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The Birthplace of American Railroading

By Linda Tancs

The birthplace of American railroading is a 40-acre historic site in Baltimore, Maryland. It incorporates the place where the first stone of the Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road was laid on July 4, 1828, by Charles Carroll, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence. The B&O was the first common carrier railroad in the Western Hemisphere, and the B&O Railroad Museum preserves and interprets architecturally and historically significant buildings and structures. For instance, the Mt. Clare depot is the oldest surviving building on the museum’s campus, built in 1851 to provide improved passenger service for Baltimore’s southwest neighborhoods. But the most iconic structure is likely The Roundhouse, a passenger car repair shop built in 1884. Alongside it is the Annex, which serves as the museum’s main entrance.

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