Behind the Scenes Tour of the Mount Vernon Mill

Image courtesy Baltimore County Public Library

In the 19th century, Baltimore was the world’s leading supplier of cotton duck, a material that was used in items from uniforms and tents to sailcloth and parachutes. Much of it was made at a sprawling complex of mill buildings collectively called the Mount Vernon Mill. Our host, Terra Nova Ventures, has cleaned out the Mount Vernon Mill No. 1 building and is about to embark on a massive historic restoration and reuse project. Please join us on a “before rehab” tour of this great historic industrial space.

Tour Information

Date:   Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Time:   5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Place:  Mount Vernon Mill (2980 – 3000 Falls Road, Baltimore 21211)
The building is on Falls Road just north of Wyman Park Drive and the Stieff Silver Building
Cost:   $15 (includes wine and cheese reception)
Registration: Click Here to Register.

In 1839, David Carroll and Horatio Gambrill purchased the Whitehall Flower Mill and converted it into a textile mill with five power looms. A few years before, the two partners had purchased the Mt. Washington Mill, dating to 1808 and one of the oldest textile mills in the country, and were embarking on an effort to turn the Jones Falls Valley into a textile powerhouse. By 1847 the partners had brought on one William Kennedy and started the Mount Vernon Company with a host of mill buildings up and down the river. They eventually employed 1600 men and women in their textile operations making cotton duck, hundreds of whom moved from rural Maryland and elsewhere into duplex stone houses the company built for them (now known as the Stone Hill neighborhood). In World Wars I and II, the mill complexes churned out uniforms for U.S. soldiers, as well as cloth for knapsacks and parachutes. In 1948, the mill switched to the production of synthetic yarns, and in 1973, the Mount Vernon Company ceased its textile operations and sold the buildings to a company called Life Like Products, which used them as warehouses for the model train and hobbies products it produced. Terra Nova Ventures recently acquired the property that contains Mount Vernon Mill No. 1 and two ancillary buildings known as the Picker Building and Store House. The company is converting the complex into 90 apartments, 42,000 square feet of office space, and a restaurant in the original boiler room of the main building. Please join us and our hosts from Terra Nova Ventures for a tour of the Mount Vernon Mill No. 1 building that dates to 1873 (the original having been destroyed by fire), as we get a look at this great industrial space before the renovation work begins.

Space is severely limited on this tour. Confirmations will be sent by email, and payment will be due upon confirmation. For additional information and questions, call Baltimore Heritage at 410-332-9992. This tour series is made possible in part by a generous contribution from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council. Thank you to our 50th Anniversary Year Sponsors!

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