Wayne's Guide to Talks, Walks, and Tours of Baltimore
B&O Railroad Museum
Civil War Sesquicentennial
Black History
War of 1812 Bicentennial
Spring / Fall Courses
Enoch Pratt Free Library Programs
Baltimore City Historical Society
Maryland Historical Society
This Week in Baltimore's History


Can you name and locate this famous Baltimore landmark that will celebrate its 200th anniversary this year?  The answer is at the end of the page.


This website is an on-going list of walks, talks, and tours that relate to Baltimore history and architecture.  The site was created for the benefit of my students, friends, and colleagues who often inquire about upcoming events. I update the site every week.   My e-mail address is: wayne.schaumburg@gmail.com .  Please feel free to comment or make suggestions.


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Spring Semester Courses on Baltimore History and Architecture

  • Johns Hopkins University  --  Odyssey Program
  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University
  • Roland Park Country School 

See the tab to the left:  Spring / Fall Courses








Pikesville Senior Center  -  Baltimore History Series

Friday's from February to May at 1 p.m.  --  Baltimore historian and educator Wayne R. Schaumburg will present a series of four illustrated talks on the city's history.  The programs are free and open to the public.  Pikesville Senior Center is located at 1301    Reisterstown Road.  For more information, call 410-887-1245.

  • Friday, April 25th:  History of Mt. Vernon Place:  Baltimore's "Front Parlor"
  • Friday, May 28th:  Lost Baltimore Landmarks:  Gone But Not Forgotten       



It's More Than History!  City Hall Lunchtime Lecture Series  

Fridays, noon to 1 p.m. in the Board of Estimates Room of City Hall. The lectures are free and open to the public although i.d. is needed to enter City Hall. Participants are invited to bring their lunch. Topics for April include:

  • April 11th:  Walking Tour:  The Development of City Hall Plaza -- CHAP's Eric Holcomb will discuss the history of the area due-east of City Hall.  The original plans for a "Government Center" were developed after the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 but were never fully realized.  The tour begins at noon outside of the main entrance of City Hall, weather permitting.
  • April 25th:  "Rediscovering Baltimore's Forgotten Movie Theaters" --  Baltimore Sun photographer Amy Davis will give an illustrated talk on her forthcoming book entitled Flickering Treasures which will celebrate the golden age of movie theaters in Baltimore, many of which are gone but definitely not forgotten.




Jubilee Baltimore  --  Walking Tours

  • Mt. Vernon:  Turnaround in Baltimore's Greatest Historic Neighborhood -- Saturday, May 3rd from 10 a.m. to noon.  The tour begins at 802 North Charles Street. 
  • Hampden:  Miracles, On and Off, 34th Street  --  Saturday, June 7th from 10 a.m. to noon.  The tour begins at the Stieff Silver Building at 800 Wyman Park Drive.

Both tours are free but registration is required. Please RSVP to talya@jubileebaltimore.org.  

Jubilee Baltimore is a non-profit developer and neighborhood revitalization organization helping the people of Baltimore to build safe, stable, desirable, mixed-income neighborhoods through affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization.




  Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Opening 

Thursday, March 27th,  11:30 a.m. at the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library  -  The public is invited to attend the opening of the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball.  The Museum is named after the late Bert" Simmons, who played for the legendary Baltimore Elite Giants in the 1950s. There will be a special ceremony and ribbon cutting attended by Negro League players and local dignitaries.  The museum includes displays on all three floors of the Owings Mills branch, with rotating displays featuring many historical items telling the story of the Negro Leagues in Maryland.  The Owings Mills branch is located at 10302 Grand Central Avenue.  For more information, call 410-887-2092. 




Baltimore City Historical Society  --  History Evenings

Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in the Village Learning Center located at 2521 St. Paul Street (just north of 25th Street) -- This popular lecture series returns for its fifth year.  The monthly programs are free and open to the public, and preceded by a reception that begins at 7 p.m. 

  • April 17th:  Tom Hollowak will look at Baltimore's Polish community in a talk entitled:  "Researching Maryland's Polonia:  Challenges and Rewards."  
  • May 15th:  Johns Hopkins, executive director of Baltimore Heritage, will discuss the city's struggle to maintain its historic structures such as the Peale Museum, Shot Tower, and Mencken House in a talk entitled "Baltimore's Historic Places:  Now What?"  
  • June 19th:  Dr. David Terry, professor of history at Morgan State University, will focus on race relations in "Tinged With Hostility:  Competing Agendas and Social Justice Reform in Baltimore, 1930-1950.

For more information, visit www.historicbaltimore.org or call 410-685-3750, ext.379.




Enoch Pratt Free Library Programs 

  • Book Talk -- Thursday, April 17th at 7 p.m.  in the Wheeler Auditorium of the Central Library -- Richard Striner and Melissa Blair will discuss their new book entitled "Washington and Baltimore Art Deco:  A Design History of Neighboring Cities."  The book includes the most significant examples in both cities along with those buildings that are no longer standing.  The program is free and open to the public.  The Central Library is located at 400 Cathedral Street.  For more information, call 410-396-5430.
  • This Week in the Civil War -- Follow the Civil War week by week with scanned newspaper clippings from the Central Library's Periodicals Department. The link is: www.prattlibrary.org/locations/periodicals/index.aspx



Baltimore Heritage  --  Neighborhood Walking Tours

Saturdays during April and May from 10 a.m. to noon  $  Reservations are strongly encouraged as space is limited. For more information and registration,  call 410-332-9992 or visit www.baltimoreheritage.org/tours.

  • April 19th - Barclay - Revitalization in the Making
  • April 26th - Woodberry - Country Living With City Convenience
  • May 3rd - Federal Hill - The Neighborhood That Has Seen It All
  • May 10th - Downtown's Open Spaces - Parks, Plazas, and Gathering Places
  • May 17th - Charles Village - From Country Estate to Eclectic Community     




Historic Homewood House Exhibit

Through May 25th:  A Tale of Two Houses:  Homewood, Clifton and Historic Preservation  Built as country houses in the opening years of the nineteenth century, Homewood and Clifton both tell fascinating stories about some of Baltimore’s first families. The estates are related through their mutual association with famed philanthropist Johns Hopkins: Clifton was his country residence from 1838 to 1873, yet it was Homewood, that would become the location for the university nearly thirty years later. Curated by students from Johns Hopkins University, this exhibition of photographs, maps, manuscripts, furniture, and objects related to the Carroll, Thompson, Hopkins, Wyman, and Keyser families weaves side-by-side histories of the houses over three centuries and explores their different circumstances today. Homewood House is located at 3400 North Charles Street on the campus of Hopkins University.  For more information, call 410-516-5589.



 Maryland Historical Society - Betsy Patterson Exhibit

  • Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and the Quest for an Imperial Legacy -- $ -- Known as "the Notorious Belle of Baltimore," the socialite and landowner Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was an important female figure in 1812 society. As a gorgeous 18-year old, Betsy set the gossipmongers all atwitter with her revealing empire dresses at local society events. Her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte's younger brother Jerome became an international drama. Even at ninety-four, Betsy was still making news as one of America's richest women.

    On view
    through June 9, 2014, the "Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy" exhibit marks the first time the Maryland Historical Society has featured an exhibition exclusively devoted to a historical female figure. This exhibition includes silver, porcelain, paintings, textiles, jewelry, manuscripts and furniture associated with Elizabeth and her descendants .In total, more than 100 objects will be on view in the exhibition.

The Maryland Historical Scoiety is located at 201 West Monument Street. for more information, call 410-685-3750.




War of 1812 Bicentennial

Beginning in June, 2012, Baltimore and Maryland will celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Events will culminate in September, 2014 with the celebration of Baltimore's defense against the 1814 British attack. To learn more about Baltimore and the War of 1812, visit www.starspangled200.org. For information about upcoming bicentenial events, visit www.starspangled200.com.

Other links to explore:

  • Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
  • Baltimore National Heritage Area
  • Eastern Shore 1812 Consortium
  • Fort McHenry
  • Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
  • www.upperbay1812.com - Covers the upper Chesapeake Bay region in the war; includes timeline, notable people, sites of interest, and bicentennial events
  • www.1812music.org - created by Dr. David Hildebrand and the colonial Music Institute; includes music from the period of the war
  • www.starspangledtrail.net - excellent site that ties in with the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail 



Maryland Historical Society - War of 1812 Exhibit -Through June, 2015  Entitled In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland During the War of 1812, this exhibit retells the dramatic story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake region through displays, a gallery devoted to the defenders of Baltimore, and more than 100 artifacts including the original Star-Spangled Banner manuscript. The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 West Monument Street just west of Park Avenue. For more information, call 410-685-3750.




 Star-Spangled Banner Flag House -- New Exhibit

"Family of Flagmakers:  The Women Who Created the Star-Spangled Banner" is the newest exhibit for the Museum.   $   Family of Flagmakers tells the story of Mary Pickersgill, the woman who created the Star-Spangled Banner, her family and her household. It is the first exhibit in history to focus on this exceptional woman's life and her incredible achievement: the creation of the flag that inspired our American National Anthem. The exhibit invites visitors to experience different aspects of Mary's life and the events surrounding the creation of the famous flag. It will feature many one-of-a-kind objects from the Flag House collection: the original receipt for the Star-Spangled Banner, on display for the first time in decades; the Lightner drum, carried by drummer boy Henry Lightner, who sounded the alarm when the British attacked Fort McHenry; and original fragments of the Star-Spangled Banner, cut from the awe-inspiring 30 x 42 foot flag.  The Flag House is located at 844 East Pratt Street.  For more information, call 410-837-1793.  




Star-Spangled "Forever" Stamp Issued by the U.S. Post Office on March 3rd:


Forever Stamp





War of 1812:   Interpretive Resources 

StarSpangled200.com Interactive Websites


Both  Key Cam and War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield Maps were designed to promote, educate, and inform a wide audience about Francis Scott Key, significant War of 1812 battles in the Chesapeake region and the upcoming 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

 KeyCam.com, has four web cams that are fixed on Fort McHenry in Baltimore and is designed to give the same view that 200 years ago inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to what would later become our National Anthem.

The War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield Maps, www.1812battles.com, feature cutting-edge maps that through animation highlight four significant battles of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: the Battle of St. Leonard Creek, the Battle of Bladensburg, the Battle of North Point and the Battle of Baltimore. Each map provides an historical context of the battle, along with images, artwork, and video highlighting the history of each battle. Users can experience the battles in the Chesapeake Bay landscape as it was during the War of 1812 or toggle to the modern landscape of 2014.




 Civil War Sesquicentennial

  • B&O Railroad Museum - Civil War Exhibit - $ The War Came By Train is a four year exhibit celebrating the role of the B&O Railroad in the Civil War. It will include the largest collection of Civil War railroad equipment in the world along with significant military and personal artifacts that will change annually. The "1863" segment includes the 150th anniversary of West Virginia's statehood; the involvement of the B&O in the creation, design, and use of armored railroad cars; the Confederate raid on the B&O in western Maryland; and the role played by the railroad in the Battle of Chattanooga. For more information, call 410-752-2490. The B&O Museum is located at 901 W. Pratt Street.
  • Maryland Historical Society: Civil War Exhibit - Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War commemorates the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. $ The largest Civil War exhibit in the museum's 167-year history will tell the story of the conflict in three parts: the romantic war, the real war, and the long reunion. The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street just west of Park Avenue. For more information, call 410-685-3750 or visit www.mdhs.org.
  • Baltimore Civil War Museum - Located in the old President Street Station that was built in the 1850s, the museum tells the story of Baltimore's role in the Civil War. The museum is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The museum is located at 601 South President Street. For more information, call 443-220-0290.




Green Mount Cemetery Walking Tours

The next set of walking tours through historic Green Mount Cemetery will take place on Saturday, May 3, 10, 17, 24 - $ - Opened in 1839 as the city's first urban-rural cemetery, Green Mount is the final resting place of Johns Hopkins, Enoch Pratt, William and Henry Walters, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, Theodore McKeldin, John Wilkes Booth, Betsy Patterson, Walter Lord, and other famous Marylanders. Tours begin at 9:30 a.m. from the main gate located at Greenmount Avenue and East Oliver Street, and are led by Baltimore historian Wayne R. Schaumburg. Reservations are required. For more information on the tours, call 410-256-2180 or email wayne.schaumburg@gmail.com.




New Books on Baltimore History and Architecture for 2014

David Shackelford, A Journey From Roads to Rails:  The Baltimore and Frederick Turnpike, the B&O Railroad, and Ellicott Mills, Maryland, 1800-1860 (See Fred Rasmussen's article in the Baltimore Sun from Friday, January 24th)


Geoffrey Footner, A Bungled Affair, Britain's War on the United States, the Final Years 1814-1815


Carol Berkin, Wondrous Beauty, Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

E. Fuller Torrey,  The Martyrdom of Abolitionist Charles Torrey  (See the article by Mary Carol McCauley in The Sun from Sunday, February 23rd)

Richard Striner and Melissa Blair, Washington and Baltimore Art Deco:  A Design History of Neighboring Cities

Lucas and Julie Schabletsky, Archeology of the War of 1812 (due out in June, 2014)






This Week in Baltimore's History:


April 9th: 1880:  Engine House #13 at Fremont and Myrtle Avenues was updated with the substitution of poles for stairways, to be used by the men when the fire alarm sounded. Also stalls were arranged so that horses faced the engines.

-----------:  1910:  The Patterson Park Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library opened for business.  

April 10th: 1847:  To cover the war with Mexico, the Sun newspaper had established its own Overland Express using riders, stages, railroads, and steamboats.  War from New Orleans arrived in six days.  On this date, the Sun published the news of the American victory at Vera Cruz.  Turns out the Sun published the story before the War Department's  official courier was able to deliver the information to President Polk!

April 11th:  1885:  Charles Weith and Henry Merrick were each fined $5 and court costs for speeding on Boundary Avenue (North Avenue today) beyond the rate of 6 mph.

-------------:  1961:  More than 40,000 people turned out for the Orioles opening day parade downtown.  The celebration featured floats, bands, Oriole players riding in convertibles, and exotic dancer Blaze Starr, who clad in a mink coat, threw roses to the crowd!  (Now that's classy! lol)


April 12th:  1861:  A divided city, Baltimore received the news from Charleston, South Carolina of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter.

------------:  1988:  After losing their first six games of the season, Orioles' manager Cal Ripken, Sr. was fired and replaced by Frank Robinson.  However, the Orioles went on to lose 21 straight before finally winning their first game of the season.  

April 13th: 1819:  A group of Baltimore gentlemen met at Thomas Wildey's house in Fell's Point to organize the first Odd Fellows Lodge in the United States.  A monument to Wildey (1865) is located on Broadway near Fayette Street.  Wildey is buried at Green Mount Cemetery.   

April 14th: 1871:   Colonel Jerome Bonaparte, son of the late Jerome Bonaparte (Napoleon's youngest brother) and Betsy Patterson, arrived from Paris with news of the Paris commune uprising.  He was convinced that the rebellion would be suppressed and the Napoleonic dynasty would eventually be restored.  Turns out, he was wrong.

April 15th:  1912:  Based on an early wireless dispatch, The Evening Sun reported that "ALL TITANIC PASSENGERS ARE SAFE;  TRANSFERRED TO LIFEBOATS AT SEA."

------------:  1954: Major league baseball returned to Baltimore!  Before a crowd of over 46,000 people, the Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on a home run by catcher Clint Courtney.  Vice President Richard Nixon threw out the first ball of the game.  


Website updated on 4/09/2014



Photo Answer: Located on Holliday Street just a half-block north of City Hall, the Peale Museum opened in August, 1814 just one month prior to the Battle of Baltimore and the defense of Fort McHenry.  Designed by Robert Carey Long, Sr., it is the first purpose-built museum in the United States. Operated by portrait painter Rembrandt Peale, the museum displayed collections of fossils as well as portraits of many of the country's "founding fathers."  Admission to "Peale's Baltimore Museum and Gallery of Paintings" was 25 cents. In 1815, Peale was commissioned by the city to do the portraits of the heroes of Baltimore's defense: General Sam Smith, General John Stricker, Colonel George Armistead, and Captain Joshua Barney.  In addition, the museum displayed the famous Star-Spangled Banner flag for a period of time.  In 1816, Rembrandt Peale conducted a demonstration at the museum on gas lighting, and the following year, Baltimore became the first U.S. city illuminate its streets with gas lights.

After the museum closed in 1830, the building served as Baltimore's City Hall  until 1875 when the current hall was erected.  After that time, the building had various uses including as Colored Primary School #1, the first African American public school in Baltimore (see the photo below).  In 1931, the building became the Municipal Museum of Baltimore and later the Baltimore City Life Museums documenting the history of Baltimore. In 1985, the BCLM assembled a landmark exhibition on the history of the Baltimore Rowhouse (see the photo below).  The museum closed in 1997 and currently the building is vacant but awaiting the next chapter in its service to Baltimore.