Historic Homes Offer a Peek into the Past
Historic homes speak to us. Their corridors hold secrets of times past-stories of conflict, triumph and everyday life. Moving from room to room, we imagine what the residents of these dwellings must have seen: sunlight streaming through a window, children playing outside. But what was life really like for people who lived in centuries past? How did families gather, work and spend time together? How did people from different classes and backgrounds interact with each other - and how did life in Maryland reflect the tenor of American culture? In Baltimore, the past comes alive in our city's historic homes. Your day-long itinerary will take you from the grounds of Johns Hopkins University to historic Fell's Point.
Begin in Charles Village, home of Johns Hopkins University. The college owns two beautiful historic homes: Homewood Museum, and Evergreen Museum and Library. Homewood Museum, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1801 by Charles Carroll, Jr. The property was a wedding gift to Carroll, Jr. from his father, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a U.S. senator from Maryland and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. At Homewood Museum, your group will see one of the nation's finest examples of Federal-era architecture, along with beautifully restored furniture, ceramics and silver.
Evergreen - an exquisite mansion surrounded by 26 acres of manicured grounds - showcases the collection of the Garrett family, the wealthy Maryland clan whose patriarch, John W. Garrett, was president of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad Company. The Garretts' world-class collection includes Tiffany art glass, post-impressionist paintings and Asian decorative arts.
The elegance and history of the Garrett family continues in Baltimore's historic Mount Vernon neighborhood at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion. Located a few doors down from The Walters Art Museum, this late 19th century mansion was the home of Mrs. Mary Garrett. Mary's husband Robert Garrett was the son of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad president, John W. Garrett. Robert eventually succeeded his father as president of the B&O, and that year expansion and remodeling of the mansion began. Two distinguished architects, Stanford White and John Russell Pope, were instrumental in transforming the property. After Robert Garrett's death, Mrs. Garrett married Henry Barton Jacobs, hence the mansion's hyphenated moniker.
While opulence characterized the lifestyles of the city's wealthiest residents, another reality existed for many others in Baltimore during the 19th century. See another side of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad story by heading west to visit the Irish Shrine and Railroad Workers Museum. The Irish Shrine pays homage to the workers who helped to build the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Many Irish immigrants, to escape the ravages of the Great Famine in Ireland, came to Baltimore in the mid-19th century to work on the railroad. These two restored 1840s rowhomes faithfully recreate a typical Irish railroad worker's home.
After lunch, spend the afternoon completing your tour of Baltimore's historic homes by visiting Mount Clare, Carroll Mansion and Robert Long House. The Mount Clare Museum House is Baltimore's only pre-Revolutionary mansion and one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the state of Maryland. This National Historic Landmark was the home of Maryland legislator Charles Carroll, Barrister (another member of the Carroll clan) and features original family furnishings and exhibits on industry, slavery and Civil War history.
At Carroll Mansion, your group can take a guided tour of the winter residence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Constructed in 1811, the mansion offers a unique look at Baltimore history, along with art exhibits, programs and lectures.
End your tour of Baltimore's historic homes with a visit to the Robert Long House, located in Fell's Point. Robert Long was an entrepreneur who purchased the property for this home from Edward Fell, son of Fell's Point founder William Fell. Built around 1765, Robert Long House is Baltimore's oldest surviving urban residence.
Many sites require groups to make advanced reservations for tours and visits. Please contact each site before your group tour.
Plan your trip!
- The War Came By Train: American Civil War 150th Anniversary April 30, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- The Animated Orchestra March 8, 2014 | 11:00am - 11:00am
- Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War April 16, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland during the War of 1812 June 10, 2012 - December 31, 2014 | All Day
- Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause February 11, 2014 - September 1, 2014 | 10:00am - 5:00pm