H.L. Mencken House

H.L. Mencken House The H.L. Mencken House is managed by The Society to Preserve H.L. Mencken's Legacy. Currently the house is available by appointment only. [email protected].

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. The Society for the Preservation of H. L. Mencken's Legacy is now poised to showcase this historic site to the public. After a 10 month, $1.5 million dollar renovation the group is now working on regular business hours and special events to celebrate this famous Baltimore writer and journalist.

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. The Society for the Preservation of H. L. Mencken's Legacy is now poised to showcase this historic site to the public. After a 10 month, $1.5 million dollar renovation the group is now working on regular business hours and special events to celebrate this famous Baltimore writer and journalist.

Operating as usual

The Mencken Birthday Concert held in cooperation with the Union Square Association was enjoyed by everyone! The weather ...
09/13/2021

The Mencken Birthday Concert held in cooperation with the Union Square Association was enjoyed by everyone! The weather was excellent and everyone was of good cheer!

We had over 40 visitors to the Mencken House during the concert and everyone was pleased with what they saw!

Here's to many more events!

09/11/2021

H.L. Mencken Birthday Concert!

In cooperation with the Society to Preserve H.L. Mencken’s Legacy, the Union Square Association is presenting a free concert featuring a few of the many compositions Mencken enjoyed. The performance is planned for 4 p.m. Sept. 12, Mencken’s 141st birthday, in Union Square Park.

The event is organized by Julien Benichou, Music Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, Southern Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Conductor of the Washington Opera Society. He also is a resident of Union Square. Compositions will be performed by The Symphonical Brass, an quintet consisting of members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mencken, who lived most of his life in the house at 1524 Hollins Street, across from Union Square Park, rose to national prominence with his stinging commentary that exposed hypocrisy in American society. Many of his observations remain relevant more than a half century after his death. In addition, his analysis of U.S. English usage, The American Language, is a cornerstone of insight into the American idiom.

During the concert, the Mencken House, restored and furnished with Mencken’s possessions, will be open to the public from 4 pm until 7 pm. German beer, wine with chips and pretzels will be available for visitors. Contact: [email protected] for information.

A highly proficient pianist with a strong musical background, Mencken was host for decades to the “Saturday Night Club,” a rotating group of professional and amateur musicians, as well as music lovers, who gathered every Saturday from the 1920s into the 1950s to enjoy camaraderie, song and sustenance. The Sept. 12 performance is something of an echo of the Saturday Night Club.

The selections for the Sept. 12 performance are but a few of the hundreds of compositions mentioned in the collection, H.L. Mencken on Music: A Selection of His Writings on Music. Mencken on Music is an assortment of newspaper columns and other works assembled and lightly curated by Louis Cheslock, a regular at the “Saturday Night Club,” as well as a violinist, composer and author who taught at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

The Sept. 12 birthday performance coincides with the annual observance of Mencken Day at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, which is held on the Saturday closest to Mencken’s Birthday.

Parking is on street. Please feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair.

09/09/2021

The weather looks fantastic for this Sunday! We want to thank our friends at the Union Square Association for their interest in promoting H.L. Mencken's birthday with such a grand event!

Last chance to Name This Turtle! We've received many good suggestions and the winner will be announced on or shortly aft...
09/08/2021

Last chance to Name This Turtle! We've received many good suggestions and the winner will be announced on or shortly after Mencken's birthday this coming weekend! Give us your best suggestion!

Last chance to Name This Turtle! We've received many good suggestions and the winner will be announced on or shortly after Mencken's birthday this coming weekend! Give us your best suggestion!

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind – that its modest and greatly overestimated ser...
09/05/2021

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind – that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.

I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty…

I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.

I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech…

I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.

I believe in the reality of progress.

I – But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind – that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.

I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty…

I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.

I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech…

I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.

I believe in the reality of progress.

I – But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.

Jack and Quinn were thrilled to visit the Mencken House today! Spent an hour and a half exploring the historic house and...
09/04/2021

Jack and Quinn were thrilled to visit the Mencken House today! Spent an hour and a half exploring the historic house and they loved the garden!

Remember that you can visit the house by appointment only! Visit our website at www.menckenhouse.org for more information.

Jack and Quinn were thrilled to visit the Mencken House today! Spent an hour and a half exploring the historic house and they loved the garden!

Remember that you can visit the house by appointment only! Visit our website at www.menckenhouse.org for more information.

HL MENCKEN BIRTHDAY CONCERT!In cooperation with the Society to Preserve H.L. Mencken’s Legacy, the Union Square Associat...
09/02/2021

HL MENCKEN BIRTHDAY CONCERT!

In cooperation with the Society to Preserve H.L. Mencken’s Legacy, the Union Square Association is presenting a free concert featuring a few of the many compositions Mencken enjoyed. The performance is planned for 4 p.m. Sept. 12, Mencken’s 141st birthday, in Union Square Park.

The event is organized by Julien Benichou, Music Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, Southern Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Conductor of the Washington Opera Society. He also is a resident of Union Square. Compositions will be performed by The Symphonical Brass, an quintet consisting of members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mencken, who lived most of his life in the house at 1524 Hollins Street, across from Union Square Park, rose to national prominence with his stinging commentary that exposed hypocrisy in American society. Many of his observations remain relevant more than a half century after his death. In addition, his analysis of U.S. English usage, The American Language, is a cornerstone of insight into the American idiom.

During the concert, the Mencken House, restored and furnished with Mencken’s possessions, will be open to the public from 4 pm until 7 pm. German beer, wine with chips and pretzels will be available for visitors. Contact: [email protected] for information.

A highly proficient pianist with a strong musical background, Mencken was host for decades to the “Saturday Night Club,” a rotating group of professional and amateur musicians, as well as music lovers, who gathered every Saturday from the 1920s into the 1950s to enjoy camaraderie, song and sustenance. The Sept. 12 performance is something of an echo of the Saturday Night Club.

The selections for the Sept. 12 performance are but a few of the hundreds of compositions mentioned in the collection, H.L. Mencken on Music: A Selection of His Writings on Music. Mencken on Music is an assortment of newspaper columns and other works assembled and lightly curated by Louis Cheslock, a regular at the “Saturday Night Club,” as well as a violinist, composer and author who taught at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

The Sept. 12 birthday performance coincides with the annual observance of Mencken Day at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, which is held on the Saturday closest to Mencken’s Birthday. The event is planned mostly via intenet this year and will feature a lecture at 2 p.m. Sept. 11 by former newspaper reporter and current director of the professional writing program at Towson University, Michael Downs. For details about how to view the lecture in person or online, visit https://calendar.prattlibrary.org and enter “Mencken” in the search bar.

Parking is on street. Feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

HL MENCKEN BIRTHDAY CONCERT!

In cooperation with the Society to Preserve H.L. Mencken’s Legacy, the Union Square Association is presenting a free concert featuring a few of the many compositions Mencken enjoyed. The performance is planned for 4 p.m. Sept. 12, Mencken’s 141st birthday, in Union Square Park.

The event is organized by Julien Benichou, Music Director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, Southern Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Conductor of the Washington Opera Society. He also is a resident of Union Square. Compositions will be performed by The Symphonical Brass, an quintet consisting of members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mencken, who lived most of his life in the house at 1524 Hollins Street, across from Union Square Park, rose to national prominence with his stinging commentary that exposed hypocrisy in American society. Many of his observations remain relevant more than a half century after his death. In addition, his analysis of U.S. English usage, The American Language, is a cornerstone of insight into the American idiom.

During the concert, the Mencken House, restored and furnished with Mencken’s possessions, will be open to the public from 4 pm until 7 pm. German beer, wine with chips and pretzels will be available for visitors. Contact: [email protected] for information.

A highly proficient pianist with a strong musical background, Mencken was host for decades to the “Saturday Night Club,” a rotating group of professional and amateur musicians, as well as music lovers, who gathered every Saturday from the 1920s into the 1950s to enjoy camaraderie, song and sustenance. The Sept. 12 performance is something of an echo of the Saturday Night Club.

The selections for the Sept. 12 performance are but a few of the hundreds of compositions mentioned in the collection, H.L. Mencken on Music: A Selection of His Writings on Music. Mencken on Music is an assortment of newspaper columns and other works assembled and lightly curated by Louis Cheslock, a regular at the “Saturday Night Club,” as well as a violinist, composer and author who taught at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

The Sept. 12 birthday performance coincides with the annual observance of Mencken Day at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, which is held on the Saturday closest to Mencken’s Birthday. The event is planned mostly via intenet this year and will feature a lecture at 2 p.m. Sept. 11 by former newspaper reporter and current director of the professional writing program at Towson University, Michael Downs. For details about how to view the lecture in person or online, visit https://calendar.prattlibrary.org and enter “Mencken” in the search bar.

Parking is on street. Feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

NAME THIS TURTLE! This is a newest addition to the H.L. Mencken garden in the rear of this historic house! So far we hav...
09/02/2021

NAME THIS TURTLE!

This is a newest addition to the H.L. Mencken garden in the rear of this historic house!

So far we have: Hollins, August, Anna, Dreiser, Bryan and Marion!

The chosen name will be announced on or shortly after Mencken's birthday on Sunday, September 12th.

Mencken was known to have kept turtles in his beloved yard. We want to keep that tradition alive.

Did you know that even as late as 1936...a not so sentimental Henry purchased more turtles to care for after the others he had were gone? How old was H.L. in 1936? 56 years old. A year after his wife's death he still had a soft spot for little 🐢🐢

Be creative!

Mencken House

NAME THIS TURTLE!

This is a newest addition to the H.L. Mencken garden in the rear of this historic house!

So far we have: Hollins, August, Anna, Dreiser, Bryan and Marion!

The chosen name will be announced on or shortly after Mencken's birthday on Sunday, September 12th.

Mencken was known to have kept turtles in his beloved yard. We want to keep that tradition alive.

Did you know that even as late as 1936...a not so sentimental Henry purchased more turtles to care for after the others he had were gone? How old was H.L. in 1936? 56 years old. A year after his wife's death he still had a soft spot for little 🐢🐢

Be creative!

Mencken House

08/29/2021

So quiet and peaceful...

NOTICE! Postponed due to Covid. New date to be announced.https://www.charmcitybooks.com/?q=h.calevent&eid=13452Author Ta...
08/09/2021

NOTICE! Postponed due to Covid. New date to be announced.

https://www.charmcitybooks.com/?q=h.calevent&eid=13452
Author Talk at the H.L. Mencken House/Museum An evening with Ivan Leshinsky, author of Teaming Up: A Memoir about Sports, Work, Travel, Family and Neighbors
Thursday August 26, 2021 | 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Click link for details.

Perspective: thoughts about a man who was an avid reader of newspapers, among other things. He read them daily, that is,...
08/05/2021

Perspective: thoughts about a man who was an avid reader of newspapers, among other things. He read them daily, that is, until 1948.

Perspective: thoughts about a man who was an avid reader of newspapers, among other things. He read them daily, that is, until 1948.

Another excellent quote about the Mencken House from a valued friend of the historic site! Click on the image for the fu...
07/31/2021

Another excellent quote about the Mencken House from a valued friend of the historic site! Click on the image for the full quote!

Another excellent quote about the Mencken House from a valued friend of the historic site! Click on the image for the full quote!

Visit the Mencken House from the comfort of your home! When visiting the new webpage for the house click Visit and scrol...
07/30/2021

Visit the Mencken House from the comfort of your home! When visiting the new webpage for the house click Visit and scroll down to the Virtual Tour and enjoy! Walk through the house with a 360 view of each room and beautiful outside garden.
https://menckenhouse.org/virtualtour/

Visit the Mencken House from the comfort of your home! When visiting the new webpage for the house click Visit and scroll down to the Virtual Tour and enjoy! Walk through the house with a 360 view of each room and beautiful outside garden.
https://menckenhouse.org/virtualtour/

GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT! The Mencken House has a new website! One of the links on the website has a Donation link! Peruse the...
07/29/2021

GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT! The Mencken House has a new website! One of the links on the website has a Donation link! Peruse the website and let us know what you think of it! We will probably be tweaking it from time to time but here it is!

From time to time we receive inquiries about how to make a donation and we made it simple. You can still send a check but many people prefer online donating. Follow the prompts and you can be a proud supporter of the H.L. Mencken House!

www.menckenhouse.org

GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT! The Mencken House has a new website! One of the links on the website has a Donation link! Peruse the website and let us know what you think of it! We will probably be tweaking it from time to time but here it is!

From time to time we receive inquiries about how to make a donation and we made it simple. You can still send a check but many people prefer online donating. Follow the prompts and you can be a proud supporter of the H.L. Mencken House!

www.menckenhouse.org

Visited the garden of the H.L. Mencken House on Saturday and it was so peaceful! The grape vines providing a coolness. I...
07/26/2021

Visited the garden of the H.L. Mencken House on Saturday and it was so peaceful! The grape vines providing a coolness. I could almost see Henry sitting in his chair in the shade reading the latest newspapers and smoking his favorite cigar or sipping on his favorite brew...

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1524 Hollins Street
Baltimore, MD
21223

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Comments

Could Mencken House raise money by including a “gift” with a minimum tad-deductible contribution of, say, $100? Perhaps the collected Days trilogy with Ms Rodgers’ contributions which she might generously autograph. Perhaps the same with her autobiography with a lesser donation, if the books can be had cheaply enough to allow for decent profit. At a bookstore today I found a cloth doll of Frederick Douglass and immediately wished there was a Mencken doll. Somewhere in Asia it could probably be made for $2.
MAY 15TH ONCE BEGAN "STRAW HAT SEASON" IN BALTIMORE! As Baltimore's newspaper, The Sun, reported in 1922, “Baltimore is noted as the greatest producer of straw hats” in the United States. These chiefly were boaters, formal straw hats with a flat top and brim. Baltimore's straw hat industry began in the 1870s in what became the “Garment District” in downtown's western quarter. At its height in the 1920s, over 2,000 workers produced some 3,000,000 straw hats annually. The three major companies so engaged were Brigham-Hopkins, M.S. Levy, and Townsend-Grace. Straw hat season began on 15 May and ended on 15 September, though how those dates were determined remains unknown. However, by the 1960s, straw hats lost their popularity, as did men's hats generally. (Below: Mr. Mencken wearing a boater)
27 APRIL 1820: HERBERT SPENCER BORN IN DERBY, ENGLAND; HE ORIGINATED THE EXPRESSION, "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" H. L. Mencken would later say that "the ideal government of all reflective men, from Aristotle to Herbert Spencer, is one which lets the individual alone - one which barely escapes being no government at all." A liberal in the classical sense, Spencer underwrote the value of freedom. Also, he was an evolutionist, even before Darwin's breakthrough biological research. Spencer even used evolution in an attempt to synthesize philosophy and science into a unified system. It was he who invented the expression, "survival of the fittest" - although without intending it to justify needless brutality. Broadly influential in the late 19th century, Spencer died in 1903.
Haven't read this yet, but it's next on my list.
I know why I like Mencken so much. It's because he's like Poe! Several decades apart... however, if they ever could have met... I'm sure it would've been a battle of heavy criticism and sharp wit. Happy early birthday, HL! Journalism at a time when it was its finest.