The following history of Remington was taken from a 1979 publication by The Livelier Baltimore Committee Of The Citizens Planning And Housing Association called Beyond The White Marble Steps: A Look At Baltimore Neighborhoods.
For more about this Baltimore City neighborhood, stop by Atomic Books (3620 Falls Rd.) tonight as author Kathleen C. Ambrose discusses her new book, Remington: The History Of A Baltimore City Neighborhood from 7-9PM.
The event is free.
It's also First Fridays in Hampden.
From the outset, early Baltimore inhabitants settled near the harbor. Also at the outset, there are those who preferred to live out of the circle and make their own way in the open space. One of these early settlers was David Jones. In 1641, he settled along one of the water-ways that emptied into the harbor. In time, this body of water would become known as Jones' Falls.
The harbor was a big plus for the newly founded township of Baltimore. It meant that a profitable trade could be exchanged between the new settlement and other colonies, and with the mother country, England. The Jones Falls also played an important role in the development of the City. Along its banks sprang up grist mills, iron foundries and later textile mills, north to its source.
Remington acquired its name from the landowner, William Remington, whose property was located in the heart of the community. Today, a main traffic artery through the area also bears his name. The community lies above North Avenue and extends to Wyman Park Drive.
On the west it is bounded by the Jones Falls, and on the east it is bounded by Howard Street. The community is semi-enclosed by trees and greenery of two parks. On the west lies Druid Hill Park. On the north is Wyman Park, with Wyman Part Drive curving gracefully along the eastern boundary past the Baltimore Art Museum, to meet 29th and Howard Streets. The beauty of the greenery is thoroughly enjoyed by many - especially by Remingtonians.
In 1805, plans were developed for the Falls Turnpike Road Company. The first toll gate, north of the city was on the Falls Road above North Avenue. The holding company provided a home nearby for the keeper and his family. Soon an inn, providing food, drink and lodging for the weary traveler, was strategically located at this point of the turnpike. Other businesses and homes sprang up along this portion of the route. These dwellings were along the strop of Falls Road that now houses the Baltimore Street Car Museum. Many Remingtonians, including the author [Mortimer], have traced their roots to this simple village.
The City of Baltimore was expanding in all directions, including the north. Keeping in that North Avenue (or Boundary Avenue, as it was then known) was the city limits, so that Remington prior to 1888 was in Baltimore County.
The Railroad came to the Valley, bringing jobs and prosperity. First the Northern Central R.R. in 1831, then others like the Ma & Pa (Maryland & Pennsylvania R.R.) and the Baltimore & Ohio. The B & O purchased property and dug a series of tunnels under the cross streets at 26th Street. Many families came with these companies, and settled in Remington.
Additional rapid transportation was introduced in 1859 with the horse-drawn street cars. In 1885, the first electric railway was put into operation by the Baltimore Union Passenger Railway over its Hampden Line.
Early in the morning on August 10, 1885, the electric car left the Oak Street Barn (now Howard & 25th Streets) for its initial run through Remington to its destination in Hampden. The service continued for four years and then, partly because of finances, returned to the horse cars. In 1894, three separate car lines operated through Remington.
As an early suburb of Baltimore, Remington had many gracious homes. John N. McJilton, first Superintendent of Public Schools, lived on Jefferson Place (Huntingdon Avenue and 21st Street). The American Newspaper on Aug. 16, 1866, carried the following ad: "FOR SALE OR RENT, the house is 44 ft. front, hall nine feet, supplied with modern conveniences, stabling, ice house, etc., nearly three acres of land."
The Edwin Simon home was located on the edge of the Ware property at the bend of what is now 25th Street and Huntingdon Avenue. Mr. Simon's father was founder of Charles Simon & Sons Company, Wholesale & Retail Dry Goods, a fine business on N. Howard Street that enjoyed trade as far west as San Francisco.
These and many other homes have all vanished. Two individual homes are still standing: the Noland home at 316 W. 30th St. and the Stambaugh home, now an apartment complex at 30th and Huntingdon Avenue.
In 1883, a Sunpapers account noted that 150 homes, either group or rowhouses, would be built that summer and the area would be known as "Remington Place," a name that didn't take hold. So the community continues to be called Remington. Yet many, unwittingly, refer to the community as Hampden.
In addition to a home, one needs family, friends and a spiritual life for a full measure of happiness. This need was met when the three area churches, Keene Memorial Methodist Church, The Guardian Episcopal Church and the S.S. Philip and James Roman Catholic Church located in this section of the City. Other churches were here briefly, but have since relocated.
The Methodists first held services in the home of Joshua Barton, 2707 Huntingdon Avenue, in 1888. Shortly thereafter, they built a mission at what is now Remington Avenue & 30th Street. About 10 years later they built the present structure on Huntingdon Avenue and 30th Street and named it Keene Memorial Methodist Church, in honor of the Rev. Mr. Howard O. Keene, an eloquent and popular pastor.
A fond memory of many neighborhood people was the church's annual parade to nearby Druid Hill park. Local musicians would form a band and lead the Church members and friends on a grand march to a park pavilion, to spend a summer's day picnicking.
In 1897, several Episcopalians rented a dwelling on Bernard Street (now Miles Avenue) and started a church school. A year later they moved to the Remington Mission vacated by the Methodists (until 1905 when the Church of the Guardian Angel was built at 27th Street and Huntingdon Avenue). The Rev. Mr. George Kromer, affectionately called St. George and sometimes the "Pied Piper of Remington" was the priest-in-charge for 57 years. The Rev. Mr. Kromer is considered by many to be Remington's most outstanding and unforgettable character.
His wife, Dora, was his workmate for 32 years. The Kromer home at 2942 Huntingdon Avenue was hospital, social room, club room or gymnasium, as occasion demanded. In 1901, Miss Dora organized one of the City's earliest day care centers, when the Parish Hall was built (1923). They nursery served two hot meals a day for 15 cents per child or 25 cents for two children in one family. In addition to the day care service the City provided a "well baby clinic." This operation lasted through the mid-30's. Through the years, athletic, social and political organizations have provided the comraderie that has helped to make Remington a cohesive community. Among these have been the Oaks Athletic Association (which produced the early Oriole pitcher, Lefty Russell); The Cresmont Social Club; and the Huntingdon Democratic Club. The latter two groups have been organized for nearly 50 years.
About 1911, several ladies in the S.S. Philip and James parish formed the Gibbons Guild to care for youngsters of mothers who were employed at the textile mills of Hampden or the Millers Tin Can Company located on Oak Street (this became the American Can Company). The Guild cared for 20 children in a rented dwelling in the 2800 block of Bernard Street. A year later, with borrowed funds, four homes of Hampden and 29th Street were purchased and converted to their special needs. They continued to the late 1920s's.
The need for a permanent parochial school was met in 1917 with the building at 27th Street and Maryland Avenue, to be staffed by the Sisters of Saint Francis. The convent is attached to the school and is still a vital part of the parish life. Though the building is marked Peabody Academy, it has always been known as S.S. Philip and James School.
Today Remington is experiencing a rebirth. The Remington Improvement Association was started in 1965 [ed. note - this is a completely different organization than GRIA - the Greater Remington Improvement Association that was started a few years ago and operates today]; with it, a new interest has been generated. People want to learn and do more for the community. Progress has taken many forms.
The Church of the Guardian Angel renovated the front of the church - replacing it with a brick facade to blend with the Rectory. A hard-working Task Force was instrumental in obtaining The Wyman Park Multipurpose Center, located at 501 W. 30th Street. Four Tot Lots were obtained. The Hampden-Woodberry-Remington United Ministries Falls Road Center and the Better Health Committee have established a Health Clinic that will provide good care at affordable prices. This is located in a portion of the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital on Wyman Park Drive.
The Remington of today, with its history of conservative stability, is still lively, alert and optimistic about its future and that of the City.