Ghosts of Eager Street: Pt. VI (2406 aka The Butcher Shop)

Ghosts of Baltimore
Baltimore didn’t pass its first zoning ordinance until 1923. Before this date (and after, to some extent) the rowhouses that we now associate with residential living housed businesses galore. Eager Street (or Eager Place) was no exception. Take 2406, for example.
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Long before the bulky red awnings were added to the house, 2406 was the home and the butcher shop of Frank Kober. Frank (formerly Frans) came to Baltimore on September 18th, 1906 from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s hard to make out in the photo below, but in his immigration papers he lists his trade as “butcher.”
kober
The butcher business must have been good, because within a few years (or possible months) of arriving, Frank owned the house at 2406, where he lived with his wife and son. Frank moved his shop several times, eventually ending up in a desirable corner lot at 122 N Highland Street, where he cut meat into the late 1930s.
After Frank moved around the corner to N Luzerne, 2406 became the shop and home of Paul (born Pavel) Vanek, another butcher. Paul moved in to 2406 Eager Street somewhere around 1916. By the time the 1917 city directory was published, Paul had his shop set up.

vanekbutcher

By 1930, 2406 was no longer a butcher shop. When we started working in 2406, we didn’t yet know about the house’s history, but now that we’ve harvested nearly 500 square feet of original pine flooring, we’re tempted to see if we can’t detect faint scents of bacon as we process the wood.
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Larry pulls up flooring that was likely once soaked with animal blood.

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