Archive for the ‘History’ Category

I Found an Old Newspaper Article About the Baltimore Accent

March 28, 2014


I went to the latest Used Book Sale presented by the Smith College Club of Baltimore at the Timonium fairgrounds and picked up a copy of The Amiable Baltimoreans by Francis F. Beirne. This is one of many books I purchased there. When I got home and started looking through the book, I found an old musty newspaper clipping inside it. It doesn’t have the newspaper or date information, but it’s yellowed, brownish and old. I’m guessing by reading it that it dates to the 1950’s. It’s titled Is Balamerese Leginamint or Has it Gun to Roon? It’s about the the Baltimore accent and I thought I’d share it with yooze as it is written… (more…)


The Late Great Tolchester Beach Amusement Park

March 20, 2012

It was the day of the steamship on the Chesapeake Bay. Twenty-seven miles across the Bay from Baltimore, lay Tolchester Beach in Kent County, MD. In 1877 at Tolchester, an amusement park opened on ten acres of land. Though a somewhat primitive park—it included picnic grounds with tables, a few concessions, a bath house, a hand propelled merry-go-round, and a hand organ pulled by a goat. This was the beginning of the most popular beach resort along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, destined to provide entertainment and fond lifelong memories to millions of patrons during the next eighty-five years…


Our Victorian Feather Christmas Tree

December 22, 2011

Fran had a new Christmas project this year. She really wanted a table top Victorian feather Christmas tree, in addition to our large Christmas tree. After a lot of research, and locating Victorian Christmas ornaments—we now have a beautiful feather tree, which is also a piece of Christmas history. Feather Christmas trees were first created in Germany in the 1880’s or 1890’s… (more…)

Abraham Lincoln Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey

November 2, 2011

This year President Barack Obama is expected to pardon the Thanksgiving turkey before Thanksgiving. This Presidential tradition began in 1863 when a live turkey was delivered to the White House for the Lincoln family to feast on during the holidays. Abraham Lincoln’s 10 year old son, Tad, quickly befriended the bird and named him Jack. Tad fed Jack, and taught the bird to follow him around the White House grounds… (more…)

The Legend of Black Aggie

October 6, 2011

The legend of Black Aggie is a bizarre tale with many strange twists and turns. To some who grew up in the Baltimore area hearing the stories, Black Aggie conjured up an otherworldly vision of terror shrouded in dark mystery… (more…)

A Forgotten Historical Baltimore Building

September 4, 2011

Baltimore sure has its share of forgotten historical buildings, and this is one of them. Standing on the former property of Johns Hopkins in Clifton Park is a reminder of a bygone era. An often overlooked building and in disrepair, The Clifton Park Pony Barn was constructed in two phases. Looking like an old ranch building transported from New Mexico in the old west, it was built by the Parks Commission in 1898 as a stable and wagon barn… (more…)

A Grand Tour of Clifton Park

May 25, 2011

Clifton Park in Baltimore has a truly fascinating history. It all started when Johns Hopkins bought a 500 acre property at an auction in 1836 from Henry Thompson. At the time it was a working farm with a farmhouse. What he did with the farmhouse and property is amazing…


Al Capone’s Unusual Gift

April 29, 2011

The mobster Al Capone left a gift to Baltimore’s Union Memorial Hospital that you wouldn’t expect from America’s best known gangster and the single greatest symbol of the collapse of law and order in the United States during the 1920s Prohibition era… (more…)

A Portal Back in Time

April 14, 2011

On a recent Sunday Fran and I decided to take a drive out of the city on Belair Road for a little sight-seeing. It was a gray, overcast day—but there was little wind and the temperature was just right. As we headed into picturesque Baltimore County, Fran suggested we look for the Jericho Covered Bridge around Kingsville. It’s the last remaining covered bridge in Harford or Baltimore counties and crosses the Little Gunpowder Falls. So we turned down Jerusalem Road in Kingsville and meandered through the storybook farm country to find it… (more…)

Lincoln’s Off-Color Jokes

April 8, 2011

Abraham Lincoln is known for his ability to tell jokes and a funny story. In fact, it made him a celebrity when he lived in Sangamo Town, Illinois, as a young man supervising the construction of a flatboat. One resident said “he could make a cat laugh.” Lincoln’s humor was distinctly crude, and his lifelong fondness for off-color stories became legendary. When asked in 1859, “why do you not write out your stories and put them in a book,” Lincoln “drew himself up—fixed his face, as if a thousand dead carcusses…were shooting all their stench into his nostrils, and said ‘Such a book would stink like a thousand privies.’ ” Lincoln felt clean stories lacked fun, but favored stories that illustrated a point and disliked vulgarity for its own sake. Most of these off-color stories have been lost, as most people did not want to tarnish his image by relating them. Here are a few of them that I found… (more…)