Category: Behind the Scenes Tours

Behind the Scenes Tour of the Institute of Notre Dame High School – rescheduled for August 12!

Join us on a tour of the Institute of Notre Dame – a Baltimore landmark that has educated young women for over 150 years. Our guide, long-time resident Sister Hilda Marie Sutherland better known as Sister Hildie, is 81 years old and a local treasure in her own right. She came to IND from St. Mary’s Female Orphan Asylum in Roland Park at age 14 and never left.

Originally established in 1847 as the Collegiate Institute of Young Ladies, the Institute of Notre Dame High School (IND) was founded by Baltimore’s own Mother Theresa – the Blessed Mother Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger. A native of Munich, Bavaria, Mother Theresa helped to found the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) in Germany and came to Baltimore with a small group of sisters to educate the children of immigrants and minister to the poor. Mother Theresa purchased the original convent building from the Redemptorist priests assigned to nearby St. James in 1847 and soon expanded the convent into a boarding school when the sisters discovered two orphans left on their doorstep. By 1852, the sisters had built the school that still stands today.

The school continued to grow through the years: adding an auditorium in 1885, a chapel in 1892, additional classroom space in 1926, and their gymnasium in 1992. Since the first graduation ceremony on July 24, 1864, over 7,000 alumnae have graduated from IND including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (1958) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (1954) who later recalled, “They taught me more than geography or mathematics; they taught me to help those in need of help. They inspired my passion for service.”

Sister Hildie is the perfect guide to the school’s rich legacy with over 60 years in residence at the school. Her service has touched countless students among the school’s students and East Baltimore residents who have been helped by her weekly efforts to collect clothing, household items and food to share with the school’s neighbors. Come out to Aisquith Street and discover the charms and history of Sister Hildie and IND!

B&O Railroad Museum

Stories of railroading, Roundhouses and recovering from a roof collapse at the B&O Railroad Museum on June 24

The birthplace of American railroading. The site of the first telegraph message in history. The largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the United States. A National Historic Landmark treasured by every parent of a train-loving child in Baltimore. With this long list of superlatives you don’t need to be a kid to love the B&O Railroad Museum! The nearly 60-year-old museum opened on July 4, 1953 as the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum in the B&O Roundhouse. The Roundhouse, designed by E. Francis Baldwin,was the largest circular industrial building in the world when completed covering more than an acre of ground and rising 125 feet into the air. Regrettably, on an early winter morning just over 10 years ago, disaster struck when the roof of the Roundhouse collapsed under a record-breaking snowfall devastating both the building and the collection.

In the decade since, the B&O has come back stronger than ever and remains a must-see historic site for all Baltimoreans. The museum’s collection includes 250 pieces of railroad rolling stock, 15,000 artifacts, 5000 cubic feet of archival material, four significant 19th-century buildings, including the historic roundhouse, and a mile of track, considered the most historic mile of railroad track in the United States. Join Baltimore Heritage for some wine and cheese and the fascinating history of the B&O Railroad Museum on our latest Behind the Scenes Tour.

Charles Village Pride! Talk and tour on the early history of Baltimore’s LGBT Community

Together with the Baltimore City Historical Society, we are excited to present two upcoming programs on Baltimore’s LGBT history with a talk by historian John Wood on Thursday, June 20 and a walking tour of Charles Village with Richard Oloizia, Louis Hughes and many more special guests on Saturday, June 22.

The Baltimore Gay Community: The Early Years

Thursday, June 20, 2013, Reception at 7:00 PM, lecture at 7:30 PM
2521 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Mayor Kurt Schmoke at Gay Pride after Gay Rights Bill passed, 1988
Mayor Kurt Schmoke at Gay Pride after Gay Rights Bill passed, 1988

The Baltimore City Historical Society & Village Learning Place are hosting the final spring Baltimore History Evening with a presentation by John Wood, a local historian and teacher at the McDonogh School on the early history of Baltimore’s gay community. Wood will share how members of the city’s LGBT community organized and fought for civil rights from 1975 up through the passage of the city’s landmark gay and lesbian civil-rights bill in 1988. The period was shaped by the growth of pride in gay and lesbian identity, tensions between gay men and lesbians, the impact of AIDS, and the professionalization of the equal rights campaign during the 1980s. The program will include special guest Jody Landers, a City Council member at the time the bill passed, talking about the impact that negative opposition testimony during the bill’s hearing had upon his vote.

Charles Village Pride! LGBT Heritage Walking Tour

Saturday, June 22, 2013, 10:00 AM through 12:00 PM
Meet at Normal’s Books & Records, 425 East 31st Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Sign up online today! Tickets are $10 for Baltimore Heritage members, $15 for non-members

Gay Pride in Wyman Park, June 1988
Gay Pride in Wyman Park, June 1988

Although Charles Village is better known for its colorful “painted ladies,” the neighborhood was home to many of the activists and institutions at the heart of the city’s LGBT community in the 1970s and 1980s. Historian Richard Oloizia and activists Shirley Parry and Louis Hughes will take us on a walk past local landmarks from the original home of the Gay Community Center of Baltimore, now the GLCCB, to the St. Paul Street church that supported the growth of the Metropolitan Community Church, Baltimore’s oldest LGBT religious organization, and the radical feminist publishers, writers and activists that gave a voice to lesbian authors who might not otherwise have been read. Whether you lived this history or are learning it for the first time, this tour is a unique opportunity to explore the places that shaped the growth of Baltimore’s LGBT community and civil rights movement.

Find 300 years of history beyond the stone walls of the Friends Burial Ground on June 5

Contained on a little less than three acres across from Clifton Park in northeast Baltimore, the Friends Burial Ground tells the stories of generations Baltimore’s Quaker families across their 300 years of rich history in our city. Established in 1713 on a tract of land known as Darley Hall when the Friendship Meetinghouse was built on what is today Harford Road, the cemetery has been in continuous use ever since. While small, and a bit unassuming, the Friends Burial Ground has approximately 1,800 graves with the earliest legible marker dating from 1802 and many undoubtably date from the 1700s. The stone wall around the grounds and the Sexton’s House both date back to the 1860s and, in 1926, 122 graves were moved from a Friends cemetery at at the Aisquith Street Meeting House in Old Town.

The many notable internments include Louisa Swain, who made history in Wyoming in 1880 as the first woman to legally vote in the United States at age 69, and Dr. Thomas Edmondson who lived in a grand estate that eventually became Harlem Park in West Baltimore. Dr. Edmondson recently resurfaced in the public light: it is his collection of Richard Caton Woodville’s artwork that is currently on exhibit at the Walters Art Museum.

Please join us on a tour of the site with long-time caretaker Adrian Bishop, who will share his knowledge of the cemetery and the Sexton House on the grounds that he and his wife call home, together with Ms. Frances Ferguson, who has been digging graves by hand at the cemetery for over 40 years.

A. Hoen Lithograph Plant

How does an abandoned factory become urban farm?

After decades of neglect, it takes a bit of imagination to look at the cavernous A. Hoen & Co. Lithography Plant and see a unique opportunity for neighborhood revitalization. Fortunately, an exciting partnership between the American Communities Trust, Humanim, East Baltimore Development Inc., Big City Farms, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition Inc., Woodberry Kitchen and Johns Hopkins (whew!) is leading the way to transform the plant and the nearby Eastern Pumping Station site into the new Baltimore Food Hub. By fall of 2014, these long vacant historic buildings will be bursting with entrepreneurs, urban farmers, students, and job trainees working with food-related businesses and learning about healthy food and sustainable agriculture.

The A.  Hoen Co. Lithography Plant includes a series of buildings from the mid 19th century through the turn of the 20th century and remained in use by the company up through the 1980s. Established in the 1840s, owner August Hoen became a pioneer in both the technology and business of printing – distributing affordable color maps, books, decorative prints and more across the country. Built in 1890 just a few blocks away on the opposite side of the railroad tracks, the Eastern Pumping Station was once stylish industrial landmarks in northeast Baltimore even rivaling the architecture of the nearby American Brewery Building (then known as the Bauernschmidt and J.F. Weissner Brewery) with a more dignified Romanesque style. Architect Jackson Gott who designed the Pumping Station completed a number of projects for Baltimore City included the Maryland Penitentiary in 1893 and the Southern District Police Station in 1896.

Join us to discover more on the fascinating history of both buildings and the exciting future of food and healthy living that their preservation and re-use promises for East Baltimore! Our tour guides will include project manager Gregory Heller from Econsult and Bill Streuver, President of the American Communities Trust.