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Traveling through History: Stories of the Northern Central Railroad during the Civil War

The Northern Central Railroad Trail (NCR) in the GunpowderFallsState Park is a popular destination in northern Baltimore County for those who enjoy the great outdoors. Walkers, runners, and horseback riders enjoy the trail year-round; kayakers and tubers paddle and splash through the river in the warmer months; anglers and fly fishermen bask in the GunpowderRiver [...]

Mariano Cubí y Soler: The legacy of a pioneer Spanish linguist in Maryland

Earlier this year I started researching into the life and works of Professor Mariano Cubí y Soler as a Lord Baltimore Fellow at the Maryland Historical Society. During this time, I have learned a great deal about professor Cubí y Soler, an innovative and distinguished scholar in the nineteenth century in the United States, Latin [...]

Staff Favorites: “President Lincoln’s head rested on this wall paper . . . April 14, 1865”

So wrote Henry Furgeson, beneath the scrap of burgundy and rose pattern wallpaper found in the Mary Ann Booth collection (MS 2125) during the research for the MdHS Civil War exhibit in 2011. This decorative paper lined the walls of Lincoln’s box at Ford’s Theatre the night John Wilkes Booth assassinated the sixteenth president of [...]

Staff Favorites: Thomas Boyle’s Proclamation

The following tale is based on historic fact with a dose of urban legend…. On a dark and stormy night (no, not really) in July 1814, Captain Boyle, a highly successful privateer and commander of the Baltimore-built ship Chasseur, set sail on a cruise across the Atlantic to “take prizes” –  to attack enemy merchant [...]

The Oldest Known Photographs of Ellicott City

Institutional memory is a vital component of any organization. Today, with increasing turnover rates and the decreasing probability of employees remaining with one employer for the duration of their working career, that memory is a dwindling resource. In an archive, where an in depth knowledge of objects that may number into the millions can only [...]

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.: Maryland’s Fair Housing Pioneer

Baltimore was a deeply troubled city after World War II. Greedy real estate agents created fear and panic among white homeowners by persuading them that their houses were about to lose their value, and that they would be ruined financially.  White families evacuated their urban neighborhoods, to be replaced by black residents. Blockbusting and racial [...]

Baltimore Sanitary Fair Sesquicentennial

The 1864 Baltimore Sanitary Fair (April 18-April 30) provided the large-scale vehicle for Maryland’s Unionist women to bring together both of their benevolent and patriotic impulses. Other cities across the Union, such as Chicago and Boston, previously coordinated such events. Proceeds from these affairs swelled the coffers of the U.S. Christian and the U.S. Sanitary [...]

“Unwearied in Their Attentions”: Secessionist Women and the 1866 Southern Relief Fair

The Civil War deeply divided Baltimoreans along philosophical and sectional lines. The Secessionist women of Baltimore, those whose sympathies lay with the South, were often singled out for their devotion to the Confederacy. They supported their husbands and brothers in gray throughout the war, often risking arrest, imprisonment, or banishment. During the post-war era, the [...]

Lost City: Baltimore’s Grand Theatres

What happened to the movie business in Baltimore? Between 1900 and 1970 about 235 movie theatres in Baltimore opened and closed. The technological advances that created this once popular form of entertainment also contributed to its demise, as television and later the internet allowed viewers to stay at home to watch a wide variety of program [...]

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 [...]

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