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mdhslibrary

mdhslibrary has written 38 posts for underbelly

Masked Mystery

Last month we solved a longstanding photograph mystery that we never expected to solve, that is until we rolled up our sleeves and actually tried. Modern digitization technology, more precisely the ability to zoom deep into a photo or negative to see details previously unavailable to the naked eye, coupled with searchable newspaper databases make solving [...]

What’s the Point?

While writing a previous post that looked at the debate over the oldest house in Baltimore, a coworker introduced me to another longstanding Baltimore debate. After reading the post, my coworker gently chided me for the use of “Fell’s Point” rather than the correct “Fells Point.” Not being a native Marylander, I was unfamiliar with [...]

“To die is gain”: Memory and the U.S.-Mexican War in Maryland

On an auspicious afternoon in late September 1903, a crowd of Baltimoreans converged onto the intersection of Mount Royal Avenue and Lanvale Street to witness the symbolic-laced unveiling of the William H. Watson monument. The monument, erected by the Maryland Association of Veterans of the Mexican War, honored Marylanders who lost their lives during the U.S.-Mexican [...]

Conduit: Druid Lake and the Wall of Mud (1863 – 1871)

In 1863 the Baltimore City Council approved a $300,000 loan to construct a billion gallon capacity reservoir in the newly established Druid Hill Park. Though the new city waterworks project from Lake Roland to the Mount Royal Reservoir on the Jones Falls had just been completed, it had become apparent that the city’s water problems were far [...]

The Death of Sport

Among the many mysterious photographs in MdHS’s collections, two of an elephant stand out as particularly unsettling. Buried in the Subject Vertical File, an artificial collection that was compiled throughout the years, in the Photographs and Prints room is a folder labeled “Animals–Elephant–1898–Hanging.” In this folder rests two tattered and faded turn-of-the-century prints of an [...]

This Old(est) House

Half a block north of where Fell, Thames, and Ann Streets intersect just east of the heart of Fell’s Point, stands a nondescript rowhouse that, at first glance, has little to distinguish it from the other brick rowhouses in the neighborhood. But a closer look at 812 South Ann Street reveals a front facade that [...]

Sitting on Top of the World

When one thinks of arctic exploration, the state of Maryland does not immediately come to mind. But Maryland’s connection to the history of polar exploration is more than tenuous, as two of its native sons occupy prominent places on the list of travelers to the northernmost point of the earth. When Baltimorean Herbert Frisby flew [...]

So this is Christmas…

…and here are a few images of good cheer from the Maryland Historical Society’s collection of photographs. Happy Holidays!

Conduit: Mount Royal Reservoir and the Baltimore Waterworks,1857-1863

Since last month’s Hampden Reservoir post, I have taken more delight in my commute as I pass by Roosevelt Park, going to and returning from work via the Falls Road exit of the JFX; I can almost see the half moon shape of the reservoir on my left as I climb the hill approaching 36th Street. [...]

41st Annual Monument Lighting and MdHS Open House

Like so much of the City of Baltimore, the annual monument lighting bears the stamp of Mayor William Donald Schaefer. Schaefer, mayor from 1971 to 1987, got the inspiration for the idea following a trip to Indianapolis in 1972, when the beauty of the city’s monuments and statues aglow in holiday lights left him in [...]