Hampden originated in 1802 as a group of homes built for workers in the mills located in the Jones Falls Valley. By the late 1800s, Hampden, along with its neighbor Woodberry, produced 80% of the world’s cotton duck – a type of cotton product used for sails. As demand for cotton duck increased so did Hampden’s population – drawing immigrants from neighboring farming counties and from the mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. By the turn of the 20th century, Hampden and Woodberry made up one of the country’s largest workforces and greatly aided the war efforts in World Wars I and II. By the 1960s and 1970s, the economic engine of Hampden, the mills, died
along with the demand for the cotton duck for which they were famous.
Over the past several decades, Hampden has reinvented itself as a thriving community of independent and locally-owned businesses. The mills have been repurposed as living spaces, offices, artists studios, restaurants, and more. And the neighborhood continues to grow as an eclectic mix of working class folks, artists and young professionals.
Located in the geographic center of Baltimore City, Hampden is a unique and popular neighborhood that is also noted for its numerous critically-acclaimed and award winning shops, eateries and businesses.