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Lara Westwood

This tag is associated with 8 posts

A Magical History Tour of Maryland

Almost one hundred years ago, the world famous magician Harry Houdini dazzled a crowd of 50,000 with one of his signature death-defying escape acts. On April 26, 1916, Houdini freed himself from a straitjacket as he dangled upside down, sixty feet above the sidewalk from a cornice of The Sun building in Baltimore. City police [...]

A Mystery Admirer

In this Valentine’s Day poem, Cupid  promises the holiday’s namesake patron, St. Valentine, that he will search high and low for a most worthy maid to strike with his arrows of love. He comes upon Baltimore City, “Which though for a City ‘tis somewhat slow…Is renowned for its maidens fair,” where he discovers the incomparable Nannie [...]

A Hutzler’s Christmas

The holiday season at Hutzler’s, the famed Maryland department store chain, was always merry and bright. Each location was trimmed to the nines—bedecked with garland, pine trees, and tinsel, with Santa Claus visiting each day to hear the Christmas wishes of all the good little girls and boys of Maryland. Some lucky kids even got [...]

A Safe Harbor: The Port Mission in Fells Point

The Southeastern Baltimore neighborhood of Fells Point was, until recent years, a rough and tumble sort of place – a sharp contrast to what is today an upscale and historically charming part of the city. Sailors, arriving from all corners of the world, crowded into rowdy saloons and bawdy boarding houses while awaiting the next [...]

Double, Double Toil and Trouble: Witchcraft in Maryland

The perilous waters of the Atlantic Ocean condemned Maryland’s first witch. The Charity of London set sail for the New World in 1654 from England with her crew and small group of passengers looking to settle the new colony. Mary Lee was one such passenger, but she never set foot on Maryland’s shores. Travelers knew [...]

The Velvet Kind: The Sweet Story of Hendlers Creamery

July in Maryland can be truly miserable. The temperature sizzles at over 100 degrees for days on end. Humidity weighs down the most ardent of breezes. Luckily for the sweaty masses, July is also National Ice Cream Month. So in honor of the vaunted occasion, here’s the scoop on the history of the frosty treat [...]

The Gypsy Queen of Baltimore*

  In 1904, Baltimore was buzzing with scandal – Jessie Key Habersham had disappeared again. This was not the first time that Habersham, the daughter of a Baltimore canned goods broker, had gone missing. The young debutante had once escaped to Europe for several months with family friends, before her father convinced her to return [...]

Down with Love: A Brief History of the Vinegar Valentine

While rummaging through our Valentine’s Day card collection in a search for long forgotten declarations of love and fidelity, an interesting style of valentine came to light. Among the lacy, pastel-toned confections, we discovered a group of amusing but mean-spirited notes, known as vinegar valentines. Jokesters during the Victorian era sent these less-than-loving valentines to [...]