Baltimore Immigration Museum
Welcome to the Baltimore Immigration Museum where you will learn about Baltimore’s immigration history in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the different nationalities and ethnic groups who came to the U.S.. You will experience the environment in which many started their American journey!
After years of searching for a site, the Baltimore Immigration Memorial Inc.(BIM) and the Christ United Church of Christ partnered in 2013 to establish a museum in the church's adjacent building on Beason Street in Locust Point. This building was used from 1904 until 1914 by immigrants who needed temporary housing before moving on to their final destinations. It is one of the last immigrant houses in Baltimore still standing - several were operated by various religious and charitable organizations before 1914.
Our museum is a short walk from The Baltimore Immigration Memorial and Liberty Garden at the end of Hull Street, created and dedicated to all immigrants by the BIM organization in 2006. The plaques at water's edge, the Liberty Garden, and the new museum are very close to where the immigrant-ships' landing piers were located, just east of Hull Street.
Current open-hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 4 PM. Free admission - but donations are welcome to help with upkeep, maintenance and upcoming expansion to other rooms in the building. We are looking forward to your visit!
TIMELINE FOR SIGNIFICANT DATES IN BALTIMORE’S IMMIGRATION HISTORY
1706 – The Maryland colonial legislature designated Locust Point as an official port of entry.
1821 – The US Customs Department began to record the number of international arrivals in Baltimore, largely immigrants.
1867 – On January 16, the B&O Railroad and the North German Lloyd Company signed an agreement; the B&O would build an immigration pier and connect it to its rail network, and the North German Lloyd (based in Bremen, Germany) would send at least one immigrant ship per month.
1868 – On March 24, the B&O’s Locust Point immigration pier opened with much public fanfare to mark the arrival of the North German Lloyd steamship “Baltimore.” In celebration, a parade made its way down Broadway in fells Point.
1882 – Congress authorized the Treasury Department to regulate immigration and exclude immigrants who were “convicts, lunatics, idiots, and persons likely to become a public charge.” Later, anarchists and polygamists were added to the list of undesirables.
1887 – The B&O built an immigration station on the immigration pier, which was leased to the federal government to inspect and clear immigrants for entry.
1890 – Before 1890, Germans, followed by the Irish, were the largest immigrant group landing in Baltimore. After 1890, the majority of immigrants came from Eastern Europe.
1904 – The German Evangelical United Church of Christ on Beason Street in Locust Point built the Immigrant House for immigrants and sailors, which served 3710 individuals during 1904-15.
1914 – In July, World War I broke out, the last immigrant ship arrived at Locust Point, ending Baltimore’s role as a port of entry. After the war, most immigrants went through New York.
1917 – The federal government constructed an immigration station next to Fort McHenry to replace the privately operated immigration piers. Since immigration to Baltimore ended, the station never welcomed a single immigrant. Today the complex serves as a Naval Reserve Training Center.
1917 – The B&O historic immigration pier was destroyed in a fire.
1924 – Congress passed the National Origins Quota Act. European immigration was limited to 150,000 per year; each country was assigned a quota, based on the ethnic composition of the US population in 1920. This greatly reduced immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments. Note, we are always looking for volunteers to help us run the museum!
Research your immigrant ancestors with the free genealogical database at FamilySearch.org/Baltimore
Consider making a tax-deductible contribution - via PayPal or by regular mail.
BIM Treasurer - 7324 Kindler Rd, Columbia MD 21046