Monday, December 21, 2009


Like with all the great communities in Baltimore, Pigtown is no different. When people here Pigtown most things that first pop into most minds are the running of the Pigs down Bayard St. However, Pigtown was much more then the running of the Pigs. Pigtown has a rich history unlike the other communities in Baltimore. Pigtown has the B&O Railroad, Mount Clare Mansion, and Housewerks and what about the bars and restaurants that are located within the boundaries of Pigtown and lastly there is the Historical Hollins Market. Pigtown went even so far as to change the communities name to Washington Village just to bring in a new set of people that would make help make Pigtown the place to go. But Pigtown was not let go, Pigtown stayed and the name stands as Washington Village/Pigtown. Pigtown will always be Pigtown to the residents that lived and worked in this neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Housewerks I did not know that Pigtown was so historical

After the 1888 gas company merger, Bayard Station continued to produce gas for a few more years before all processing moved to the Spring Garden site. By 1904, the Baltimore Gas Appliance Manufacturing Company had leased the former plant buildings to assemble the famed Oriole Stove; a fixture in many of Baltimore's kitchens. Over the years Consolidated maintained the Valve House for various purposes ranging from offices and record keeping facilities to classroom space. Period photographs show how the building changed over time: a vault was added after 1890, an addition enlarged the west wing, and its floor was lowered to accommodate a street-level entrance in the 1910s. In the 1920's a large motorized blower assembly was featured on the main floor before being modified again to teach apprentice gas fitters in the 1950's. Most of the Bayard Street Station was torn down by the mid-1960s, leaving only the Valve House and Retort House. Consolidated, now BGE, continued to hold the property surrounding the Valve House until the mid-1980s when it was sold into private hands and used as a photography studio over the next decade. We are delighted to become a part of this storied building's future, and are proud to say that Bayard Station is Housewerks' home.

Pigtown is much more then just the running of the pigs at pigtown festival

Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, America’s first common carrier, was chartered on February 28th 1827 by a group of Baltimore businessmen to ensure traffic would not be lost to the proposed Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Construction on July 4th 1828 with the laying of the first stone in a grand ceremony attended by the honorable Charles Carroll, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence. The early horse drawn rail lines were made of wood rails with iron straps laid upon stones. The first stone, now located in the B&O museum in Baltimore, contained a copy of the original charter. President John Quincy Adams, believing that canals where the way of the future, broke ground the same day at a ceremony for the C&O Canal. By the end of the 19th century the B&O had achieved almost 5,800 miles of track and connected Chicago and St. Louis to Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, and New York City. Depressions and hard times brought receivership of the B&O to the Pennsylvania Railroad on February 29th 1896. Improvements continued with a tunnel under the streets of Baltimore and new lines purchased. The US government took control of America's rail lines in 1917 during the First World War and left them severely weakened by 1920. The B&O however continued to grow and in 1927 acquired a 40 percent share in the Western Maryland Railway. The railroad celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1927 with two events, a private dinner in February and The Centenary Exhibition and Pageant of the Baltimore & Ohio in September. Some of the B&O's original locomotives and equipment were on hand as where replicas of the first steam engines, along side the latest in steam technology found on the B&O, Pennsylvania, and NYC. Total attendance for the three-week event was over 1.3 million people.

Looking a Pigtown in a new way

This outstanding Georgian mansion, built between 1754 and 1768, was the home of Charles Carroll, Barrister and framer of Maryland’s first Constitution and Declaration of Rights. Carroll and his wife Margaret Tilghman made Mount Clare a center of enlightened colonial living and the heart of a flourishing plantation, which once supported wheat fields, orchards, racing stables, flour mills, brick kilns and a shipyard. Since 1977, Mount Clare has been the subject of a major archaeological investigation into life in the Tidewater region between 1750 and 1850.
Standing loftily atop the hill, the mansion was an impressive sight to ships sailing up the Patapsco. Rolling pastures and fields stretched up from the river to wide terraced gardens leading up to the house. These gardens and the exotic fruit trees cultivated in the “orangery” were the work of Mrs. Carroll, a noted horticulturist who supplied George Washington with trees and plants for Mount Vernon by sending them down the Patapsco on a sailing vessel. In the 19th century, industrial development began to encircle Mount Clare as railroad tracks crisscrossed the northern section of the property and the Washington Turnpike sliced through the southern portion.

Pigtown coming to life. Youtube is priceless.

Look at this from the B&O Railroad.