Millers Wharf (18BC53)

The Millers Wharf site, located at 1409 - 1411 Thames Street in the Fells Point Historic District of Baltimore, consists of the subsurface remains of two late 18th-century residential and mercantile establishments beneath a mid-19th-century warehouse. Documentary evidence suggests that the central rowhouse was the two-story brick shop of James Biays, one of the wealthiest shipbuilders in Fells Point and of great importance in the political life of the community.

The Bond Street Associates, owners of the property in 1984, funded the archaeological survey. At the time, the extant structures were slated for renovation and the remaining property was slated for development. In 1987, the Bond Street Associates declared bankruptcy. The property and buildings were never renovated or developed as proposed. Due to these circumstances, no final report or documentation of excavation was ever completed.

The basement (beneath the truck loading dock constructed in 1935) consisted of the stone foundations of three separate rowhouses constructed in the late 18th century and modified as the basement of a three story brick warehouse constructed after 1866. This warehouse was itself altered in the 20th century when the railroad tracks were paved over and the structure connected to the four-story standing warehouse. Despite continuous use of the basement until the near present, excavations did confirm a late 18th-century date for the structure.

Beneath the flagstone paving of the Phase I basement, two earlier brick pavements were identified. The earliest, associated with late 18th/early 19th century material, showed traces of different brick patterns in the paving, as well as breaks suggesting where the house walls once stood. A wharf in this area was removed on September 8, 1938. Artifacts found at the site include creamware, pearlware, whiteware, wine bottles, and two cannon. The date range is 1750 to the 20th century.

(Edited from archeological site survey form, Maryland Historical Trust)

References

  • Field Records
  • n.d.. Original Field Records for 18BC53.

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