residents living there by the 1960s.

However, in the early 1970s, urban renewal development projects resulted in the destruction of many Lumbee residences, causing the population of “The Reservation” to decrease. The Lumbee tribe is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi and the ninth largest in the country. They descend from Iroquoian, Siouan, and Algonquian speaking people who settled in the North Carolina area, forming a cohesive community seeking refuge from disease, colonial warfare, and enslavement.  Many Lumbee moved north to cities like Baltimore after World War II, seeking work and a chance to escape Jim Crow segregation. Despite the 1956 Lumbee Act that recognized the tribe as Native American, the Lumbee have fought for full federal recognition and rights for over a century. 

More Resources

Read more about Fell's Point on Wikipedia
Smithsonian Magazine: A Native American Community in Baltimore Reclaims Its History