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.

Operating as usual

Lazaretto Point Lighthouse
09/22/2020

Lazaretto Point Lighthouse

Fire Captain James McDonnell (center, front) and crew, circa 1915.
09/22/2020

Fire Captain James McDonnell (center, front) and crew, circa 1915.

A happy Monday morning to you...are you on our email list? A wonderful issue of our "Big Pivot" series is sitting in you...
09/21/2020

A happy Monday morning to you...are you on our email list? A wonderful issue of our "Big Pivot" series is sitting in your inbox...just waiting to fascinate you. Our series is designed to bring our Museum to you, since you can't come to us during these strange days. Friends are sending in some great photos and stories, and we present them for your edification. Be sure to read issue 44...all about "Masons and their Stepping Stones". It's one of the ways that Irish developed skills and moved into the middle class... enjoy and remember. We thank Bryan Hanrahan for his important stone work, and the monuments he created. Enjoy!

Some beautiful changes in the neighborhood! We are rejoicing at the major renovation of the historic St. Peter's School ...
09/14/2020

Some beautiful changes in the neighborhood! We are rejoicing at the major renovation of the historic St. Peter's School by the University of Maryland. They have created a Community Engagement Center from a building that was the third school for an historic Irish parish just north of the Museum. So pleased!

We continue to thrive during these strange days. Thankfully the story of the Irish in America is a rich one, especially ...
08/26/2020

We continue to thrive during these strange days. Thankfully the story of the Irish in America is a rich one, especially in Baltimore. Many thousands came here in the days of the Great Hunger just to survive...they found work in this major transportation center and freedom of religion. They established homes among their own and maintained a vibrant culture within the ethnic neighborhoods of Baltimore. The city's largest Irish neighborhood was a rose among thorns...right in a triangle with Baltimore's most important cemetery, the Penitentiary and a place called Gallows Hill at its edges. We're researching that neighborhood earnestly these days, and will be presenting our findings in our ongoing series that we call "The Big Pivot"....sent to all on our email list. Care to join? Sign up on our web site....www.irishshrine.org . One of our discoveries was this image of Rev. Bernard J. McManus, founding pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Baltimore (1853). He was a native of County Roscommon, Ireland and served his congregation for 34 years.

John P. McGowan and friends show off a T-3 series locomotive, on the right. It was built in the Mount Clare Shops of the...
08/14/2020

John P. McGowan and friends show off a T-3 series locomotive, on the right. It was built in the Mount Clare Shops of the B & O Railroad...one of 40 "Mountain" locomotives they built to help win WW II. (John is the 8th man from the right).

We'd love to have you join us this Saturday as Board Member Cecilia Wright presents " Irish Immigrants: Working on the R...
08/11/2020

We'd love to have you join us this Saturday as Board Member Cecilia Wright presents " Irish Immigrants: Working on the Railroad". This ZOOM presentation was a popular event at the Garrett County Celtic Festival...before these strange days came upon us. No matter...same great story, and a wonderful teacher. Here's the ZOOM invite for you....hope you'll join us at 11:00!

Luke McCusker is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Experiences of the Irish Immigrants Working on the Railroad
Time: Saturday, Aug 15, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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We are thankful for the life of Dr. Mary Ellen Hayward, our Museum Curator. Her gifts and insights are a tremendous part...
08/03/2020

We are thankful for the life of Dr. Mary Ellen Hayward, our Museum Curator. Her gifts and insights are a tremendous part of all that we are, and we will continue to rely on her work each day as we present the Museum to others. It is fitting that a recent post shows our Museum from a heavenly view; it was Mary Ellen who persevered and convinced us that our "standing-seam" metal roof was the right answer. Perhaps we will consider that view as a capstone to her 23 years of caring for our special place. May God bring each of us comfort as we grieve and remember.

Here's a photo and posting from October 15, 2012:

"Our "Irish in the Alleys" presentation was a wonderful experience. Many came to learn about the simple houses that became homes for the immigrant Irish, so many years ago. Mary Ellen Hayward, author and curator of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, shared with us about her discovery of the Feeley home, and how it came to be rescued and restored as a memorial to those who worked hard and experienced the miracle of a new life in America. Many thanks!"

in loving memory
08/03/2020

in loving memory

In loving memory of Dr. Mary Ellen Hayward. our curator and one of the founders of our beloved Museum. Mary Ellen passed...
08/03/2020

In loving memory of Dr. Mary Ellen Hayward. our curator and one of the founders of our beloved Museum. Mary Ellen passed away on July 25th. May she have rest.

Thanks to each of you who continues your faithful support and encouragement as we work our way through these difficult t...
08/01/2020

Thanks to each of you who continues your faithful support and encouragement as we work our way through these difficult times. This heavenly view of the Museum reminds us to take the long view...we're one day closer to a new beginning!

It's crunch time! We have two seats available for our Zoom online "beginner's course" for the Irish Language. Have you a...
07/28/2020

It's crunch time! We have two seats available for our Zoom online "beginner's course" for the Irish Language. Have you always wanted to, but never have? It's a perfect time; not so much going on in our lives these days, and something to look forward to for the next 10 weeks. Linguist John Handy is leading our third class, and we are confident your experience will be wonderful. The course begins this coming Sunday, August 2. Register on our web site: www.irishshrine.org .

Visitors from Belfast a few years ago, welcomed by Museum board member Conor Donnan.
07/20/2020

Visitors from Belfast a few years ago, welcomed by Museum board member Conor Donnan.

Our Museum Mural, created by Irish artist Patrick Harnett.
07/20/2020

Our Museum Mural, created by Irish artist Patrick Harnett.

We're doing well in gathering brick orders for our next install. Hundreds have ordered a brick to remember a loved one, ...
07/18/2020

We're doing well in gathering brick orders for our next install. Hundreds have ordered a brick to remember a loved one, or a special place or organization in their lives. Care to do the same? Visit our web site to print out the form, and mail it in soon...
http://www.irishshrine.org/BrickOrderForm.pdf

We look forward to Bill Barry's presentation this coming Saturday, July 18 when he presents on the 1877 Railroad Strike....
07/13/2020

We look forward to Bill Barry's presentation this coming Saturday, July 18 when he presents on the 1877 Railroad Strike. Baltimore was front and center as railroaders and their families had just about enough. Cuts in pay for the working man were presented in tandem with stock dividends for the shareholders. The community of workers exploded, and the 'powers-that-be" reacted. Bill has all the details, and considerable experience as a compelling presenter. See you on Zoom at 11:00.

Luke McCusker is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 1877 Railroad Strike
Time: Saturday Jul 18, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98051971056?pwd=V0J1WXVBb2xMcHJtd05abE52cEVndz09

Meeting ID: 980 5197 1056
Password: 963397
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Meeting ID: 980 5197 1056
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A locomotive named after William Galloway, an engineer who devoted his life to driving the trains between Baltimore and ...
07/13/2020

A locomotive named after William Galloway, an engineer who devoted his life to driving the trains between Baltimore and Washington. It was a replica of the "Lafayette", the railroad's first locomotive that had a horizontal boiler. This piece of equipment was debuted at the "Fair of the Iron Horse" in 1927, a grand spectacle that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the B & O Railroad.

Some of our wonderful community of volunteers: Board member Maureen Shettle (left) and Docent Jackie Frank.
07/13/2020

Some of our wonderful community of volunteers: Board member Maureen Shettle (left) and Docent Jackie Frank.

Museum friend Jack Burkert gave all a very good presentation on Baltimore and immigration recently. Perhaps you missed i...
07/09/2020

Museum friend Jack Burkert gave all a very good presentation on Baltimore and immigration recently. Perhaps you missed it...be sure to check out this upcoming presentation of "Destination Baltimore", through the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

McShane Bell Foundry was founded by Irish born Henry McShane in 1856. The Baltimore-based firm is world-renowned, and ha...
07/08/2020

McShane Bell Foundry was founded by Irish born Henry McShane in 1856. The Baltimore-based firm is world-renowned, and has placed bells in all 50 states, as well as internationally. They placed eleven bells at First United Methodist Church, Monongahela, PA in 1925. They still ring on the quarter hour and hour, albeit electronically these days.

In Loving Memory of our dear Mary Fran Swan, long-term former Board President of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum. May ...
07/02/2020

In Loving Memory of our dear Mary Fran Swan, long-term former Board President of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum. May God bring comfort to her loved ones as they grieve and remember.

In Loving Memory of Mary Fran Swan, 1940-2020. She was a long-term President of the Museum's Board of Directors, and a d...
07/02/2020

In Loving Memory of Mary Fran Swan, 1940-2020. She was a long-term President of the Museum's Board of Directors, and a dear woman to so many. May God bring comfort to her loved ones as they grieve and remember.

One of the children answers Bill Byrnes' question with a question " Did they come for jobs and horses? "   Well....
07/02/2020

One of the children answers Bill Byrnes' question with a question " Did they come for jobs and horses? " Well....

Our annual Membership Mailer for 2020-2021 has gone out via snail mail, and we ask our friends on Social Media to kindly...
07/02/2020

Our annual Membership Mailer for 2020-2021 has gone out via snail mail, and we ask our friends on Social Media to kindly participate as well. Hundreds continue their annual membership by sending in a gift at this time; many others are invited to establish a Museum Membership at the level they are comfortable with. We receive gifts from $25-500 as our friends are able, and we do so many good things with these funds.

We invite you to consider many positive ways we use these gifts by reviewing our annual appeal letter (below).

Your membership is just a click away, and thanks! Donations will be gratefully acknowledged.

A big fella on a Baltimore front stoop, circa 1938
06/30/2020

A big fella on a Baltimore front stoop, circa 1938

Summertime in Baltimore, along Portugal Street.
06/26/2020

Summertime in Baltimore, along Portugal Street.

We welcome you to enjoy our latest issue of the Big Pivot: "Getting Crazy" on the Fourth: Celebrating Irish Labor (Big P...
06/22/2020

We welcome you to enjoy our latest issue of the Big Pivot:
"Getting Crazy" on the Fourth: Celebrating Irish Labor (Big Pivot: Issue ###). It's being distributed to our email list...an enthusiastic, dedicated collection of Museum friends. Care to join us? Register on our web site: www.irishshrine.org. We'll be talking about the Tom Thumb, Irishmen great and small, and a serious celebration held on July 4, 1828. Hooray!

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)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 993 0196 3286
Password: window
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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 .

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918-920 Lemmon St
Baltimore, MD
21223

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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

I participated in an event on Sunday(July 5th)at a museum in Fell's Pt. When I posted photos of the event,most of the comments said that they had no interest in visiting or touring a city that allows mobs to destroy public property. This toppling of the Columbus statue is bigger than it appears. The fact that the Italian community has stepped forward to retrieve and repair the statue(for free!),speaks volumes.We might want to think about claiming the O'Donnell statue before it is destroyed too. Great men are flawed because they are human. Martin Luther King was a philanderer and a member of the Communist Party but we remember the GOOD he did. The same should be tolerated about Carroll,Paca,Howard,O'Donnell and Columbus. This is not about slavery or Black lives It is about destroying American history. If you think we are immune,you are wrong.
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 ?