Arabber Preservation Society (A.P.S.) - Mission and History
The Arabber Preservation Society was created in March of 1994 to help the Retreat Street stable comply with city building codes. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and preservation of Baltimore's horse-cart vendors [arabbers] and functional horse-cart vending [arabbing].
We recognize arabbing as an African-American folk tradition; an economically viable system and a method of apprenticeship completely unique to Baltimore. In recent years some of our last stables and arabbers have not been able to survive. Our society is committed to supporting the rights of arabbers and truth in media representation. We are dedicated to helping them continue their vital and autonomous economy without interfering with their self sufficiency and tradition.
History Outline of the Arabber Preservation Society (A.P.S.)
March 1994-A.P.S. formed after Retreat St. stable condemned.
Repairs begun at Retreat stable.
Opposition voiced to City Council Bill #753 proposing a 1000% increase ($10 to $100) in horse-driving licenses
Bill #753 overruled
Repairs completed at Retreat stable-Feb. '95.
Retreat stable reopened March '95.
Farrier (blacksmith) program initiated June '95.
Farrier apprenticeship program begun. A grant for the first blacksmith students to attend a farrier college procured.
Meetings with Baltimore City Animal Control on-going.
- Verified health and humane treatment of all animals used in this craft.
- Weekly inspections initiated.
Meetings with Housing and Community Development to discuss the role of Arabbers in Sandtown/Winchester
Meeting held with Mayor Kurt Schmoke Nov.'95
- Meeting with Park and Recreation to discuss kids tours
- New stable designed for Mullin Street by Neighborhood Design Center
- Brochure designed by Neighborhood Design Center
- Whatcoat St. stable ordered to close by the city October '95 (90 day removal notice) because roof was in need of repair
- Stable wing at Carlton Street rebuilt to accommodate Whatcoat Street ponies and save jobs
- History display and wagon restoration for City Life Museum
- City Life Museum Museum Festival Hollering contest and display
- City Life Museum stable tour and lecture
- Whatcoat Street Arabbers reloacted to Carlton Street without missing one days work
- First annual benefit art auction - July
- Historic carriage house purchased at 940 Lemmon Street for Arabber Museum
- Veterinarian program initiated
- Slide show completed
- Asphalt removed and grass planted in Bongo Square for Arabber paddock
- Documentary film project begun
- Class Action Suit vs. Baltimore City and Health Department for harrassment and discrimination
- "Arabbing in the 21st. Century" study published
- "operation of Horse Drawn Commercial Transportation in the Urban Environment" published
- Post and Board fence built around Bongo Square
- Reprinting of "Arabbers in Baltimore" by Roland Freeman researched
- National Historic registration of Carlton Street Stable
- "Baltimore: No Harbor for Entrepreneurs" published
- Retreat Street Stable condemed for Urban Renewal
- Bongo Square opened with post and board fence for Arabber Ponies and community garden
- Work with Maryland Historical Society on Arabber exhibit "Whats It to You"
- Class Action Suit settled, Harrassment abates
- Fremont Lumber Company purchased for new "Arabber Center"
- Special committee meetings to ammend Health Department regulations as requested in suit
- "We Are Arabbers" documentary premiere
- Preservation Maryland grant for repairs at Retreat Street Stables
- Arabber market opened by Pennsylvania Avenue Redevelopment Collaborative
- Presentation for Maryland's Preservation and Revitalization Conference
- Restoration begun at Retreat Street Stables
- One third acre horse park opened at Retreat Street Stables
- Web site updated
- August 9, 2007
Baltimore City officials condemn the Reatreat Street Stables
for building code violations and move the horses to Bowie and then to
Pimlico race track
- The arabbers continue to have access to their horses
- The Mayor has promised to keep them in business
- August 2007: New health regulations prohibit horses not used in
arabbing or carrage trade from Baltimore City
- November 2007: Horses given only one more month at Pimlico. City
considers new temporary location
- November 2007: Work began on new stable to be owned and operated by
Baltimore City at Fulton Street and the B & O Railroad
- 2008-28 horses from Retreat Street stables relocated from Pimlico racetrack to 2 tents at Fulton Street B&O site
- April 2008-Retreat Stable demolished
- April 2008-Mayor Sheila Dixon now announces "The City has spent enough on the arabbers and has no more funds available to build the new stable"
- September 2008-Baltimore City changes its mind and agress to build a new stable at the Fulton Street site
- January 2009-Arabber Heritage Inc.,a new nonprofit is formed to manage the new stable
- Baltimore is back from one team (wagon) last year to more than six working teams!
- APS completely restores roof at Carlton St. Stable with help from Preservation Maryland and Baltimore City Heritage Area
- Baltimore City removes horses from Fulton St.(temporary) Stable citing "unsafe conditions"
- City removes temporary tent stable at Fulton St.
Five Horse Drawn Wagons operated out of the Carlton Street Stable -Three wagons restored
- APS mediates a landlord tenant dispute at Carlton Street Stable
- APS replaces a broken water supply line at Carlton Street Stable
- Three horse drawn wagons operated this year
- APS restores rear door,west and north walls at Carlton Street Stable
- Bruce St. Stable closed for building code violations
- New stalls built and old stalls enlarged at Arabber Center and Carlton St. Stable
- Arabber Mural Project paints more than 8 walls at and around Arabber Center
- 8 horse drawn wagons now operating in Baltimore
Contact The Arabber Preservation Society,
Dan Van Allen, President, 410-385-1277
118 S. Arlington Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21223
Layout and Design Copyright © 1997 by Thom LaCosta
All Rights Reserved
This document was last modified on: Thursday, 25-Jul-2013 18:23:07 EDT