Holidays at Hampton: Hello Baltimore County November 2016

Well there’s a chill in the air and the holidays
are right around the corner. A great way to get
into the holiday spirit is to visit the Hampton
National Historic Site in Towson. Joining us today in all of her
historic splendor is Gayle Economos of Historic Hampton, Inc. – Thank you very
much for having me. – Sure! Thank you so much
for joining us. I feel a tiny bit underdressed. Can you tell us about
your gorgeous outfit? – Well, first of all, Hampton was,
you know, it’s the story of Maryland — and really Baltimore County. So, the same family, the Ridgelys,
lived there from 1783 until 1948. So I am dressed in one of
the periods of the family, which would be around
the War of 1812. So, you know, people wear
camo nowadays for just fashion. We don’t have
to be in the military. Well women
during the War of 1812 oftentimes wore a military-style outfit,
which is what I have, including my bonnet, which
is designed to look like a shako, which was the helmet that the soldiers
wore, let’s say at Fort McHenry. – Well it is absolutely gorgeous. – Thank you! Thank you.
It’s exciting to wear it, too. – Tell us a little bit about
what I think a lot of us refer to as the Hampton Mansion, which is
the Hampton National Historic Site right immediately off
the Beltway at Dulaney Valley. – First of all, you have
to remember that Hampton is the only National Park
in Baltimore County. So this is, you know,
very special. And it’s also the first National Park
that was designated for its architectural significance. So the mansion itself
is amazing! In 1790, when it was completed,
it was described as “a palace in the wilderness.” And if you’ve never been —
or if you went when you were a kid and you haven’t been for a long time,
you’ve got to come back. It’s 25,000 square feet. It is so big, you could fit
Monticello and Mount Vernon in it and have room left over. It’s like Baltimore County’s
Downton Abbey. Think of it that way. And every room in the mansion
is designed to look like a different period from the family, the Ridgely family,
who lived there for so many years. Everything you see — I should say
95 percent of what you see in the mansion is original. So, these people
never threw anything away. So you’re seeing
the real things. This is the drawing room. Now we’re looking at the
War of 1812-era dining room set for a holiday feast. This is also
from the dining room. I mean, the place is amazing
but it’s more than just the mansion. And this is the kitchen. – Not your modern
appliances there, huh? – No, no, but you know,
they got it done. – Yeah.
– It was amazing. But it’s more than
just the mansion. There’s the 63 acres. At one point though, the
Ridgely s owned 25,000 acres. Their outlying farm
was called…White Marsh. – Oh my! – So think of Towson
between Beltway exit 27 and 28 right off the Beltway,
and White Marsh. That’s how vast
the property was. But there are existing slave quarters
there, which is highly unusual. I mean, anywhere
in the United States. So when you go to Hampton —
or for Holidays at Hampton — you can see how the family lived,
the Ridgely family lived, as well as their enslaved African-Americans
and the indentured servants. We have African-American
storytelling. We have music.
We have everything. There’s something for everyone
at Hampton National Historic Site. – Tell us about– tell us a little bit
about the holiday extravaganzas there. – Well, something else I want
to remind everybody about is Hampton admission
is always free. It’s always free at Hampton.
Free, free, free! So all of this cool stuff that’s going on
December 10th and 11th will all be free. So we have African-American
storytelling in the lower house, which will also take you
through the slave quarters. In the mansion, we have everything
from a harpist playing one day in the Great Hall to someone playing
the 1810-era pianoforte in the parlor. I mean, you can still play it! This was, you know, this is–
it’s just it’s that kind of place. And every room will be decorated
according to the time period as well. So we have guided tours
and then we also have open houses. Open house, you could do–
there are period activities. So this is fun for the kids
as well as the family. And the kids can run around
on the grounds, which are beautiful. But you can also–
there’s crafts that kids can do. They can make pomanders
and corn husk dolls and vintage holiday cards
and even popcorn garlands, which you can take home
and do something with. – Sure, deck the halls with, yeah. – Yeah! And the kids can do, you know,
enjoy history with a hands-on activity. – Holidays at Hampton
sounds fantastic. I’m looking forward to the
candlelight tour on Saturday night. Thank you so much
for joining us. – My pleasure. – And thank you for watching
Hello Baltimore County. Don’t forget, you can follow
Baltimore County on Facebook and Twitter
for information on all this and more. ( ♪♪♪ )

Stephen Childs

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