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mdhslibrarydept has written 90 posts for underbelly

John Niernsee: Architect, Engineer and Surveyor

John Rudolph Niernsee (1814-1885) was one of Baltimore’s most prolific and successful architects. Over the course of his nearly 50 year career he contributed to the designs of more than 150 homes, churches, commercial and public buildings and railroad stations including Camden Station, the Greenmount Cemetery Chapel, the Carrollton Hotel, Maryland Jockey Club Clubhouse, and Grace [...]

Here at Last He is Happy: The Death and Burial of Edgar Allan Poe

“There are some secrets that do not permit themselves to be told.” –Edgar Allan Poe, “The Man of the Crowd,” 1840 The mysterious death of writer Edgar Allan Poe still haunts and fascinates his fans and biographers. The facts of his untimely passing in 1849 have been obscured and confused since he was found barely [...]

When Maryland Almost Got Philadelphia: The Remarkable Story of the Mason-Dixon Line

It takes a shrewd fellow indeed to persuade the King of England to grant him a charter to all the land in the New World between the colonies of Maryland and New York. When Quaker William Penn II did so, he became the founder of the colony of Pennsylvania in March 1681—thereby securing repayment of [...]

Maryland on Film II: Free Fall/Bird Flu edition

Choo! We think our birds have the flu. Neither the O’s nor the Ravens can catch a break lately, so why not spend Saturday watching free movies, eating free popcorn, perusing a massive book sale, and pretending sports don’t exist? Here’s a small but timely sample of what you can expect: In 2013, the National [...]

The entire Julius Anderson Photograph Collection is now online

  In order to raise awareness of our amazing photograph collections, the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society has entered into a partnership with our neighbors at Digital Maryland, a collaborative, statewide digitization program headquartered at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The first project of the new partnership was to digitize an entire [...]

Baltimore’s Wrestling Superfans

Long-time fans of professional wrestling will remember the sport’s golden age—the ’80s—when stars such as Dusty Rhodes, Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, Ivan and Nikita Koloff, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and many more entertained cities up and down the East Coast. The non-televised “house shows” were the big money earners in those days, and the Baltimore [...]

E.J. Gallagher: Builder of Lifetime Homes

In the first decades of the twentieth century Baltimore saw a boom in rowhouse building that came to be dominated by just a handful of builders. One of these developers was Edward Joseph Gallagher, the son of Irish immigrants, whose most successful and well-known creation, Ednor Gardens, became a model for developments throughout Baltimore.(1) While [...]

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte – The Woman I Have Come to Know

Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte was just another name to me when I arrived at MdHS in 2012 as a volunteer curatorial assistant.  Since that time I have come to know her intimately—not as the celebrity she was, but as a real-life woman. I first got to know Elizabeth (she never referred to herself as “Betsy”) [...]

“A Somewhat Noted Controversialist, of Baltimore”: The Reform Career of the Reverend Andrew B. Cross, 1810-1889

Andrew Boyd Cross was a strongly polarizing figure in the divisive public issues confronting the United States, the state of Maryland, and the city of Baltimore in the nineteenth century. Following his death in 1889, his alma mater Princeton Theological Seminary eulogized Cross in its annual alumni report: “He was a man of decided character, [...]

Designing the Washington Monument

This Independence Day weekend, Baltimore celebrates the rededication of its most recognizable landmark, the Washington Monument. The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy is hosting the Monumental Bicentennial Celebration on Saturday, July 4th, a festival to honor the reopening of the nation’s first memorial to George Washington. The monument has been closed to visitors since 2010, when [...]

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