Yesterday, on a rainy, chilly Sunday morning, the seminar went house-hunting.
Devoted followers of this space may recall that last summer, the team made a pilgrimage to Green Mount Cemetery, where we found the final resting places of several members of the WLCB– and not a few names of women whom we had only known, at that point, by their husbands’ first names.
This time, we were looking for where they actually lived. Many members lived in the neighborhoods of Bolton Hill and Mt. Vernon, located in central Baltimore just west of I-83 (the street in yellow that bisects the map below).
This is where we went:
- 1507 Park Ave. Christine Ladd-Franklin
- 1520 Park Ave. Francese Litchfield Turnbull
- 1807 Bolton St. Virginia Woodward Cloud (1890 only)
- 254 Robert St. (no longer standing) Lucy Meacham Thruston (1905-1915)
- Streetcar tracks on Linden
- Linden Ave. apartment buildings, 1910-1920 (no longer standing), many members, including Emily Paret Atwater
- 1404 Eutaw Place Sidney Lanier
- 1414 Madison Ave. Elizabeth Meredith Reese (1895)
- 1324 McCulloh St. Marguerite Easter (1890-1895)
- 1214 Madison St. (now a parking lot) Laura De Valin (1900-05)
- Altamont Hotel (now a vacant lot) Clara Newman Turner (1895-1900)
- 1100 block Eutaw Place, The Cecil Clara Newman Turner (1905-1915)
- 300 block Dolphin Lane Club officers Mrs. Jordan Stabler (339 Dolphin), Lydia Crane (313 Dolphin)
- 5 W. Biddle St. Louise Clarkson Whitelock
- 1037 N Calvert St. Letitia Wrenshall, Katharine Wrenshall Markland
- 1004 N Calvert St. Louise C. O. Haughton
- 937 N Calvert St. Elizabeth Lester Mullin
- 15 E. Eager St. Mary Spear Tiernan
- 12 E. Eager St. Annie Weston Whitney
- 1307 Park Ave. F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is what we saw, in the order we encountered them on the tour:
Highlights of the trip:
- Being welcomed into the home of the current owners of 1507 Park Ave. (residence of Christine Ladd-Franklin): walking the hallways and staircases, meeting the family (including Jon Kucskar, Emily Levenson, daughters Caroline and Emma, & dog Truman), who now lives in this house but had no idea of Ladd-Franklin’s existence before the research done by our class was published.
- Seeing the streetcar tracks on Linden Ave. along which the New Women of the WLCB (and perhaps some of the older ladies of the neighborhood) may have traveled to meetings at the Academy of Arts and Sciences at 105 W. Franklin Ave.
- Learning about the different kinds of structures– homes, stables, carriage houses, apartment buildings, hotels, condos, and how they evolved over time.
- Seeing where buildings and homes used to be.
- Seeing homes of people we’ve read about– including that of Sidney Lanier (room for rent!)–and sites like Friends School, the house where House of Cards was shot.
- Farmers’ market mini-donuts brought by Bolton Hill neighbor and WLCB fan, Peter Van Buren!! Thank you Peter!
For next time:
Unfortunately, due to rain which became increasingly insistent and wind that grew increasingly persistent, we decided to severely truncate the trip, skipping the following stops (which follow the cluster of dots below and to the right of tour stop #14 on the map above):
- 875 Park Ave., Mary Noyes Colvin (founding member)
- 829 Park Ave., Elizabeth King (leader of breakaway contingent & founder of Arundell Club, 1893)
- 825 Park Ave., Eliza Ridgely (founding secretary)
- 711 Park Ave. Maud Early (founding member)
- 708 St. Paul St. Emma Brent
- 113 W. Monument St. Hester Crawford Dorsey (founder of WLCB)
- The numerous early members (1890-1895) who lived around Mt. Vernon Place & the Washington Monument
But really, 20 stops was plenty, and the hot bowls of pho and pots of green tea that welcomed us at Indochine were really quite necessary after 2+ hours of walking in the rain.
Here we all are near the end of our journey, at the former residence of founding member Louise Clarkson Whitelock. We were pretty wet by this time, and cold, but exhilarated by walking the streets on which these women lived, and walking up the steps they walked to their front doors. It was quite an adventure!