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This category contains 43 posts

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, [...]

Lizette Woodworth Reese and the Poetry of Spring

Lizette Woodworth Reese was one of the most beloved poets to live and write in Baltimore. Her crisp but lyrical poems captured the beauty of the city and her beloved Waverly neighborhood. Her work was deep and insightful but never overwrought or overly sentimental. It frequently drew comparison to the simple but elegant work of [...]

“The Same Religious Persuasion of the Children”: Catholics and the Female Humane Association Charity School of Baltimore, 1800–1834

In 1826, when artist J. Wattles painted Anne Owen Tiernan’s portrait, he saw a woman with wide-set eyes under arched brows, high cheek bones, a deep bow in her upper lip, and silver streaks in the dark hair she had tucked neatly under a cap and tied beneath her full chin—and he captured a hint [...]

Life as a Fellow in the MdHS Library: Studying the Christiana Resistance

This is the first in a series of posts by Maryland Historical Society fellows which highlight their experiences researching the MdHS library and their varied and exciting historical research. The Lord Baltimore Fellowship promotes scholarship in Maryland history and culture through research in the MdHS library collections. To read more about this opportunity and how to [...]

Generations a Slave: Unlawful Bondage and Charles Carroll of Carrollton

This week’s post is a re-blog of a New York City Historical Society post that originally appeared January 15, 2014.  All images are from the collection of the New York Historical Society. You can read the original post here. Challenges to the legality of bondage, shown in acclaimed director Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years a Slave—which [...]

“The World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum:” Memorial Stadium, Part II

(This is the second part of a two part series. The first part was posted on December 11, 2014.) Oriole Park’s fiery end in 1944 provided a much needed revenue source for Baltimore’s Venable Stadium. The project had become an expensive city-wide joke. The stadium had become known as the city’s “White Elephant.” Venable failed [...]

Unearthing the Calverts: The Search for the State’s Seminal Documents

The story of how the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) acquired the papers of the state’s founding family is not well known. In fact it isn’t even a singular story. Simply preparing this piece about the collection unearthed a tale that highlights shaky provenance, the concept of authenticity in an archive, and the importance of institutional [...]

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