Other Sites of Interest
Learn about other places and spaces important to American Indian history and continued presence in Baltimore City.
Learn about other places and spaces important to American Indian history and continued presence in Baltimore City.
In 1991, The Baltimore Harbor Endowment, a citizen’s group that had launched a “Buy-A-Brick” campaign to help raise funds for a brick promenade from Canton to South Baltimore, started to sell engraved bricks for a section of the promenade on the Broadway Pier in Fells Point. Bricks could be purchased for $50 each, or 15 hours volunteer work, or they could be requested by area nonprofit community organizations, free of charge. Linda Cox (Lumbee), daughter of Elizabeth Locklear (Lumbee), a co-founder of the American Indian Study Center, requested a brick on behalf of the Center and two of its co-founders, and a brick on behalf of South Broadway Baptist Church, and its founding pastor. The bricks can be found on the pier today. Look for “herbert & elizabeth locklear b.a.i.c” and “rev. james millard dial south broadway baptist church.”
In the 1960s, Junior Sampson (Lumbee) left his job at General Motors to open a tire shop with Ray Locklear (Lumbee) in a garage space at 1000 S. Caroline Street. They kept their shop open until sometime in the 1970s.
DC “Slim” Hunt (Lumbee) (1942 – 2016) and other American Indian community members had been hanging out on this corner, near Slim’s house, for decades prior to the addition of this bench. In the 1990s, Johnny Thompson (Lumbee) (1945 – 2017) built the bench for Slim. Slim’s surviving family members and many American Indian elders still spend time there.
In 1972, East Baltimore Church of God, the second oldest congregation established by Lumbee Indians in the City of Baltimore, sold its first home at 1714 – 16 E. Baltimore Street to the City and purchased the church at 2043 E. Baltimore Street, just three blocks east. The church stayed at 2043 E. Baltimore Street until 2003, when it relocated to 800 Oldham Street, in Greektown.
Donald Gibson purchased this property in 1979 and it became the Ken Ten Tavern, or just “the corner bar.” The corner bar became a hangout for area American Indian workers. By the time it opened, the community had largely moved “up the hill,” having been displaced from “the reservation” by Urban Renewal in the early 1970s.
Ken Ten participated in a pool league. Many American Indian people played and won, representing the tavern. Because the corner bar was located directly across the street from Baltimore City Public School #27, traditionally one of the schools most highly populated by Indian students, many parents would have their children meet them at the bar to go home together at the end of the school day. Ken Ten Tavern, arguably Baltimore’s last Indian bar, was sold in 2014. In short order, it was transformed into a succession of high-end eateries / wine-tasting establishments.
Gerald Butler (Lumbee) ran his tire service in a garage at 2109 Lamley ca. 1963 until he retired in 2005.
In 1994, Allen Thomas Satekoronhes Snow (Mohawk), a third generation master ironworker from Kahnawake, founded Mohawk Bridge & Iron, a concrete reinforcing construction company specializing in reinforcing steel placement and post tensioning for concrete reinforcement. Mohawk Bridge and Iron’s first office was Allen’s Highlandtown basement at 125 S. Eaton Street.
309 S. Ellwood Avenue was the second home of Mohawk Bridge & Iron, a concrete reinforcing construction company founded by Allen Thomas Satekoronhes Snow (Mohawk), a third generation master ironworker from Kahnawake.
3901 Curtis Avenue is the present-day home of Mohawk Bridge & Iron, a concrete reinforcing construction company founded by Allen Thomas Satekoronhes Snow (Mohawk), a third generation master ironworker from Kahnawake. Mohawk Bridge & Iron is still owned and operated by the Snow family, and they continue to train and employ American Indian workers.
In the 1990s, George Thompson and his wife, Myrtle Thompson, both Lumbee, rented the store at 165 N. Potomac Street and opened George’s Grocery & Grill. They sold groceries as well as prepared foods — especially George’s famous BBQ. After some years, George left the store but continued to sell BBQ from his Dundalk home until he moved back to North Carolina. The sign for George’s Grocery and Grill still hangs from the formstone at the corner of N. Potomac and E. Fayette Streets, although the property is now home to a different business.
The original Patterson High School was located at 101 S. Ellwood Avenue. The building later became home to Hampstead Hill Junior High, and later still, Highlandtown Middle. Now it’s luxury apartments.
Hampstead Hill Junior High (#43) was one of the original Baltimore City Public Schools visited by Indian Education Program staff, as its Indian student population had been one of the highest in the district since the height of the Lumbee migration to Baltimore. From the mid 1970s until 2008, school #43 housed Baltimore’s Indian Education Program’s central office, in Room 14. Room 14 was an enormous classroom on the first floor. It was a safe haven for generations of students. The outer wall featured a giant eagle mural and the words “Native American Program.” Inside was a trove of artifacts, art supplies and school supplies. And the program staff was there, eager to listen, tutor, and assist.
Highlandtown Middle School closed in 2008, and the Indian Education Program’s central office relocated to the former Canton Middle School (801 S. Highland Avenue). Later, the office relocated to the “new” Patterson High School (100 Kane Street). Finally, in 2016, the office relocated to the third floor of the Baltimore American Indian Center (113 S. Broadway), where it remains today.
In 1988, the Baltimore American Indian Center purchased the property at 12 N. Clinton Street. The Center sold the property in 1997.
The rowhome at 1921 E. Baltimore Street was owned and occupied by American Indian people for approximately 37 years, ca. 1970 – 2007. It was owned and sublet by The Baltimore American Indian Center 1988 – 2000.
In 1986, The Baltimore American Indian Center purchased the rowhomes at 2205 and 2207 E. Baltimore Street to be rental properties. Eleven years later, the Center sold both properties to Donald Gibson (owner of Ken Ten Tavern, aka “the Corner Bar”).
The Baltimore American Indian Center purchased this property in 1989. The Center sold the property in 1990.
An American Indian family purchased the house at 2107 Lamley Street in 1989. In 1993, the family experienced financial hardship. The Baltimore American Indian Center was able to assist by purchasing the home and allowing the family to continue to live there as tenants. In 1997, the family bought their home back from the Baltimore American Indian Center. Sadly, the house was sold for taxes by the city in 2005.
The McKim Center was first established as the McKim Free School by sons of Quaker merchant, John McKim.  Construction of the iconic Greek-revival style building at 1120 E. Baltimore Street was completed in the 1830s.
In the mid-1950s, the McKim Center held social dances for neighborhood youth. Jeanette W. Jones (Lumbee) recalls on Saturday nights, the McKim Center was “the place to be!”
In 1957, a photographer for Ebony magazine attended a dance and so did Jeanette Jones. Much to her surprise, she and other Lumbee youth later appeared in the September 1957 issue of Ebony, in an article entitled “Mystery People of Baltimore: Neither red nor white nor black strange ‘Indian’ tribe lives in world of its own.”
The oldest congregation in Baltimore City founded by Lumbee Indians (presently known as South Broadway Baptist Church) was known as West Cross Street Baptist Church when it occupied the building at 1117 W. Cross Street, from 1967 – 1978. This was the first church building the congregation owned since its beginnings in 1952.
Norman J. Emanuel (Lumbee) came to Baltimore in 1956 and first entered the tire business in 1957. He ran his company from this Booth Street location until approximately 1974.
Beginning in the 1940s, a small contingent of American Indian people who moved from North Carolina to Baltimore settled in Brooklyn and made Brooklyn Church of God their church home. The church’s original location was here at 901 Pontiac Avenue. As Baltimore’s greater American Indian community formed, other church-going members of the community would travel to Brooklyn to support and participate in events. There was a regular American Indian presence in the congregation for many years.
Beginning in the 1940s, a small contingent of American Indian people who moved from North Carolina to Baltimore settled in Brooklyn and made Brooklyn Church of God their church home. As Baltimore’s greater American Indian community formed, other church-going members of the community would travel to Brooklyn to support and participate in events. There was a regular American Indian presence in the congregation for many years. The church’s original location was 901 Pontiac Avenue. In 1965, the church purchased a parsonage and built this current church building nearby at 3800 Ninth Street.
Burnetha “Pat” Locklear (Lumbee) purchased the property at 105 S. Conkling Street in 1991. She registered the Mt. Pleasant Inn as a business in 1994 and sold this property in 2015.
In 1978, James Bowen (Lumbee) and his wife, Rosalie Bowen nee Machlinski (Polish), opened a bakery in Baltimore’s Northeast Market (2101 E. Monument Street, Chester Street door). Widely known throughout the Lumbee community and well beyond, Rose’s has been in business ever since.
James and Rose’s daughter, Rosie Bowen (Lumbee), currently runs the bakery. In addition to cakes, pies, and pastries, Rosie offers traditional Lumbee foods for sale, and to share, at different times throughout the year. Rosie regularly travels to Lumbee tribal territory in North Carolina and returns to Baltimore with traditional ingredients like sweet potatoes, pecans, and cornmeal. In 2019, she was recognized by the State of Maryland with a Maryland Traditions apprenticeship grant to teach her daughter, Adriana Bowen-Herrera (Lumbee and Mexican), to make chicken and pastry, a traditional Lumbee dish. Rose’s Bakery remains open and is still heavily patronized by the Lumbee community today. It is not uncommon to find elder members of the community socializing there from time to time.
George Vasiliades worked in the Moonlight Diner (1 N. Broadway) as a teenager. In 1965, when he was in his early 20s, he set out on his own. He purchased the original Sip & Bite, which had opened on the west side of Van Lill Street in 1948, and learned how to cook. A few years later, he moved the diner to its present location, 2200 Boston Street, on the east side of Van Lill. The Indian community followed the business from Broadway to Boston Street, as the Moonlight Diner closed in 1972, during Urban Renewal. For many years, Sip & Bite was a favorite after-church lunch spot for members of both South Broadway Baptist and East Baltimore Church of God.
East Baltimore Church of God, the second oldest congregation established by Lumbee Indians in the City of Baltimore, relocated from 2043 E. Baltimore Street to 800 Oldham Street, in Greektown, in 2003. The church is still active and many American Indian people continue to attend.
Native American LifeLines was established in 2000 to meet the somatic and behavioral health needs of Urban Indians residing in the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area.
Native American LifeLines was established in 2000 to meet the somatic and behavioral health needs of Urban Indians residing in the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area. LifeLines relocated from 106 West Clay to 1 E. Franklin Street in 2019.