Bustling Baltimore, Beyond and Below: Discover Historic Towson, Christmas in Old Baltimore, and Our Lexington Market Catacombs!

In the month ahead, we are remembering the bustling days of years past in and around Baltimore. Please join us on Nov. 23 as we slip over the county line with a walking tour in our northern neighbor, Towson. If you are feeling festive, on Nov. 17 Baltimore historian Wayne Schaumburg will the second talk in our fall series at the Garrett Jacobs Mansion on Christmas in Charm City. Finally, if you have not yet joined us, head over to Lexington Market on Nov. 9 for a tour of the market and underground catacombs.

On Saturday, November 23, Towson’s own history buff, Ms. Brenda Carl, will take us back through the town’s wonderful history and notable characters, including Divine of John Waters fame. See how places like Prospect Hill Cemetery, Loch Raven Reservoir, and East Towson, founded by African Americans formerly enslaved at Hampton Mansion, helped make Towson into the vibrant college town it is today.

On Sunday, November 17, join Baltimore historian and educator Wayne R. Schaumburg for a talk on “Christmas In Old Baltimore.” Mr. Schaumburg will focus on some of Baltimore’s great holiday customs from the 1940s to the 1960s, including downtown shopping, visiting Santa, the Toytown Parade, firehouse train gardens, and even our favorite holiday topic to quibble over: aluminum trees.

Finally, on Saturday, November 9, catch our next Lexington Market tour to see behind-the-scenes at what Ralph Waldo Emerson dubbed “the gastronomic capital of the world.” We will also explore the catacombs under the marketplace. Rediscovered in 1951, the origins of these tunnels and vaults are mysterious…perfect for the post-Halloween enthusiasts.

We hope to see you at some or all of the above events and tours. It’s going to be a great month of heritage and history!

Micro-Grants Fund Four New Preservation Projects

Thank you to everyone who came last night to our micro-grant party and helped select the four new ideas to advance preservation in Baltimore! We hope you enjoyed the fantastic restoration projects going on at Clifton Mansion. Here are the four projects that received funding:

$500 Micro-Grants: 

Friends of St. Vincent Cemetery: The micro-grant will help them develop a master plan in their ongoing efforts to clean-up and stabilize the formerly neglected St. Vincent Cemetery in Clifton Park.

Reservoir Hill Improvement Council: The micro-grant will help the community party, Arches and Access, illuminate the historic arched entrance to Druid Hill Park and the Rawlings Conservatory as part of Light City Baltimore.

$250 Micro-Grants: 

Ernie Dimler: The micro-grant will help Mr. Dimler conserve and display Baltimore City archival material in his expanding public collections at the Bromo Seltzer Tower.

Adam Fracchia: The micro-grant will help Dr. Fracchia with his archaeological exploration of the lives of enslaved people and convict labor at the ruins of the former Northampton furnace iron foundry.


We will keep you posted as these projects move along and, again, thank you!!

Tomorrow, Oct 17! Participate in Preservation: Micro-Grant Party at Clifton Mansion! 

Preservation in Baltimore is a participatory sport, and we hope you will join in by joining us at our 2019 micro-grant giveaway and thank you celebration at Clifton Mansion tomorrow, Thursday, October 17. This free event is our way of saying thank you to all of you who make our work at Baltimore Heritage possible.

And you’ll get to help us give away four micro-grants to help great projects in Baltimore. Over light fare and drinks inside the world-class restoration project that at Clifton, you will help us choose to give grants from these six finalists:

Ernie Dimler, Baltimore Artifacts at the Bromo Seltzer Tower
Adam Fracchia, Northampton Furnace Archaeology
Friends of St. Vincent Cemetery, St. Vincent Cemetery Memorial Project
Homewood Museum, “Naturally Beautiful: Uncovering Nature in the Nineteenth Century Home” Exhibit
Matthew J. Hood, History of the Squeegee Kids Project
Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, Arches & Access Project

We can’t wait to see you there!

Questions? Email ricks@baltimoreheritage.org

Show your Support for the Woodberry Local Historic District

It’s happening! On October 8, the Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) will be holding the first hearing on establishing a Woodberry Local Historic District.

Baltimore Heritage’s Executive Director, Johns Hopkins, will join others in testifying at the hearing in support of the additional designation.

Woodberry holds an indelible place in Baltimore’s history and needs to be protected for current and future generations. While already designated as a National Register Historic District, that primarily honorary designation offers very little protection from thoughtless demolition and development. By designating Woodberry as a CHAP District, we can help safeguard the important historic fabric in this neighborhood.

You can also attend the hearing in person October 8, 2019 at 2 p.m. (Plan to arrive by 1:45). Location: 417 East Fayette Street, Eighth Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. The more supporters we have in the room the better our chances!


This Sunday! Baltimore in the Golden Age of Radio (Plus, Pre-Talk Tour of the Garrett Jacobs Mansion)

From Guglielmo Marconi’s experiments in sending audio signals via radio waves in the 1890s to the strains of Rock and Roll coursing through teenage ears in the 1960s, and everything in between, Baltimore historian Jack Burkert explores the Golden Age of Radio in the lives of Americans, with a special focus on Baltimore. In today’s world of internet and visual media, we forget how radio transformed America with national networks, new snazzy commercial jingles, and the story of how one company came to dominate the new radio market only to suddenly exit altogether. Of course, Mr. Burkert will take a look at Baltimore’s own radio stations, some of the broadcasts they transmitted, and a few of the charming personalities involved in the radio business along the way.

This program and our speaker series have been funded by Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

*NEW* Come early for an inside look at the historic Garrett-Jacobs Mansion during a rare Sunday afternoon pre-talk tour, led by one of our docents. The tours start at 1 p.m. Learn more about the Garrett family’s far-reaching influence, the building’s architecture (designed by two prominent architects, Stanford White and John Russell Pope), and “Baltimore’s Mrs. Astor,” Mary Frick Garrett Jacobs. Tickets are an additional $10.