Friends of the H.L. Mencken House

Friends of the H.L. Mencken House 1524 Hollins Street was once the home of H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), the most famous of Baltimore writers and one who is still often quoted in the national press over fifty years after his death.
For more than seventy years a row house in Baltimore, on Hollins Street, was the residence of Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. Once part of Baltimore’s City Life museums, the house, with many original furnishings, was a superlative example of how successful families lived during its era. For Mr Mencken, 1524 Hollins Street was “as much a part of me as my own two hands,” and his personality can be seen in everything from the parquet floors to the garden tiles. The City Life museums closed in 1997. The house now stands empty, a shuttered burden for the City of Baltimore, which plans to dispose of the property.

I don't know if a photograph of his dog exists. If you know of one let us know.
12/03/2019

I don't know if a photograph of his dog exists. If you know of one let us know.

A raw day at Loudon Park cemetery visiting the grave of H.L. Mencken!
12/01/2019

A raw day at Loudon Park cemetery visiting the grave of H.L. Mencken!

Here you go!
11/29/2019

Here you go!

Nikol Schattenstein painting H.L. Mencken's portrait, 1927.
11/28/2019

Nikol Schattenstein painting H.L. Mencken's portrait, 1927.

The first public visitor in the renovated H. L. Mencken House in 22 years! Matthew Perle from St. Petersburg, Florida.
11/25/2019

The first public visitor in the renovated H. L. Mencken House in 22 years! Matthew Perle from St. Petersburg, Florida.

Need anymore be said?
11/22/2019

Need anymore be said?

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."                H. L. Mencken
11/20/2019

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."
H. L. Mencken

Tuning the Mencken piano to bring back music to this historic site!
11/19/2019

Tuning the Mencken piano to bring back music to this historic site!

Hope you enjoy these images of the Moravian tiles that are mounted on the walls and columns in the garden.
11/16/2019

Hope you enjoy these images of the Moravian tiles that are mounted on the walls and columns in the garden.

“A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who fin...
11/13/2019

“A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it.”
― H.L. Mencken

Full moon on Hollins Street!
11/13/2019

Full moon on Hollins Street!

More moving in images!
11/11/2019

More moving in images!

Very excited that this site will be open soon!
11/07/2019

Very excited that this site will be open soon!

Stopped by today...
11/07/2019

Stopped by today...

Room with a view! You must visit when this historically significant site opens to the public!
11/06/2019

Room with a view! You must visit when this historically significant site opens to the public!

The historical marker has been cleaned and the a new bottom marker has been installed!
11/06/2019

The historical marker has been cleaned and the a new bottom marker has been installed!

More Moravian tiles from Mencken's beloved garden!
11/06/2019

More Moravian tiles from Mencken's beloved garden!

Moving day!  It's happening!
11/06/2019

Moving day! It's happening!

10/23/2019

"When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before."

H.L. Mencken

Three more Moravian tiles in the H.L.Mencken garden. When you visit be sure to view Mencken's beloved garden!
10/22/2019

Three more Moravian tiles in the H.L.Mencken garden. When you visit be sure to view Mencken's beloved garden!

One of many Moravian tiles mounted on the garden wall of the Mencken House. They can still be seen!
10/22/2019

One of many Moravian tiles mounted on the garden wall of the Mencken House. They can still be seen!

Moving into the H.L. Mencken House! Can't think of a more appropriate group to share the house with! It's all good!
09/27/2019

Moving into the H.L. Mencken House! Can't think of a more appropriate group to share the house with! It's all good!

We ❤️ touring active construction sites, especially when they are historic Baltimore landmarks and the location of our new office! #ICYMI: We're relocating this fall to the Union Square-Hollins Market Historic District...stay tuned.

A recent visitor to the H. L. Mencken House being greeted by Sparky! He lives next door and he's excited about the reope...
09/22/2019

A recent visitor to the H. L. Mencken House being greeted by Sparky! He lives next door and he's excited about the reopening of the Mencken House.

A charming quote from Mencken. If you are new to this page please "Like" us!
09/21/2019

A charming quote from Mencken. If you are new to this page please "Like" us!

A few more photos from the restoration of Mencken House, when work was picking up steam about two months ago. (Photos by...
09/19/2019

A few more photos from the restoration of Mencken House, when work was picking up steam about two months ago. (Photos by Bonnie J. Schupp)

Across the street in Union Square Park!
09/18/2019

Across the street in Union Square Park!

A work in progress! It’s so exciting! More photo updates coming soon!
09/18/2019

A work in progress! It’s so exciting! More photo updates coming soon!

For all of the "Friends' and followers of this page, an update of sorts: An extensive restoration of Mencken House is we...
08/29/2019

For all of the "Friends' and followers of this page, an update of sorts: An extensive restoration of Mencken House is well underway -- a project that was more than a decade in waiting. Termites have been evicted, rotting wood removed and replaced, the roof repaired. Inside, walls and ceilings damaged by water and neglect are being repaired, and flooring undermined by the aforementioned insects is being replaced. The house will have an occupant, as the base of local operations for the Baltimore National Heritage Area taking up the third floor and rear of the second floor. The second-floor front and first floor will be devoted to H.L. Mencken -- and open to visitors -- with museum displays and artifacts from his life, beginning at a date to be announced. The photos show work in progress in early August 2019 on the front of the row home, and in the back garden -- where adaptations will include parking and access for disabled visitors. (photos by Bonnie J. Schupp)

Images from the Mencken family plot in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore City. Photo Credit: Jeff Jerome
04/25/2019

Images from the Mencken family plot in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore City. Photo Credit: Jeff Jerome

From our friends at  Vintage Books & Anchor Books. Enjoy.
02/11/2019

From our friends at Vintage Books & Anchor Books. Enjoy.

"I have given my whole life to newspapers. I am convinced that they have abandoned their functions, and in an abject and ignominious manner, in the present war. Nine-tenths of them, and even more than nine-tenths, print the official blather without any attempt to scrutinize it... It is a disgraceful spectacle, but I do not believe that anything can be done about it. Roosevelt has taken the press into camp as certainly has he has taken the Supreme Court. It has ceased altogether to be independent and has become docilely official."
-- H. L. Mencken's entry (June 10, 1944) in DIARY OF H. L. MENCKEN (1989)

H. L. Mencken’s diary was, at his own request, kept sealed in the vaults of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Library for a quarter of a century after his death. The diary covers the years 1930 — 1948, and provides a vivid, unvarnished, sometimes shocking picture of Mencken himself, his world, and his friends and antagonists, from Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and William Faulkner to Franklin D. Roosevelt, for whom Mencken nourished a hatred that resulted in spectacular and celebrated feats of invective. From the more than 2,000 pages of typescript that have now come to light, the Mencken scholar Charles A. Fecher has made a generous selection of entries carefully chosen to preserve the whole range, color, and impact of the diary. Here, full scale, is Mencken the unique observer and disturber of American society. And here too is Mencken the human being of wildly contradictory impulses: the skeptic who was prey to small superstitions, the dare-all warrior who was a hopeless hypochondriac, the loving husband and generous friend who was, alas, a bigot. Mencken emerges from these pages unretouched — in all the often outrageous gadfly vitality that made him, at his brilliant best, so important to the intellectual fabric of American life. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/113236/diary-of-h-l-mencken-by-charles-fecher/

FYI
01/30/2018

FYI

Henry Louis Mencken died in Baltimore, Maryland on this day in 1956 (aged 75).

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
―from A MENCKEN CHRESTOMATHY (1949) by H. L. Mencken

Edited and annotated by H.L.M., this is a selection from his out-of-print writings. They come mostly from books—the six installments of the Prejudices series, A Book of Burlesques, In Defense of Women, Notes on Democracy, Making a President, A Book of Calumny, Treatise on Right and Wrong—but there are also magazine and newspaper pieces that never got between covers (from the American Mercury, the Smart Set, and the Baltimore Evening Sun) and some notes that were never previously published at all. Readers will find edification and amusement in his estimates of a variety of Americans—Woodrow Wilson, Aimee Semple McPherson, Roosevelt I and Roosevelt II, James Gibbons Huneker, Rudolph Valentino, Calvin Coolidge, Ring Lardner, Theodore Dreiser, and Walt Whitman. Those musically inclined will enjoy his pieces on Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner, and there is material for a hundred controversies in his selections on Joseph Conrad, Thorstein Veblen, Nietzsche, and Madame Blavatsky. READ more here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/113241/a-mencken-chrestomathy-by-h-l-mencken/

From our friends at H. L. Mencken!
07/23/2017
H. L. Mencken

From our friends at H. L. Mencken!

“The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
-- H. L. Mencken

From our friends at H.L. Mencken.  Enjoy.
05/23/2017
The enduring relevance of H.L. Mencken

From our friends at H.L. Mencken. Enjoy.

Last August, as the shape of the November elections was coming into focus, I wrote a column quoting H.L. Mencken extensively.

Thanks to our friends at H. L. Mencken for the link!
08/22/2016

Thanks to our friends at H. L. Mencken for the link!

"A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier."
--from "A Mencken Chrestomathy" (1949) by H. L. Mencken

In this volume Mencken has collected more than 100 choice passages, ranging from men, women, and southerners to religion, politics, music, literature, and the arts. This selection is a pure delight, and, while not every piece entertains, one cannot help but be awed by this true polymath and regret not having him around today.

Another great post from our fiends at H. L. Mencken!
04/05/2016

Another great post from our fiends at H. L. Mencken!

On this day in 1926, H. L. Mencken was arrested by the Boston vice squad, charged with the possession and sale of indecent literature. The literature in question was the April, 1926 issue of Mencken's American Mercury magazine, found offensive for a short story entitled "Hatrack," by Herbert Asbury. "Hatrack" is the nickname of a skinny but welcoming small-town prostitute, one whose attempts to reform have been rebuffed by the upright and churchgoing of her community. This causes Hatrack to fall back to her old and not insensitive ways: servicing her upstanding clients so that those Catholic are accommodated in the Protestant cemetery, and those Protestant in Catholic graveyards. The punch line of Asbury's story compounded hypocrisy with miserliness: when one gentleman tenders Hatrack a dollar, she responds, "You know damned well I haven't got any change."

Full story here: http://www.todayinliterature.com/today.asp?Search_Date=04/05/2016

Interesting read.
04/03/2016
Letter: H.L. Mencken was right about democratic process

Interesting read.

Out of fear, distrust and confusion, many of our populace have polarized themselves into various camps of political belief. Each group has drawn lines in the dirt and rationalized their own personal standards as the ultimate and unquestionable truth.

Not the current meaning of the word! Enjoy!
02/21/2016
Mencken's 'Boob Dictionary'

Not the current meaning of the word! Enjoy!

So, where are we headed? In the end, here's a Mencken view that's held true since the beginning of the great American experiment: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."

Thanks H. L. Mencken for the link!
02/17/2016
H. L. Mencken

Thanks H. L. Mencken for the link!

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
-- H. L. Mencken

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PO Box 22501
Baltimore, MD
21203-4501

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