Articles

Fairmount Gardens and The “Lady Aeronaut”

In Special Collections on May 7, 2013 by rob schoeberlein Tagged: , , , ,

View of Baltimore City, From Fairmount, 1852

View of Baltimore City, From Fairmount, 1852

Fairmount Gardens, near the intersection of East Fayette and Broadway, served as a private pleasure ground in the decades before the Civil War. The hotel with observation deck to the right, “situated upon the most lofty pinnacle near our city, stands in the centre of an enclosure of about five acres,” where visitors could treat themselves to ice cream, a lemonade, or a Baltimore seasonal favorite, strawberries and cream.

Fairmount also served as a site for fireworks gatherings, an agricultural fair, and other special occasions. The two September 1837 ascensions of Baltimorean Mrs. Jane Warren, in her tri-color balloon, stand as the most unusual. Warren, dubbed the “Lady Aeronaut” by The Sun, is considered to be the first woman in America to make solo balloon trips. Upon her death in April 1874, The Sun lauded her as “a notable woman” who “was famous for two balloon ascensions… on which she displayed remarkable nerve.”

Digital image from the Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 5980-1-24.

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