H.L. Mencken House

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. 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.

A note from Henry to Sara...
06/07/2020

A note from Henry to Sara...

H.L. Mencken's typewriter! Yes, he actually used this!What do you think was the last thing he typed on this typewriter?
05/28/2020

H.L. Mencken's typewriter! Yes, he actually used this!

What do you think was the last thing he typed on this typewriter?

H.L. Mencken House's cover photo
05/27/2020

H.L. Mencken House's cover photo

05/24/2020
Three artifacts from the H.L. Mencken House collection .

VIDEO 1: Jeff Jerome, Social Media and Outreach Coordinator introducing three artifacts from the Mencken House collection. This is the first in a series of videos showcasing various items from the extensive and eclectic collection. If you have information about the pieces please contact us. Thank you and enjoy! UPDATE: The wooden figure is not a dragon but a foo dog.

The April issue of Baltimore Magazine featured a nice article about the H.L. Mencken House. There are three pages to thi...
05/02/2020

The April issue of Baltimore Magazine featured a nice article about the H.L. Mencken House. There are three pages to this article. Enjoy!

H.L. Mencken House's cover photo
04/22/2020

H.L. Mencken House's cover photo

While we are all at home we thought you'd enjoy a few images of the Mencken House and Union Square. We hope all of our M...
04/21/2020

While we are all at home we thought you'd enjoy a few images of the Mencken House and Union Square. We hope all of our Mencken House friends are doing well.

We wanted to share this video with you from 2002. Despite being recorded 18 years ago the answers and questions are rele...
04/11/2020
Writings of H.L. Mencken

We wanted to share this video with you from 2002. Despite being recorded 18 years ago the answers and questions are relevant today. We hope you learn something from this video. Enjoy. https://www.c-span.org/video/?165662-1/writings-hl-mencken. Click on the link or the blank image below. Share your thoughts with us.

The American Writers series guests examine the life and career of journalist H. L. Mencken. The guests answer viewer questions and comments.

In 2012 H. L. Mencken made an appearance at this event. I don't remember exactly what he said but he was well received b...
04/08/2020

In 2012 H. L. Mencken made an appearance at this event. I don't remember exactly what he said but he was well received by the audience.

The volunteers at the H.L. Mencken House wish all of our friends and followers to stay safe during these trying times! W...
03/29/2020

The volunteers at the H.L. Mencken House wish all of our friends and followers to stay safe during these trying times! We will make it through this situation! In the meantime, like all other museums/historic houses we will remain closed until this passes.

In the meantime we’ll continue to post entertaining and thought provoking articles for your perusal!

Stay safe and well!

What is this? It almost feels like lead. Yes, we know it’s Mencken!
03/08/2020

What is this? It almost feels like lead. Yes, we know it’s Mencken!

A reminder that Spring/Summer is right around the corner! Henry sitting in his beloved garden.
03/06/2020

A reminder that Spring/Summer is right around the corner! Henry sitting in his beloved garden.

YES! We made the list! A minor note. At this time the house is available by appointment only. The house is staffed by vo...
03/06/2020
10 reasons why bibliophiles need to book a trip to Baltimore

YES! We made the list! A minor note. At this time the house is available by appointment only. The house is staffed by volunteers. Call toll free at 855-853-1524 to arrange an appointment that is convenient for both parties.

Here are 10 places that will illustrate why storied Baltimore, Maryland used to be called "The City That Reads."

Quite appropriate for this Valentine's Day. We have no idea if this was given to Sara on Valentine's Day but you'll agre...
02/14/2020

Quite appropriate for this Valentine's Day. We have no idea if this was given to Sara on Valentine's Day but you'll agree it is touching and beautiful. There is no doubt he loved Sara Haardt.

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired;
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Edmund Waller (1606-1687)
Form: Sonnet

Mencken’s Happy Day’s!
02/13/2020

Mencken’s Happy Day’s!

A view from Mencken’s study...click the photo for the full image.
02/12/2020

A view from Mencken’s study...click the photo for the full image.

H.L. MENCKEN'S FUNERAL: Excerpts from MENCKEN The American Iconoclast, The Life and Times of the Bad Boy of Baltimore, M...
02/08/2020

H.L. MENCKEN'S FUNERAL: Excerpts from MENCKEN The American Iconoclast, The Life and Times of the Bad Boy of Baltimore, Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, Oxford University Press. 2005.

Epilogue: The Passing of an Era.

Hours earlier, a Sun librarian had struggled to unlock a metal box firmly screwed onto a shelf in the library. Inside, he found a piece of paper. On it Mencken had written: TO WHOEVER COVERS MY DEATH." Inside was Mencken's earnest request that there be only a very brief announcement, with no attempt at a biographical sketch, no portrait, and no editorial.

Mencken might have known that such instructions would not be heeded. All that day and the next, August tried to cope with calls and the hundreds of letters that poured into Hollins Street. "I believe he was glad to go," August told a friend, "My only comfort was that the end was as he would have wanted it."

Always an agnostic, Mencken insisted he felt no animosity toward persons who were religious.

He insisted that no Christian religious service be performed, warning his brother to "be sure to not let Gertrude change the terms of my funeral as stated in my will." The body was sent to the pathology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in compliance with Mencken's wishes that "the boys" look at his brain and "find out what went on in it."

They gathered on January 31at the funeral home just around the corner from 1524 Hollins Street. Many more would have attended, but August discouraged them. Standing shoulder to shoulder were W. Edwin Moffet, the oldest surviving member of the Saturday Night Club, along with Louis Cheslack; Dr. Arnold Rich, professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins Medical School; and Siegfried Weisberger of the Peabody Book Store. Among those from the Sun Papers were William Abell and Hamilton Owens. Charles Mencken and his second wife, Ruth, his daughter, Virginia. James Cain had driven from Maryland; Alfred Knopf had flown in from New York.

Hamilton Owens was the spokesman for the group. "August wanted me to tell you what most of you already know," he began. "Henry didn't want funeral services of any kind. All he wanted was a few friends to see him off on his last journey." Almost breaking down, Owens struggled to keep going: "And that is what we are doing here today." There was an awkward silence. Then, with a nod from August , the casket was closed and removed rom the small room.

Only August and Charles accompanied the casket to the cemetery. Newsreel photographers stood nearby; August threatened them with legal action if any pictures were taken. The hears slowly roiled away from the curb, gleaming brightly in the afternoon sunlight, then headed for Loudon Park.

The death of H.L.Mencken gleaned from "MENCKEN THE AMERICAN ICONOCLAST. The Life and Times of the Bad Boy of Baltimore" ...
02/02/2020

The death of H.L.Mencken gleaned from "MENCKEN THE AMERICAN ICONOCLAST. The Life and Times of the Bad Boy of Baltimore" Written by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, Oxford University Press, 2005. The last two paragraphs choked me up and I shed a tear. It is believed he died between 4 am and 5 am.

From Part Seven, The Last Days. “The following Saturday, on January 28, 1956, Mencken listened to a radio broadcast of Die Meistersinger before taking a nap. As he ate a light supper, August read him the headlines of the Evening Sun. That day few stories interested him. “There were no robberies, or murders, or women shooting their husbands, or anything like that.” August remembered. Then he played some more classical music. That evening, Louis Cheslock called at Hollins Street, but Mencken was not waiting for him at his usual seat. “Harry doesn’t feel well,” August explained. A few moments later, Mencken came downstairs. To Cheslock’s surprise, he walked straight up to him and put out his hand. He had never done that before. “Louis, this is the last time you’ll see me, “ he said, At these words, Cheslock later said, “…a chill ran down my back.”

Once they were in the parlor, Mencken went immediately over to the sofa and sat down , saying, “I don’t think I feel well.” After this, however, he felt remarkably revived. The evening progressed as if nothing untoward had happened. The men spoke about music, television announcers, and the forthcoming Minority Report. To the delight of all three, a crank had already written to denounce it before its publication. At one point, Mencken complained about a pain in his chest, and August handed him a pink pill. At nine he went upstairs. Before during so, he briefly shook Cheslock’s hand, and repeated, “Louis, this is the last you’ll see me.” Cheslock left shortly after. Outside the weather was raw, with rain eventually turning to sleet. When he reached his house, Cheslock told his wife that he had an ominous feeling about Mencken. “Don’t say that,” Elise reassured him. “You’ll be there next week.”

The Mencken household retired at 9:15. On Mencken’s bedside table was a glass of water and his night pills. To his right, within easy reach, was his radio. The strains of music could be heard. It was Mozart. Long ago, on hearing the music of this composer, Mencken had mused that the only permanent values in the world were truth and beauty. This and only this, he believed, was the heritage of man. They were the things he had fought for all his life.

The symphony played until ten that evening. Silence descended on the house and the city. And then, sometime later, long after the last chord of music had registered itself upon H.L. Mencken, a gray light shone upon the icy rooftops, as the sun rose over Baltimore.

To be continued…

Board members of the Society for the Preservation of H. L. Mencken’s Legacy were in attendance at the 5th Annual Southwe...
02/02/2020

Board members of the Society for the Preservation of H. L. Mencken’s Legacy were in attendance at the 5th Annual Southwest Jubilee! Music, food, magic, good cheer all around! Meeting all the community groups from southwest Baltimore! Just letting everyone know the Mencken House is alive and well!

Even Mencken is toasting with us! Can you find him?
01/29/2020

Even Mencken is toasting with us! Can you find him?

Born: September 12, 1880, Baltimore, Maryland.Died: January 29, 1956, Baltimore, Maryland.Died in his sleep...
01/29/2020

Born: September 12, 1880, Baltimore, Maryland.
Died: January 29, 1956, Baltimore, Maryland.

Died in his sleep...

In memoriam:  Henry Louis Mencken, born September 12, 1880. Died January 29, 1956, at his home, 1524 Hollins Street, Bal...
01/29/2020

In memoriam: Henry Louis Mencken, born September 12, 1880. Died January 29, 1956, at his home, 1524 Hollins Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

"If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.”

Members of the Society for the Preservation of H.L. Mencken's Legacy attended the  annual  Mencken Graveside Memorial he...
01/27/2020

Members of the Society for the Preservation of H.L. Mencken's Legacy attended the annual Mencken Graveside Memorial held by the Mencken Society conducted by Oleg Panczenko at the Loudon Park Cemetery. Interested members of the public were also in attendance. It was a windy and chilly day in the cemetery.

A fine group of Mencken enthusiasts toasting to H.L. Mencken and the Mencken House in commemoration of his death anniver...
01/26/2020

A fine group of Mencken enthusiasts toasting to H.L. Mencken and the Mencken House in commemoration of his death anniversary, January 29 1956. This is our first event in over 20 years!

Mencken’s Quotable Quotes a big success! Additional images!
01/25/2020

Mencken’s Quotable Quotes a big success! Additional images!

WOW!! A terrific Mencken event! People love Mencken!  Mencken’s Quotable Quotes was a success! Great quotes, great stori...
01/25/2020

WOW!! A terrific Mencken event! People love Mencken! Mencken’s Quotable Quotes was a success! Great quotes, great stories, great acting, great cider and great cake! Click on the individual images for captions.

Mencken’s Mints! A treat for those in attendance! Each one comes  with a Mencken quote!
01/25/2020

Mencken’s Mints! A treat for those in attendance! Each one comes with a Mencken quote!

Here’s a sneak peek of the Mencken Memorial Cake designed by myself!  This cake has the WOW factor for real! The pages a...
01/25/2020

Here’s a sneak peek of the Mencken Memorial Cake designed by myself! This cake has the WOW factor for real! The pages are even golden!

H.L. Mencken House's cover photo
01/24/2020

H.L. Mencken House's cover photo

We had a rehearsal last night and I am so impressed with Alex Zavistovich! I found myself laughing at many of the quotes...
01/23/2020

We had a rehearsal last night and I am so impressed with Alex Zavistovich! I found myself laughing at many of the quotes and Mencken's recollections of Baltimore in the 1880's! And you know what? With so much doom and gloom in the news it felt good to laugh! I hope you can attend this event and enjoy the readings, the specialty Mencken Memorial Cake, fresh Pennsylvania Dutch Amish apple cider which will be served in the Toast to Mencken's Legacy and served with the cake! The weather looks wet for Saturday so that's an even better excuse to attend! I'm picking up the cake tomorrow and will post an image of it! Jeff Jerome.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/menckens-quotable-quotes-tickets-89116021419?

The weather report for this Saturday is for off and on rain. But it'll be nice and warm inside the Mencken House! It app...
01/22/2020

The weather report for this Saturday is for off and on rain. But it'll be nice and warm inside the Mencken House! It appears Henry had a word or two to say about the weatherman.

The eventbrite glitch has been fixed! You can now reserve your seats! I picked up two gallons of Pennsylvania Dutch appl...
01/16/2020
''Mencken's Quotable Quotes''

The eventbrite glitch has been fixed! You can now reserve your seats! I picked up two gallons of Pennsylvania Dutch apple cider for the Toast to Mencken and for the Mencken Memorial Cake! Someone referred to it as the Mencken Death Cake in either case it's going to be a delicious Mencken themed cake!

Refreshments will be served! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/menckens-quotable-quotes-tickets-89116021419?

H.L. Mencken, iconic journalist, writer, magazine editor, authority on American linguistics, controversial literary and cultural critic, essayist and scholar on American English, died January 29, 1956 at his home at 1524 Hollins Street. The Society for the Preservation of H. L. Mencken's Legacy will...

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1524 Hollins Street
Baltimore, MD
21223

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Comments

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.