If you’re looking for something to love about the city on Valentine’s Day weekend – check out this romance-themed tour of Mount Vernon taking place on Sunday, organized by Baltimore Heritage.
It’s their 16th annual “Mount Vernon Love Stories Historic Valentine’s Day Walking Tour” of “Baltimore’s most romantic neighborhood,” led by historian – and frequent Brew commenter! – James Hunt.
The tour starts with a look inside Ambassador Theodore Marburg’s mansion at 14 West Mount Vernon Place, which Agora Publishing has wonderfully restored.
Go to this link to sign up for either of two tours, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.. Admission is $15 per person.
Here’s how Baltimore Heritage blurbs the sort of sights you’ll see and the romance-themed tales your guide will tell.
For two centuries, Mount Vernon has seen spectacular love stories, bitter feuds, and more than a few juicy trysts. The neighborhood’s earliest days include patriot and original Mount Vernon landowner John Eager Howard marrying a charming young Philadelphian, Margaret “Peggy” Chew, after her first love was hanged for treason in a plot that involved Benedict Arnold. Fast forward 200 years and Mount Vernon saw a 20th century graduate of its Baltimore School for the Arts, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, fall in love with and marry another noted Philadelphian, actor Will Smith.
In between these two sets of lovers are the royal tales of Betsy Patterson Bonaparte, who died wealthy but bitter in Mount Vernon years after an annulled marriage to Napoleon’s brother Jerome, and Bessie Wallis Warfield, who was christened in a neighborhood church (just across the street from where Betsy died) and grew up to become the Duchess of Windsor. Not to be outdone by royalty, some of Baltimore’s most storied authors have ties to Mt. Vernon along with their beautiful, sad marriages, including Edgar Allan Poe, H.L. Mencken, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. And of course the rich and famous of Baltimore’s Gilded Age include more than a few with off-beat love lives. Please join us and historian Jamie Hunt as we uncover historic loves won and lost in Baltimore’s great Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The tour will start with a look inside Ambassador Theodore Marburg’s mansion at 14 West Mount Vernon Place, which Agora Publishing has wonderfully restored.