The Baltimore Streetcar Museum

Behind the Scenes

December 06, 1998|By Karin Remesch

Mission: Founded in 1966, three years after the last streetcar ran in the city, the Baltimore Streetcar Museum is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Baltimore's street railways. The museum is home to more than a dozen vintage Baltimore street railway vehicles, ranging from the first horsecar, which inaugurated rail service in 1859, to the last car on the streets in 1963. The museum provides streetcar rides (about half the collection is restored and operating), tours and educational programs in addition to maintaining extensive archives for research.

Latest accomplishment: On view since 1996, "Baltimore: A City of Neighborhoods - You Got There by Streetcar," a photo exhibit that profiles Baltimore neighborhoods in the late 1940s to early 1950s. More than 50 black-and-white photographs of city scenes are mounted and informatively captioned in the museum's visitors' center auditorium.

On the horizon: The annual "Tinsel Trolley" holiday fund-raiser will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13 and Dec. 19-20. The event features Santa Claus riding streetcars with museum passengers, gifts for children, holiday decorations that include an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree, a streetcar and train garden, live organ music, refreshments and seasonal gift shop ideas. Dec. 26-27, the museum will present its annual Toy Trains and Trolleys, with members operating vintage pieces from their collections.

About the museum: Membership: 400.

Attendance: 5,000 annually.

Operating budget: $50,000.

Where and when: 1901 Falls Road in the Jones Falls Valley. Hours: noon to 5 p.m. Sundays year-round; Saturdays and Sundays, June through October. Call for December hours; 410-547-0264. Web site: http://www.baltimoremd.com/streetcar/.

John J. O'Neill Jr., board president: "During the past several years, the museum has celebrated both the 30th anniversary of its founding [1996] and the 25th anniversary of operations [1995]. We are proud of our integral ties to the community and look forward to a future expansion of our programs and a continuation of our mission."

Members of the board of trustees

Edward M. Amrhein

Benjamin M. Bates

Andrew S. Blumberg

Mark A. Hurley

John D. La Costa

Daniel B. Lawrence

Paul W. Wirtz

Richard J. Williams

Pub Date: 12/06/98

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