The 7-Eleven on Charles and Centre Street in Baltimore City, is where the Ouija board was developed and named.
In the 1890s, talking board games were popular. Charles Kennard and Elijah Bond were in the board game manufacturing business. Their latest game had players place their hands on a planchette, which then moved to spell out a message. The night of April 25, 1890, in a boardinghouse that is now the 7-Eleven, they, along with spiritual medium Helen Peters, say that the board game picked its own name, O-U-I-J-A.
The first games were produced in multiple factories around the city, with one of the last manufacturers located on East Fort Avenue in Locust Point, close to Fort McHenry.
In 2015, Ouija celebrated its 125th anniversary, and a historical marker was placed in the convenience store to mark the occasion.
Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Allison Valliant to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.
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