With Donald Trump and GOP members of Congress in town for the House Republican Conference on Thursday, about 150 anti-Trump protesters gathered at the corner of President Street and Eastern Avenue to “welcome” the president.
The mills are long gone. The furnaces produced steel and iron for the last time around 2012, when the Bethlehem Steel mill in Sparrows Point shuttered for good and was torn down. But the art of making things with those metals is still alive in the city.
G. Krug & Son, which has been operating continuously from its W. Saratoga Street shop since 1810, still maintains a forge, crafting everything from fences to memorials–basically all things made with iron.
If you were living on Baltimore’s Eastside 60 years ago, you would have woken up and smelled yeast from one of the city’s big breweries nearby: Gunther, National Premium and, of course, National Bohemian. Those places are now long gone and have been replaced with condos and chain retail space.
But over the past three years, beer-making in East Baltimore has been making a comeback. Monument, and more recently, Mobtown Brewing Company, have set up shop near the area where those massive breweries churned out beer.
It’s been about three years since Arch Watkins and Mark McLaughlin opened Old Line Spirits in East Baltimore, an area rich in distilling history with Seagram’s in nearby Dundalk and Standard Distillers on Lombard operating back in the day.
Baltimore’s distilling industry is now bouncing back, as Baltimore Spirits Co. and Sagamore Spirit are populating local shelves and bars along with Old Line.
But unlike those operations, Old Line is creating something entirely new to Baltimore: an American single-malt whiskey.
Baltimore to Saratoga streets. Park Avenue to Howard Street. Names of jewelers like Samuelson’s, Fetting, Arminger’s and Booke used to pepper the Midtown area. Today they’re just empty storefronts, with a few newer jewelry shops thrown in.
Hundreds from around the area came out to Northeast Baltimore this weekend for the Baltimore/Washington One Carnival, an annual celebration of Caribbean music, dancing, food and culture for the Baltimore and D.C. region.
Henry “Hoppy” Hopkins III is a second generation silversmith. He’s also one of the last in a city where names like Stieff, Kirk and Schofield used to be known throughout the country as makers and maintainers of the silver trade. Some, like Stieff, remain only as words on the building the company once occupied.
“I’m the only one left in Baltimore City, that I’m aware of,” says Hopkins from the workbench of his shop hidden away in a 130-year-old carriage house in Mt. Vernon. “I’ve had a few apprentices, but they usually leave when they learn how much time they’ll have to spend in the buffing room.”
Welcome to the photo series What We Make Now. If you live in Baltimore, you may hear people on social media say “Baltimore used to make things” or “The city doesn’t make things any more.”
This series was created to show that nothing could be further from the truth. Baltimore’s traditional industries–iron working, steel fabrication, candy-making, silversmithing, brewing, distilling, textiles–are all still here and, in some cases, thriving. In this series, I’ll be looking at the modern-day factories and industrial spaces in the city where things are still made, with some guidance from the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Look for a new gallery twice a month until Labor Day.
The Preakness is much more than two minutes of tension and energy. It’s stable hands bathing horses in the morning light, fans in big hats and the ritual awarding of a silver vase. By stripping the event of color, I hope the black and white forces viewers to concentrate on the subjects of the most important two minutes in Baltimore sports.