Most people know about the Great London Fire and the Great Chicago, fire started by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. In 1904, Baltimore had it’s own little fire, that took out most of what was and still is downtown.
In the event you don’t know about it, there are a number of places you can learn about it, including the lobby of the Hotel Monaco, which used to be the headquarters of the B&O Railroad. But if wandering around hotel lobbies in pursuit of local history is not on your bucket list, there are great places you can look to, from the comfort of your couch.
For a great introduction, Digital Maryland has a comprehensive timeline that includes photos of the destruction and what the area looks like today. It’s also a great way to easily lose a couple of hours. Believe me, it is that interesting.
Another great source, which is true for many things Baltimore, is the Online Database the Baltimore Museum of Industry has up. That is where I got the striking photo on the left, which you can kind of tell by the water marks. Obviously, if you need a photo for something official, requesting the photo from the BMI is a good idea, but if you just need a sense of what was going on, that’s what the database is for.
So there you have it, two places to dive into, with out the need to move.