Baltimore, Maryland is home to the Irish Railroad Workers Museum. This historic site celebrates the history and impact of the Irish in Southwest Baltimore City in the late 1840s. The site, which opened in June of 2002, consists of a group of five alley houses that were once home to the Irish immigrants who worked for B&O Railroad. Many of the families immigrated to the United States to escape Ireland’s “Great Hunger” famine of 1845-1853. The houses located at 918 and 920 Lemmon Street are where the Museum is housed. One of the houses has been furnished to offer an authentic representation of what a home would have looked like during that time period. The other house has rotating exhibits that relate to Irish-American history and role of Irish workers in this nation.
The Museum itself is the centerpiece of a larger history-rich area. The community is unique in that it is an intact representation of where the Irish lived, worked, and went about their everyday lives. Included in the community is the B&O Railroad Museum, Peter the Apostle Church, Pether the Apostle cemetery, and the Hollins Street Market. Each of these locations were significant in the daily lives of the community and the culture.
The Museum is open for visitors Friday and Saturday from 11am-2pm, and Sunday from 1-4pm. Docent-led tours are available for those who would like to have guided tours and to have questions answered regarding the exhibits. Current exhibits and events include the Irish Railroad Workers Museum Annual Gala. This event takes place on February 26th and is their unofficial kick off for St. Patrick’s Day. It includes a full dinner buffet, live music and sampling of whiskeys and beer. Every second Saturday of the month the Museum presents a variety of free Irish-inspired programming.
All public tours and museum visits are free but donations are welcome. Guided neighborhood tours can also be scheduled and are available upon request. For questions on tours or any museum related subjects, please call (410) 347-4747 during museum hours, or (410) 669-8154 if the museum is closed. Additional information can be found online at irishshrine.org.