Behind the Scenes Tour of Wilson House B&B

President Woodrow Wilson has a number of connections to Baltimore, including the roots of his presidency that trace to a series of back-room deals made in a Mount Royal Terrace mansion during the 1912 Democratic National Convention here in Baltimore. Please join us for a tour of this mansion, now called the Wilson House, a 10,000 square foot wonderfully restored Victorian complete with castle-like turrets and curved balconies.

Tour Information

Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010
Time: 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. — Wine and Cheese
6:00 to 7:00 p.m. — Tour
Place: Wilson House B&B, 2100 Mount Royal Terrace (Baltimore, MD 21217)
Parking: Parking is available on the street nearby
Cost: $15 (includes wine and cheese reception)

2100 Mount Royal Terrace was built around 1880 by one of the wealthiest men in Baltimore, J. Kemp Bartlett. Bartlett was a law partner of William Jennings Bryan, Democratic presidential candidate in 1896, 1900, 1904 and 1908. In 1912, Bryan was still the head of the Democratic party but this time decided not to run. That year the Democratic National Convention was held in Baltimore’s 5th Regiment Armory, a few blocks away from his law partner’s house on Mount Royal Terrace. When the convention became deadlocked (after 23 ballots), Bryant, who until that time had been publicly supporting Champ Clark from New York, caused a recess to be called and invited the “kingmakers” to Bartlett’s house, away from the crowds. There he announced that he had switched his support for Woodrow Wilson as the only candidate with a chance of beating the Republican nominee in the general election. Over the next several days, Bartlett’s mansion was the center of a series of deals that gave Woodrow Wilson the nomination (after 23 more ballots) and led to his presidency. Wilson gave his acceptance speech from the governor’s summer home in New Jersey (he had not attended the convention) and then came to Baltimore and repeated it to a much bigger crowd from the 2nd floor balcony of Bartlett’s mansion. During the Great Depression and following WWII, the house was cut into 12 apartments, although fortunately many of the original details were preserved. In 1999, Guy and Clelia Thomas purchased the building and completed wonderful restoration work several years later. The couple now operates the mansion as a bed and breakfast. Please join us and our hosts, the Thomases, on a tour of this 40-room eclectic historic mansion with a rich history of presidential politicking.

Click Here to Register. Space is 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. Thank you to Agora and PNC Bank, our tour series sponsors. 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.

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