Ghosts of Eager Street: Pt. IV (Or, The Tale of Thomas Bean)

Ghosts of Baltimore
Judging by the condition of the house, nobody has lived in 2422 for quite some time: the roof is completely gone, the framing lumber has rotted away to mush, and knob and tube wiring is strung across the remains of the building. There was nothing physically salvageable from 2422, but we thought we’d share the history of its first inhabitant, Thomas Bean.
Thomas Bean was born in Baltimore in 1866. He lived with his mother, Isabell Bean, and four siblings. Isabell’s profession is listed as “keeping house.” The 1870 Census didn’t list street addresses, so it’s tough to say exactly where the Bean family lived, but the closest post office is listed as 246 Canton Ave, a street that we now know as Fleet Street.
(Image courtesy of

1870 map of Baltimore (Image courtesy of

By 1880, the Beans had moved to 57 Caroline Street. By this point, Isabell had become a vest maker, and little Thomas Bean, only 13, was a cigar stripper. Thomas’ sister, Henrietta, was a buttonhole maker.
Where was Thomas in 1890? Who knows. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire in 1921. This disaster spurred Congressmen to push for the establishment of a National Archives.
By 1900, Thomas had married Dora Kentner, and the couple lived with Dora’s German parents at 2204 McElderry Street. Thomas, now 34, tended bar.
Which brings us to Eager Street, or Eager Place as it was called in 1910, just three years after the first houses were built on it. Thomas and Dora, along with their three daughters and Dora’s mother, moved to 2422 Eager Place when it was first built. By this point, Thomas had become an engineer at a can factory, and his wages enabled him to own a house, the one without formstone that you see below.
By 1930, Thomas was 64 and had become an engineer for a steel company. His daughters had long since moved out, but he and Dora remained at 2422 Eager Street, along with a family of boarders. Neither Dora nor Thomas show up in the 1940 census, so it’s likely they passed away before the census was taken.

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