When the British threatened Baltimore in the fall of 1814, the citizens did not panic or surrender. Instead, with the help of militia from across the region, they rushed to defend the city with earthworks and fortifications. By the time the British landed a strong force at North Point on September 12, the earthworks stretched three miles from the water’s edge up to where Johns Hopkins Hospital stands today. The anchor of the defense was high ground known as Hampstead Hill. While most of the city’s defenses have been built over with handsome brick rowhouses, Hampstead Hill still survives within today’s Patterson Park.
With funding from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority and the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program, Baltimore Heritage completed We Dig Hampstead Hill – an archeological investigation of Patterson Park in spring 2014. The project archeologists spent the summer analyzing artifacts and are now ready to share some exciting stories about the history and archeology of Hampstead Hill!
Dr. John Bedell, lead archaeologist on the project, will discuss the Battle of Baltimore and its importance for the city’s history, describe the findings of the archaeological study, and discuss the role of archaeology in public history, historic preservation, and community memory.
Tour dem Ramparts, Huzzah! Baltimore 1814 by Bike (8:15am)
To RSVP for this ride, first register for the 25-mile Tour on the Tour dem Parks webpageand then register for the free guided tour here. The tour group will meet at Carroll Park at 8:15am sharp!. Best for experienced cyclists – expect a moderate pace and occasional stops.
Imagine the ramparts and bastions! Listen for the sounds of bombs bursting over the rushing stream of the Jones’ Falls as we ride and share stories of Baltimore in 1814 from Carroll Park to Hampstead Hill. Of course, we’ll also be sure to share how Frederick Law Olmsted and the Olmsted Brothers helped to transform these former fortifications into the beautiful public parks we still know and love today.
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RSVP above to join a tour but don’t forget to register for Tour dem Parks before April 30. Registration is $40 for adults or $25 for young riders 15 and under. Proceeds support local non-profit environmental advocacy and cycling organizations.
Kinetic Sculptures are amphibious, human-powered works of art custom-built for the race. Each May, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) hosts the East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship on the shore of Baltimore’s Harbor in central Maryland. The eight-hour race covers 14 miles—mostly on pavement, but also including a trip into the Chesapeake Bay and through mud and sand.
Join the We Dig Hampstead Hill project team, the Archeological Society of Maryland (ASM) and the Maryland Historical Trust for a free workshop for anyone interested in volunteering this spring to support our search for the War of 1812 in Patterson Park. Volunteer opportunities include hand-on work with excavation and documentation or sharing information about the project with local residents and students.
If you are interested in attending the workshop, please register as an archeology volunteer in advance and then sign up for the workshop below. Volunteers are not required to attend but they are encouraged! The workshop will include an overview of the project and history of Hampstead Hill, an introduction to archeological fieldwork by Greg Katz, Fieldwork Director and an overview of volunteer roles and responsibilities by the Archeological Society of Maryland. Light refreshments will be provided.
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Join Baltimore Heritage for an evening with Dr. Tim Horsley – an expert in the archeological science of using remote sensing to discover stories from the past literally buried deep underground. In today’s Patterson Park, Dr. Horsley is using ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry and other techniques to help us find the remains of the Battle of Baltimore’s Eastern Defensive Line for We Dig Hampstead Hill.
With M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in archeological prospection from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, Dr. Horsley established Horsley Archaeological Prospection, LLC, in 2008 and has rapidly become one of the most sought after consultants in eastern North America. The geophysical survey techniques he employs provide a non-invasive method to identify buried features, which can range from human burials to historic and prehistoric fortifications.
Please join us for light refreshments, an introduction to the Searching for the War of 1812 project by Dr. John Bedell, Louis Berger Group, and a show-and-tell on Hampstead Hill with Dr. Tim Horsley. Registration is not required for this free informal program.