Gilman kept an autograph book where she had guests from the world of politics, letters and fellow liberals record their names and dates of their visits to her Park Avenue home.
Within its pages could be found the names of such luminaries as her old friend Socialist leader Norman Thomas, Eugene V. Debs, Upton Sinclair, Arthur Garfield Hays, Roger Baldwin, Joseph Wood Krutch and Judge John M. Woolsey, whose 1933 decision allowed sale of James Joyce's Ulysses, that had previously been banned for sale in the United States.
By 1941, the Southern Hotel relaxed its policies and allowed an interracial testimonial dinner honoring Gilman for her "outstanding service to the city and country" to be held in the Light Street hotel.
Norman Thomas, perennial candidate for president, told The Sun there was "so much potential dynamite in the room that anything can happen."
Noting that whites sat with blacks at tables, Thomas said, "It is a tribute to Baltimore's progress that an interracial dinner can be held here without giving it in a private home."
Thomas praised her "naturalism of action and unassuming integrity," reported The Sun.
"She assumed that if a thing were wrong it could be set right," Thomas said. "Here she sits with orchids on and she is a Socialist."
Gilman was a longtime communicant of Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church, where she had been a founder of St. Paul's Guild House.
Gilman once summed up her philosophy: "Radicals do all sorts of original things not because they have been taught that it is the thing to do, but because it is the thing that appeals to them. They are good company as well as good citizens."
In 1941, her sister repurchased their former childhood home at 614 Park Ave., and Gilman spent her last years there until dying in the house in 1950.
She is buried at Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville.