Monday, December 21, 2015

Photo Essay: Glimpses of Baltimore

About a month ago, I got to visit the city of Baltimore for the first time.



I was there for over a week, but because I was working during the day, I didn't have much free time to see much.



I just caught these glimpses of its culture and history...



...and tried to learn as much as I could, in such a short period of time.



On my first visit, I took a little bite out of Baltimore, and I'll chew on it until my next visit in a few months.



Much of Baltimore history, of course, is U.S. history—



...from those who fled religious persecution...



...to those who sat atop Civil War-era shot towers...



...it all still has the feeling of the fight for freedom...



...as expressed in its many historic brick buildings.



I'm sure there's more to Baltimore than the poop pumping station...



...or the former power plant in the Inner Harbor...



...but so many of the sights look like pages taken out of a history book—even when it's something modern.



The Maryland Historical Society, as its name implies, is a great place to learn about Baltimore's beginnings through its artifacts, like a clump of melted metal nails salvaged from the ashes of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904.



They've also got one of the original boundary markers of the Mason-Dixon Line, which separated Maryland from the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and Delaware, and still forms their state lines.



Maryland was positioned at the heart of the Civil War—too north to be south, and too south to be north...



...and troubled by whether to secede or not secede.



Troops tried to force the decision one way or another, but thanks to these French lead bullets, people got killed before they could take sides.



Of course, the earliest of settlers who were laid to rest in coffins made of lead didn't get to rest til the ever after. Archaeologists dug them up from deep beneath St. Mary's City and put them on display for all to see.



Even when they're reinterred, the coffins won't be covered in soil. They'll be visible through display cases.



I guess if we don't constantly remind ourselves of history, it's so easy to forget. So we need to see a reconstructed skeleton of a dead, prehistoric mastodon because there are no more mastodons to be seen anymore. And we don't want to forget they ever existed...or what they looked like...or just how mammoth they once were.

Everything can go away. Anything can disappear or be buried and forgotten.

But as time wears on, there's just so much to remember...and to keep learning...

Related Post:
Madmen Know Nothing
Photo Essay: Baltimore's Misfit Museum of Pop Culture