We are very happy to announce that Phil Lord, branch manager of the Elkridge library, is going to speak at our next meeting, on September 11, 2012, in the Brumbaugh House at 7pm. His topic is genealogy. Then on November 13th, same place, same time, we will have Dan Toomey in to talk to us about the history of the railroad, the Civil War, and Elkridge's role in it all. So mark your calendars, and plan to join us!
Our other exciting news is that, in the next few weeks, you might see the Brumbaugh House swathed up, and people coming and going in what looks like Ghostbuster outfits. What is that about? No, we are not trying to eradicate all the friendly spirits that might be visiting the historical items in our collection. We are giving the Brumbaugh House a face-lift, but first there is lead paint that must be eradicated in the safest way possible. We are not bringing the house into the 21st century. We are trying to take it back to the 19th century (sans lead), by removing the cedar shakes to expose the old clapboard, which we believe is in better condition than the shakes. We will be consulting the architect as to the color that would best represent the era when the house was built and also look best in the neighborhood. So please don't be sad if it is no longer forest green. The clapboard underneath appears to be a lighter green or bluish color, but we don't know what color will be chosen in the end. Our deepest gratitude goes out to Ed Hamil for making this project possible.
There are still a lot of projects that need funding at the Brumbaugh House, so we hope you will consider attending a meeting and joining our society. For one thing, the carriage house in the back needs a new roof, and it too will eventually need to be re-painted, but that is outside our budget at this time. We have monthly bills to pay for yard maintenance, electrical and water service. We would dearly love to have internet at the house to help our members get more of the collection on line and do new research. We need a new air conditioner and dehumidifier to help keep our collection safe, and we need new cabinets and things for better storage. The list goes on and on. Soon you will be able to pay membership dues or make a donation on line at our new website (www.elkridgeheritage.org).
Speaking of our new website, our curator, Mary Bahr, has started a new blog column on our website called "Knit'n & Pic'n" where she is knitting together some of our heritage collection. We also have a couple of sample "Community Pages" showing what we can post about our community, such as links to audio and video. We can also link to photo galleries from Flickr. Check it out!
This talk about lead mitigation and genealogy reminds me that my great-great grandfather George Barrett was a house-painter in the 19th century, and he died fairly young, the ultimate cause given as lead poisoning. George Barrett died in Washington DC, but was born in Annapolis. His parents ran an inn called the Half Way House, so denominated because it was half-way between Baltimore and Annapolis. It is no longer there but my best guess is that it was near where Veteran's Highway meets East West Highway or Benfield Boulevard (not far off I-97). George's mother, Kitty Holland Barrett, was raised by Sally Scott Murray Lloyd (whose husband Edward Lloyd was governor of Maryland at one point) and it is said that Kitty's mother Jane Stewart was descended from Robert the Bruce's son Robert II (though Jane was disowned due to the lowly choice of spouse, Isaac Holland). She was a cousin of the Murray family. Sally Scott Murray and Daniel Murray of Rockburn were siblings. So you see, we have taken a circuitous route, but we have tied this story into Elkridge Heritage. Did you know that Daniel Murray and Francis Scott Key were buddies? They were also related by some fashion (for one thing, Francis married Mary Tayloe Lloyd, Edward's sister), so I can claim that Francis Scott Key, and hence F. Scott Fitzgerald, are my cousins (at least by marriage). Okay, it's a long shot! I have not been able to isolate which branch of the Stewart family Jane came from, but I have settled it with myself that it is a most romantic and mysterious story, which I plan to write someday.
Sorry for the tangent. Genealogy is fun though! So remember, come to our September meeting to learn more about it, and keep an eye on this blog and our website for more updates, and pictures of the Brumbaugh House as work progresses.