Finally, we are pleased to celebrate the continued stewardship of Patterson Park’s War of 1812 history with the Friends of Patterson Park. As we searched for buried fortifications during our archaeological dig in the park last spring, the Friends led an effort to restore Observatory Hill’s row of memorial cannons. It is a year later, the restoration is complete and the cannons are back in park! Join us on September 13 to celebrate Defender’s Day and the the rededication of this iconic memorial including a Battle of Baltimore tour up the Observatory led by Eli Pousson.
Over the next few days, we are excited to be celebrating African American history in Fell’s Point in partnership with the Preservation Society. Tomorrow evening, please come out for a free lecture with historian and activist Dr. Helena Hicks. This Sunday, we are looking forward to a walking tour of African American heritage in Fell’s Point covering everything from the famed escape of Frederick Douglass to little-known organizing efforts of African American drydock workers. The walk is led by Louis Fields a tireless advocate for black history in Maryland who was the driving force behind Maryland’s Harriet Tubman Day.
If you are interested in taking a look at the artifacts from last year’s dig in Patterson Park, please join us next Thursday evening on Observatory Hill for a pop-up exhibit on Baltimore archeology. Organized in partnership with the Archeological Society of Maryland, this informal one-day only exhibit will let you take a close look at artifacts from Carroll Park, Hampden, Herring Run, and Texas, Maryland and meet local archeologists.
Finally, we are excited to announce our newest Behind the Scenes tour of the lovely Gramercy Mansion and Gardens (located near Stevenson University). Built in 1902, this Tudor-style home started as a wedding present from railroad president Alexander Johnston Cassatt to his daughter Eliza. The building took an unexpected turn in the 1950s when it became home to the Koinonia Foundation – a predecessor of the Peace Corps. Sign up soon for this tour with Ann Pomykala, the mansion’s owner and historian at heart – we expect the tour will fill up fast!
This spring weather is perfect for picnics, bike rides, and, of course, archeology! Next week, you can find Baltimore Heritage in Patterson Park for Archeologists and Artifacts—a pop-up exhibit showcasing archeological collections from Carroll Park, Patterson Park, Herring Run Park, and the forgotten town of Texas, Maryland.
If you came out for a site tour during our Hampstead Hill dig last spring, please join us to see the artifacts we recovered from the Battle of Baltimore, the Civil War and beyond. If you volunteered on our 2014 dig and can’t wait to get your hands dirty again, this informal social is the perfect opportunity to meet local archeologists and learn more about projects where volunteers can get involved.
Next month, we are continuing our archeological investigation in Herring Run Park in partnership with the Northeast Baltimore History Roundtable, Friends of Herring Run Parks and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. Initial research last fall uncovered some exciting finds that help reveal the early history of Eutaw Farm – better known today as the area of Hall Springs. A generous grant from Preservation Maryland’s Heritage Fund program is supporting our return to the park in May for a week-long investigation led by local archeologists Jason Shellenhamer and Lisa Kraus.
Looking for a fun activity on a Sunday morning? Friends and family coming to town and you’d like to show off the best of Baltimore? Join us for a Monumental City tour!
We are expanding our Looking Up Downtown tours at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market walking tours into a new tour series highlighting the history and architecture of four iconic Baltimore landmarks & neighborhoods almost every Sunday morning from April to November.
First Sunday – Downtown Landmarks and Lions
Come with us to find a piece of the Berlin Wall, a War of 1812 cannon ball mounted on a Conestoga wagon hitch, and over a hundred lions looking down at you from the tops of Baltimore’s buildings.
Second Sunday – Jonestown and the Shot Tower
Walk with us just a few blocks east of the Baltimore Farmer’s Market to explore one of the oldest neighborhood’s in the city and get inside the famed Phoenix Shot Tower—the tallest structure in the United States until 1846.
Third Sunday – Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument
Take a short stroll around Mount Vernon Place to hear the stories of local residents including the owners of the B&O Railroad, the founders of the Walters Art Museum, and the wealthy owners of Mercantile Bank. End the tour with a climb up the newly renovated 200-year old Washington Monument! This tour begins on July 19.
Fourth Sunday – Battle of Baltimore and the Patterson Park Observatory
Climb the stairs of the Patterson Park Observatory and enjoy an unparalleled panoramic view revealing the fortifications where Baltimore defeated the British during the War of 1812, the home of the original butcher on Butcher’s Hill, and Patterson Park’s rich history from the early 19th century up through the present day.
We hope you can come out and join us for all four tours this year. Find more details or register on our events calendar.
Last month, the We Dig Hampstead Hill project team joined in the celebration of the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore. Over 200 visitors stopped by our table in Patterson Park to take a close look at selected artifacts and ask questions from the archeologists. This Saturday, we are hosting archeologist Dr. John Bedell for a lecture and discussion at the Southeast Anchor Branch Library where local residents, volunteers, and others can learn more about the archeology of the site.
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 archeological study, and discuss the role of archeology in public history, historic preservation, and community memory. We also want to listen your thoughts on what how we can continue to protect the archeological resources in the park and continue our successful heritage education programs with local schools next spring.
Please let us know if you are interested in hosting a talk on the War of 1812 in Patterson Park at an upcoming community meeting! Local historians, students and scholars interested in the War of 1812 may also want to join our Battle of Baltimore Wikipedia Workshop & Edit-a-thon earlier in the afternoon on October 25.