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Two Pieces of Numismatic History to See While at the Baltimore Show this Weekend

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If anyone is going to the Baltimore show this weekend from out of town, here are two small pieces of numismatic history that you can check out which are located right up the street from the Baltimore Convention Center:


105 West Monument Street


This brownstone mansion was built in 1859. But in 1867 it was converted into one of the leading hotels of the day. Actor Edwin Booth (brother of John Wilkes Booth) stayed here when performing in Baltimore. The hotel closed in 1902 and the building was sold to note-worthy numismatist Waldo Newcomer. He paid $100,000 for the mansion and immediately began extensive renovations. Major additions included Tiffany stained glass windows and walnut paneling.


The brownstone is only a 5 minute drive north of the Convention Center. You could walk there in about 15 minutes. And even though it's Baltimore, the walk is safe as long as you stay on Charles Street. Living in Baltimore my entire life, I wouldn't recommend going too far west of Charles. Also, I'd recommend to anyone that has any difficultly walking to just drive there anyway, because this part of the city isn't flat, and there are some significant hills to climb.


Today the building is owned by a financial publishing company that I sometimes do freelance work for. It's not open to the public, but I've been inside many times and can assure you that it is nothing less than spectacular.


Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument




Dedicated in 1909, this Monument was co-created and designed by Adolph Weinman, which commemorates the Union military personnel of the American Civil War. The face of Victory on this monument has been noted as having a strong resemblance to Liberty's features on the Mercury Dime.


This monument is located in Wyman Park Dell, which is right near the Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus and about a 10-15 minute drive north of the Convention Center. There's no street address, but the Wyman Park Dell is on the corner of W. 29th Street and N. Charles Street.


If there, I would also recommend checking out the Hopkins Homewood Campus while you're there. It's worth the two-minute walk to see the "beach" and the quad. I did some post-graduate work at Hopkins before becoming interested in coins and walked right by this monument every single day without realizing its significance.


If you have more time, I'd also highly recommend going to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Admission to the museum is free. Among the most notable collections is the Cone Collection, which includes works by Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Renoir, and is currently on display. The Cone Collection features many very well-known works including Matisse's Purple Robe and Anemones, and his Pink Nude.


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Thank you for tips on further sites to see in Baltimore. ]


Some others are:


• The museums that are located in the railroad station next to Camden Yards. They include the Maryland Sports Museum and the a comic book museum.


• The Babe Ruth birth place


• The Maryland Historical Society, which is located in a rundown section. You can get there on the street car that has a stop next to the Convention Center. That section of town will show you part of what the middle class section of Baltimore used to look like.


• And best of all the B&O Railroad Museum, which is a must for railroad fans.


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One place that you want to stay away from in Baltimore is the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum at 203 N Amity St. A lot of visitors are interested in the Poe House. But it's in an absolutely terrible neighborhood. Just... don't go. The Wire was less fictitious than you hoped it was. And it hasn't gotten any better since.


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Another thing that I'd say is incredibly worth it is a tour of The Green Mount Cemetery...especially since it's Halloween. I was reluctant to go on this tour at first, because I didn't think a tour through a cemetery would be interesting. But it is really awesome. The Green Mount Cemetery is the resting place of:


John Wilkes Booth

George Steuart

Johns Hopkins

Elijah Bond, inventor of the Ouija Board

Samuel Arnold

William Rinehart

and many others



John Wilkes Booth's grave is actually unmarked because they didn't want it to become a target for vandals. But he is buried somewhere within the Booth family plot. People leave Lincoln cents on the Booth headstones.



I've done the guided tour twice. And would definitely do it again. http://greenmountcemetery.com/visit-greenmount-cemetery.html


The cemetery is also is a bad neighborhood. But there's a 15 foot stone wall that surrounds the entire thing. You're not getting in there without a ladder or through the gates.

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The Poe house is definitely in a sketchy part of town. When I visited, there were roving gangs of hoodlums... (I had to go though, since he shares a Charleston connection, and my last name is Poe).


I'll second the B&O railroad museum - that place was awesome!


I didn't go to the Baltimore Art Museum, but I did go to the Walters Art Museum, and it was fantastic.


I would also recommend a visit to the Basilica (get a tour of the crypts - kinda creepy, but really cool).


And I'm surprised no one mentioned Fort McHenry - probably the highlight of my tour of Baltimore. And to keep it numismatically tangential - you can get one of the America the Beautiful Quarters that features Fort McHenry.

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Yeah Fort McHenry is pretty cool. But there's another really cool fort around Bmore that tourist never go see: Fort Howard.


Fort Howard played a significant role in the War of 1812 as the site of the Battle of North Point on Sept. 12, 1814. The Battle of North Point was a tactical loss for the Americans, but is generally considered as a strategic victory because it significantly slowed the British and allowed time to complete preparations for defending the city in the Battle of Baltimore.


If the Americans weren't able to successful slow the British, the Battle of Baltimore could have ended differently...and Francis Scott Key may have not seen old glory flying over Fort McHenry "by the dawn's early light".


Right now is not a good time to visit Fort Howard however....unless you're into haunted houses. Every October the county turns the batteries at the fort into a haunted house...which is actually pretty cool. But it's always very busy. You'll wait in line for hours before getting in.


Battery at Fort Howard



I don't think that all of the batteries at Fort Howard actually date to the Battle of North Point. I believe that most of them were built around the turn of the 20th century. But as you can see, you can climb around on them and even get into the old prison cells. Of course, this means that a lot of it is graffitied up and damaged by vandals. But I think the old graffiti, damage, and over-grown nature actually adds to the Fort's mystic. Even not during Halloween, the whole Fort feels haunted.


Fort Howard is not in the city and kind of out of the way...probably 45 minutes southeast of the Inner Harbor. But if you ever get a chance to check it out, you'll get to see a pretty cool piece of American history that most people don't.


Battle of North Point wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_North_Point

Fort Howard Dungeon facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forthowarddungeons

(the main website is down right now: http://www.haunteddungeons.com )

Long video of some guy walking around the batteries:



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