Irish Railroad Workers Museum

Irish Railroad Workers Museum The museum is a historic preservation site that tells the story of the Irish presence in Southwest Baltimore City in the late 1840's, particularly as railroad families who lived in the neighborhood that surrounds the B&O Roundhouse.
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What is the Irish Railroad Workers Museum? The Irish Railroad Workers Museum is a historic site in Baltimore Maryland that celebrates the history of the immense Irish presence in Southwest Baltimore in the late 1840's. The museum officially opened on June 17th, 2002. This site consists of a group of 5 alley houses where the Irish immigrants who worked for the adjoining B&O Railroad lived. Two of the houses, 918 and 920 Lemmon St., are the museum. The Irish Railroad Workers Museum is the centerpiece of a larger historical district that includes the B&O Railroad Museum, St. Peter the Apostle Church, Hollins Market, and St. Peter the Apostle Cemetery. The museum is a project of the Railroad Historical District Corporation, a non-profit organization.

Marketing along the sheds of Baltimore's Hollins Street Market, 1962. Thanks to Historian John McGrain for this summer-y...
06/18/2020

Marketing along the sheds of Baltimore's Hollins Street Market, 1962. Thanks to Historian John McGrain for this summer-y scene. Plenty of potatoes for the Irish, thank you very much.

We hope you enjoy today's issue of the Big Pivot, featuring our shared fascination with gandy dancers. Henry Giadis was ...
06/16/2020

We hope you enjoy today's issue of the Big Pivot, featuring our shared fascination with gandy dancers. Henry Giadis was kind enough to send us this image, and several friends contributed to the article. Did you receive your own issue via email? If not, join in by registering your email address on our web site.. www.irishshrine.org.

Perhaps you once went to Baltimore's own establishment known as the Gandy Dancer, in southwest Baltimore. We've included a few images of the place for your enjoyment.

John J Matey and Crew, doing an install for McShane Bell Foundry in Monongahela, PA. ( Photo Courtesy of Ria Crocker, wi...
06/12/2020

John J Matey and Crew, doing an install for McShane Bell Foundry in Monongahela, PA. ( Photo Courtesy of Ria Crocker, with essential repairs performed by artist Patrick Harnett).

Thanks for the considerable crowd who joined us for our first ZOOM event, "A Glimpse Through Windows: View of an 1899 Ir...
06/06/2020

Thanks for the considerable crowd who joined us for our first ZOOM event, "A Glimpse Through Windows: View of an 1899 Irish Community". We were delighted to have many faithful friends and members, and several participants from out-of-state. It was a gathering that couldn't have happened any other way; hooray! Stay tuned for an announcement of our next event: an anniversary reflection on the tumult and turmoil of the July, 1877 Railroad Strike.

Our "Big Pivot" issue that described Irish houses brought us this wonderful response: an image from historian John McGra...
06/03/2020

Our "Big Pivot" issue that described Irish houses brought us this wonderful response: an image from historian John McGrain. He told us that "My father went over to visit his grandmother, Mrs. Clooney in Queens County in 1907. I went back and got a photo of the house in 1970. The old family had died out, but the newer owners invited me to lunch. Anybody can get invited to lunch in rural Ireland, even if you are Dracula".

Luke McCusker is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.Topic: A Glimpse Through Windows: View of an 1899 Irish Commun...
06/02/2020

Luke McCusker is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: A Glimpse Through Windows: View of an 1899 Irish Community
Time: Jun 6, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Today's "Big Pivot" article has been published to our email list, and we hope you will check it out when you can. We're ...
06/01/2020

Today's "Big Pivot" article has been published to our email list, and we hope you will check it out when you can. We're learning about the modest homes of our Irish ancestors, both then and now. Poor Irish lived in 4th class dwellings in 1841, defined as one-room, and made of organic material. How about your ancestors? Yet, even these were taken from them... and there was little left to do but flee. So glad that many made the perilous journey to America, and the rowhouses of Baltimore... including one just down the block from us, painted yellow. The O'Leary's lived there, and we're telling their story.

Not receiving these? Add your email address on our web site... www.irishshrine.org .

05/29/2020
Five Minute Histories: The Irish Railroad Workers Museum

Many Thanks to Baltimore Heritage and its director, Johns Hopkins for sharing this edition of their Five Minute Histories with the world, on Youtube. They are good friends of ours, and I really enjoyed their presentation. The link is https://www.youtube.com/embed/P5IU_UZn68Y?fbclid=IwAR0LLSM81XZj3tlIGko2VfLmZ307793bvdis5e1GB5h67vz0G05X6dX35x8 .

We also invite you to see our latest, rather remarkable recently installed Remembrance Room display in 918 Lemmon St. when this is all over. Board Members and staff have created a unique display there, replicating the bunks and the experience of the famine-era Irish as they came to Baltimore, circa 1847.

For our last video of the week, we explore the history behind the Irish Railroad Workers Museum. Have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday! This is our ser...

We welcome you to consider today's "Big Pivot" article, being distributed to our email list even as we speak. What's up ...
05/28/2020

We welcome you to consider today's "Big Pivot" article, being distributed to our email list even as we speak. What's up with those colors in the flag, and how did their meanings manifest themselves in Baltimore's Irish community?

This series is our attempt to bring the Museum to you, since none of us can get in the front door. Interested in joining us as we enjoy the articles? Register at www.irishshrine.org .

No Social Distancing at Hollins Market, circa 1930.
05/28/2020

No Social Distancing at Hollins Market, circa 1930.

St. Martin's Church, West Baltimore. Over 900 served in WW II.
05/25/2020

St. Martin's Church, West Baltimore. Over 900 served in WW II.

We honor those who served their nation today,and the many who paid the ultimate price. These placards are found at the f...
05/25/2020

We honor those who served their nation today,and the many who paid the ultimate price. These placards are found at the former St. Martin's Church, Fulton and W. Fayette St. in West Baltimore. It was Baltimore's largest predominantly Irish parish in 1920, and over 900 from the parish served their nation during World War II.

Greetings and salutations to all...we invite you to discover why Luke McCusker and Peter Grogan are spending all of thei...
05/20/2020

Greetings and salutations to all...we invite you to discover why Luke McCusker and Peter Grogan are spending all of their time in Baltimore's Clifton Park. Check out today's issue of "The Big Pivot". Issue XX is coming out this morning, being delivered to our mailing lists' email inboxes. Not receiving these? Join our mailing list at www.irishshrine.org .

As we experience our own generational challenges under these difficult days of Covid-19, let us remember that our ancest...
05/18/2020

As we experience our own generational challenges under these difficult days of Covid-19, let us remember that our ancestors knew about such things, and them magnified. Starvation and homelessness were the requirements of admission to Ireland's 147 workhouses of the Famine era, and many simply would not go, as they considered death at home a far more dignified departure from this world than the horrors that awaited them in workhouses like Clifden and others (pictured), where families were separated, and the desperate languished among strangers. It has been calculated that 328,000 Irish died in these horrible places, due to disease and poor nutrition.

We remember those loved and lost during this worldwide Great Hunger Remembrance period.

The pandemic at hand has provided some difficult times for us, and we are all searching for a niche of effectiveness as ...
05/12/2020

The pandemic at hand has provided some difficult times for us, and we are all searching for a niche of effectiveness as the days blend and flow. One of our strategies is to do work that we simply don't have the time for otherwise, and the Museum has just completed our 8th "Family History Workshop" since this all began. Many just NEED TO KNOW; where is the old sod my Irish ancestors came from? Thanks to Museum friend Tara for challenging us to search the Crumlish family...really. Not a name you hear a whole lot, but a nugget of gold for researchers. Who wants to search the Sullivans or O'Reilly's...life is too short! We found her ancestral lands in Strabane, County Tyrone. What a blessing the available modern tools and methods are.
Perhaps you "need to know" as well; register for our Workshop on www.irishshrine.org and we'll get started. We can't guarantee that we'll find your old sod, but we promise that we'll find something precious.

Irish Railroad Workers Museum
05/08/2020

Irish Railroad Workers Museum

What's a Museum to do when a padlock is on the front door? We've thought of a few things, and want to share the exciteme...
05/08/2020

What's a Museum to do when a padlock is on the front door? We've thought of a few things, and want to share the excitement with you:

1. Planning our first remove event....it's going to be great, and our guest speakers love the commute time (announcement coming shortly).
2. Exploring the family trees of James and Sarah Feeley, mother and father of the home at 918 Lemmon Street (a relative of Sarah's married both her sister and James' sister...one at a time, of course).
3. Several have put us to work exploring their trees, in a format we call our Family History Workshop. How about you? Register on our web site www.irishshrine.org .
4. A few on the bold side have stepped forward and asked us to include their ancestor in our Museum display. We call it "High Kings of Baltimore". Are you next? Send us a photo and narration for our consideration at [email protected] .
5. We're updating our St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church display (pictured) with some great new information. Our binder that narrates this Irish parish in West Baltimore is being refurbished and expanded.
6. Researchers are searching far and near for images of Famine Ships that brought our ancestors to America, as part of a new display. Tough work, but it's happening!
7. Our "Giving Tuesday" was a success; thanks to our many generous friends that are helping us during a time when donations by visitors just aren't happening.
8. We are continuing a fabulous email series called "The Big Pivot"...we are bringing our Museum to you. We hope you find it compelling...add your email address to our list on our web site.

Press on, and be safe out there!

Placement of our Great Hunger Remembrance Marker at St. Peter's Cemetery
05/08/2020

Placement of our Great Hunger Remembrance Marker at St. Peter's Cemetery

We humbly ask those who are able to make a contribution to the Museum today.."Giving Tuesday". We rely on donations from...
05/05/2020

We humbly ask those who are able to make a contribution to the Museum today.."Giving Tuesday". We rely on donations from visitors to make things work well, financially speaking. Many are visiting remotely during these pandemic days, via our email series "The Big Pivot" (thousands have participated) and our Family History Workshops....could you send us a donation to show your continued support? Here's a couple ways: our "Buy a Brick" program will memorialize a person or place dear to you; see
http://www.irishshrine.org/BrickOrderForm.pdf
or click on our donation button right on this page. We thank you for helping us at this challenging time.

We hope that each of you is doing well, and are making the best of these difficult days. The Museum staff, Board members...
05/04/2020

We hope that each of you is doing well, and are making the best of these difficult days. The Museum staff, Board members, Docents and Volunteers are finding niches where they can be effective, including a good bit of research and discovery. We're also sharing the Museum a bit via social media. Have you been following along as we publish articles about Irish immigrant life and history on our email broadcasts? We call it "The Big Pivot". Today's feature is about the welcoming and care of homeless and orphan Irish who arrived during the Great Hunger. We have titled our issue XIII as "Homeless and Orphans Leading the Way". Perhaps these early arrivals led you and yours toward a flourishing experience in America.

Some found their way to a distinctly Irish parish (pictured) in North Baltimore, where generations were cared for. Want to know more? Be sure you're on our mailing list.... sign up at www.irishshrine.org . Thanks to Museum friend Sharon Vaughan for her contributions to this article.

Irish Railroad Workers Museum's cover photo
05/01/2020

Irish Railroad Workers Museum's cover photo

As the Irish ask " is the hunger upon you ? "                                      Back Yard Baltimore at West Pratt and...
04/30/2020

As the Irish ask " is the hunger upon you ? "

Back Yard Baltimore at West Pratt and Schroeder Streets, is a neighbor and friend of the museum. Lara & Michael, bar & restaurant proprietors, have been wonderful hosts to our board meetings, museum visitors and even a related book club ! You might say we have a connection - the Railroad Historic District Corporation (our museum) was born within these walls over 20 years ago !
With this Great Pause - let us remember to support these hard working folks as they pivot in their business, Our historic neighborhood NEEDS these businesses to succeed ! Their wonderful menu has been updated for these times.
Order today and tell em the museum sent ya !

We are Open for Carry Out and starting Tuesday we will also provide DELIVERY throughout Baltimore City. All Orders are handled with the utmost Care and Consideration. Additional options for both will include Custom Meal Prep Orders, New Specialty Cocktails, Combo and Family Deals and Extended Hours with Notice. And As Always, please let us know if you need Anything and we will do our Best to Help! Stay SAFE and SANE!

Our events are our great joy...but alas, the ones we planned for 2020 are tentative at best. None are in ink, but we wil...
04/29/2020

Our events are our great joy...but alas, the ones we planned for 2020 are tentative at best. None are in ink, but we will keep you posted once some become possible. There is enthusiasm for online events, and they are at the top of our "to-do" list. One way or another, we're going to move forward together. Here's a few photos of recent events, as we remember the past and hope for our bright future.

View of Winans Residence from St. Peter's Church Tower (courtesy New York Public Library)
04/24/2020

View of Winans Residence from St. Peter's Church Tower (courtesy New York Public Library)

We continue to explore methods to keep in touch with our Museum friends and members as we experience these challenging d...
04/22/2020

We continue to explore methods to keep in touch with our Museum friends and members as we experience these challenging days together. Several outreach projects are ongoing, including "Remote" Family History Workshops ( register at www.irishshrine.org ), our Big Pivot series of articles (where we bring Museum displays and elements to you via email), and outreach to those who would like their ancestor's story to be part of our display...we call it "High Kings of Baltimore". It's the men's turn to feel special; send a few photos and a short paragraph describing your ancestor to us at [email protected], and we'll consider adding it to our collection.

Daniel McBride's granddaughter did just that a few days ago; He was a member of the Baltimore City Mounted Police for 20 years, and even rode a "horse with a handshake" around the city; read more about him in our latest article that came out via email. Not receiving them? Register on our web site. Hope to see you soon!

Our Museum has had an ongoing relationship with St. Peter's Cemetery, part of a Historical District that offers many a "...
04/17/2020

Our Museum has had an ongoing relationship with St. Peter's Cemetery, part of a Historical District that offers many a "ground zero" place to explore their heritage. Board Members and members of the Irish community count this remote location as a place to be preserved and explored, and Barry Larkin recently paid a visit on a lovely Spring day. The modest stone we picture here is of Annie Tully Caulfield, who passed away in Parkton, MD on January 4, 1957. Her funeral mass was held at St. Peter's Church, and she was placed in this modest beautiful setting at the Cemetery. Research is ongoing, but her family seemed to have lived on N. Poppleton Street during her chidhood.

The Irish of West Baltimore were a diverse lot. Some never quite pulled off some sort of flashy success, and lived simpl...
04/15/2020

The Irish of West Baltimore were a diverse lot. Some never quite pulled off some sort of flashy success, and lived simple lives. More than a few single men were content with a regular job and a basement apartment, and spent time with their friends at the corner bar, and maybe saw their relatives at church on Sunday. Then there were others; Timothy Hurley liked a good Sunday drive to go along with some of the successes that life brought him. We're telling more about the fella in our email series, called "The Big Pivot". We hope you are receiving these mails...a good way to visit our place while you can't...huh? Add your email address to our list at www.irishshrine.org ....learn about quarantines, circa 1847 and the Hurley story today.

We hope you are enjoying our series: we call it the "Big Pivot"...bringing our Museum to you, via email. Our featured se...
04/13/2020

We hope you are enjoying our series: we call it the "Big Pivot"...bringing our Museum to you, via email. Our featured sections at present are our "Remembrance Room", and our delightful "High Kings of Baltimore" section. It's great history, and really ties in with the trauma our country (and world) is experiencing....elements of despair and hope were part of our heroic ancestor's lives. Today we're sharing the story of the American Wake, and the successes of Robert Lloyd ( pictured, right). Check your email box. If you are not receiving these, sign up on our email list at www.irishshrine.org .

We continue sharing our ongoing series for you to enjoy at home. It's called "The Big Pivot". We're bringing our Museum ...
04/10/2020

We continue sharing our ongoing series for you to enjoy at home. It's called "The Big Pivot". We're bringing our Museum to you, while we wait for the current crisis in our nation and world to subside. It's being sent out to our email list (join at www.irishshrine.org ). We are currently featuring two display areas from our Museum: our "Remembrance Room" ( crisis, escape and the beginning of new lives in Baltimore and beyond) , and our really fun "High Kings of Baltimore" area. Connor Healy is living large, wearing his bold set of white suspenders and a great smile; what's he so happy about? We hope you read all about him when you check your in-box after 11:00 today. Since you're stuck at home, anyway....well, most of us.

We are missing our supportive friends and visitors...but press on! Here's an update on our goings-on during these strang...
04/08/2020
Irish Railroad Workers Museum

We are missing our supportive friends and visitors...but press on!
Here's an update on our goings-on during these strange days...

1. We've begun a series called "The Big Pivot"...bringing Museum displays to you, since you can't come to us. These are being sent out via email...are you on our list? Join us by adding your address at www.irishshrine.org . Easy to do...we are on Issue II...

2. Our Irish Language Course went the way of Zoom, and "Irish Language Learners" founder & instructor Sean Lenahan welcomed nine Museum friends to the first session last Sunday, between 2-4 p.m. Things went really well!

3. Staff, Board Members and Docents have completed four "Family History Workshop" projects for people wanting to learn more about their ancestors. We welcome you to register yourself on our web page. We make great discoveries....who knew that a major sugar refinery in Baltimore was owned by a fella named Thomas Dougherty, a fine Irish Catholic man? He was pre-Domino Sugar, and had a facility on Lombard St.

4. Our talented volunteers have a bit of extra time on their hands, and discovered several documents and sources that are giving us a better understanding of how James and Sarah Feeley came to America, and established their home on Lemmon St.

5. The Museum recently purchased a third home on the block. 910 Lemmon Street had a diverse collection of residents over the years. Our researchers are dwelling on Michael O'Leary...a coach painter, and a fella named James McCubbin...a fireman.

Take care, and we hope to see you soon.

The Irish Railroad Workers Museum is a historic site in Baltimore Maryland that celebrates the history of the immense Irish presence in Southwest Baltimore City in the late 1840's. The museum officially opened on June 17th, 2002.  This site consists of a group of 5 alley houses where the Irish immi...

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918-920 Lemmon St
Baltimore, MD
21223

Opening Hours

Friday 11:00 - 15:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(410) 347-4747

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What is the Irish Railroad Workers Museum? The Irish Railroad Workers Museum is a historic site in Baltimore Maryland that celebrates the history of the immense Irish presence in Southwest Baltimore in the late 1840's. The museum officially opened on June 17th, 2002. This site consists of a group of 5 alley houses where Irish immigrants lived while working for the adjoining B&O Railroad. Two of the houses, 918 and 920 Lemmon St., serve as our Museum, and include the home of James and Sarah Feeley, who lived at 918 Lemmon Street for over twenty years with 6 of their 10 children. The Feeley home has been restored to reflect the lives of the family, and a special room on the second floor displays James Feeley’s perilous journy from County Tipperary to Baltimore. The adjoining house is used for historical displays and presentations that expand our story. The Irish Railroad Workers Museum is the centerpiece of a larger historical district that includes the B&O Railroad Museum, St. Peter the Apostle Church, Hollins Market, and St. Peter the Apostle Cemetery. The museum is a project of the Railroad Historical District Corporation, a non-profit organization.


Comments

Silly to some, but just got very excited to discover my granfather's brother, Valentine Russell, living at 926 Lemmon Street! Can't help but wonder if they knew the Feeleys!
Big Pivot Issue VII - High Kings of Baltimore: Walter A. “Buddy” Kratz Jr. - so thrilled with this article - my Irish descendants were Poultry/Produce Hucksters - of course, I loved the entire issue but was especially happy to read about the Irish Baltimore Arabbers! Thank you.
A great program by my friend, Sean Duffy, in Wheeling, WVA, about the Easter Rising
Thank you so much to the volunteers at the museum!! A special thank you to Luke McCusker for his wonderful help in finding some family info on my grandfather John P. McGowan!!!
To everyone at The Irish Railroad Workers Museum: Sincerest thanks for your always unsurpassed hospitality and generosity. On two recent occasions, it has been my humble pleasure to perform at events you hosted, and everyone associated with the museum has gone out of their way to make all of us musicians and dancers feel welcome. So, to Luke McCusker and your great crew -- many thanks for everything. You do wonderful work on behalf of Baltimore's Irish community, and we are all much the better and more educated for it.
I stumbled across this page while looking for places to find info on the Irish. Now my family settled in Waseca county MN.... but almost all worked for the railroad. The came over in the early to late 1860s. My great grandfather worked for Chicago & Northwestern... so did his father, grandfather, several brothers and several brother inlaws. My Great Great Great grandfather died in a collision between a hand cart and a train... it was a tough line of work.
Here is a very special unique opportunity to explore "The Quiet Man" film locations in Ireland, including the opening scene train station recently renovated with help from Liam Neeson. Click this link http://www.mayowildatlanticway.com to see details.
My father was raised in 914 Lemmon St. in the 30's -40's went to St. Peters. Name of family Halford. My grandmother was a Dugan. Anyone out there remember them? Looking for information. I know my grandfather, John A was from the Carolinas....he worked at Bethlehem Steel.
Any abilities to search on Baltimore railroad employees names of Irish decent ?