Beginning in the mid-1800s, vendors would walk along city streets selling fresh produce from their horse-drawn carts. These enterprising businessmen came to be known as arabbers. During the last century, the rise of mass transportation, grocery store chains, and urban to suburban migrations all contributed to a steady decline of arabbers across the country. Today, Baltimore is fortunate to have a handful of dedicated arabbers who still carry on this century-old tradition.
Late last month, local artist Nether began a new mural at the Arabber Stable on N Fremont Avenue in Sandtown. It is a tribute to two Baltimore Arabbers: Skeeter and Fatback. Nether explained that the mural shows Fatback holding a treasured saddle emblem he received years ago in Amish country and that next to Skeeter is a Baltimore City wagon permit. Over the years, arabbers have had to fight to keep their wagon permits whenever municipal efforts attempted to close down their small businesses.
Nether finished painting the mural in early July. However, until this week the high temperatures and bright, unrelenting sunshine prevented Charm City Streets from capturing a flattering image of the completed mural. Thank you for your patience. Charm City Streets is pleased to finally share with you the image gallery documenting the development of Nether’s tribute to Baltimore’s Arabbers.
© All images and text are copyrighted and are the property of David Muse, unless noted otherwise. You may use any images or text for non-commercial purposes only if you credit the photographer and Charm City Streets. Thank you!