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1810; later additions and alterations. Jones Falls Valley from Smith Ave. to Wyman Park Dr.

The steep drop of Jones Falls supported important water-powered industries starting with gristmills and then textile mills. Numerous mills producing cotton duck, a heavy canvas used for sails, tents, bags, or clothing, were built into the steep ravines of the valley. By the late nineteenth century Baltimore mills were producing 80 percent of the world’s cotton duck and supplying the sails for Baltimore’s robust shipbuilding industry. Company-owned worker housing was located nearby, often perched on the hillsides along narrow, winding streets and now part of neighborhoods such as Hampden, Woodberry, and Mount Washington. The mills were paternalistic operations with the villages maintaining a homogenous, largely white population well into the twentieth century. Baltimore’s surviving mill villages still have a remarkably isolated feeling in spite of the nearby rushing traffic of the Jones Falls Expressway (U.S. 83) built in 1956.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1810


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "JONES FALLS VALLEY MILLS", [Baltimore, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 225-225.

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