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mdhslibrarydept

mdhslibrarydept has written 108 posts for underbelly

The Paint and Powder Club – “The Oldest Club of its Kind”

The Paint and Powder Club, established in 1893 as a philanthropic and social club, is dedicated both to camaraderie among its members and assistance to local charities from monies raised with theater productions.  Social events are held throughout the year as the members prepare the coming theatrical presentations. It was founded as a men’s club [...]

Lost City: Local Taverns and Big Breweries

Back in the days when Baltimore was a manufacturing center, neighborhood bars were gathering places for the blue collar workers that worked in the industries. Their thirsts were quenched by the local breweries that produced beer for working men and women and even some high quality brews. Many of these neighborhood taverns were destroyed in [...]

The Chocolate Dandies: Blake and Sissle’s other Musical

On April 28 of this year, Baltimore born ragtime and jazz pianist and composer Eubie Blake and his partner Noble Sissles’ most famous work, Shuffle Along, will open on Broadway, nearly 100 years after its initial run. In 1921, Shuffle Along transformed Broadway and left a far reaching cultural and social legacy. But the pair also produced [...]

“White Enough to Pass”: Uncovering the story of John Wesley Gibson

“John Wesley Gibson represented himself to be not only the slave, but also the son of William Y. Day, of Taylor’s Mount, Maryland…” This is the opening statement of a slave narrative that tells the story of a man who chose freedom in a place and time that allowed slavery — Maryland in the 1850s. [...]

Lost City: Baltimore’s Vibrant Automobile Show Rooms

In early 1900s Baltimore, Mt. Royal Avenue looked quite different from the land originally developed in 1881 carved from portions of Oliver and Johns Streets. The advent of the automobile began to change the face of America and Baltimore. Beginning in 1899 automobile showrooms began to sprout up on Mt.Royal Avenue. Brands like Locomobile, Peerless, [...]

Thomas Poppleton’s Surveyor’s Map that Made Baltimore, 1822

Between 1776 and 1820 Baltimore grew like kudzu on a riverbank.  Geographically three settlements, the original town, Old town and Fell’s Point were legally merged into one and the official boundaries of the resulting BaltimoreCity (incorporated in 1797) were expanded to encompass 14.71 square miles by legislative fiat in 1817.  In that period the resident [...]

Lost No More: Recovering Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s “Forest Leaves”

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s first book of poems had been considered lost to history for well over one hundred years. U-Mass graduate student Johanna Ortner shares the tale of recovering this incredibly valuable text–reblogged from Common-Place.org My home is where eternal snow Round threat’ning craters sleep, Where streamlets murmur soft and low And playful cascades leap. [...]

A sneak preview of “Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan (1947–1955)”

Underbelly presents this sneak preview ahead of the opening of the Maryland Historical Society’s popular traveling exhibition of the work of photojournalist Paul Henderson. Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan (1947–1955) runs February 4 through March 27, 2016 at Morgan University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art and is free and open to the public. It’s thanks to Paul [...]

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 [...]

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