844 East Pratt
Scooted back up to Baltimore yesterday to take in these two places and a return to Café Gia Ristorante in Little Italy. The server seemed burned out, but the better half and I agree the food is some of the best Italian we’ve had. Nice ambience and opera music a bonus.
Built in 1793, the Flag House is a national landmark. It was the home and place of business of flag maker Mary Young Pickersgill, who moved here in 1806.
In 1813, after Major George Armistead, commander of Fort McHenry, requested a 30 x 40 garrison flag, Mary and her assistants went to work. Helping was her daughter, her three nieces and as Eshelman notes, “probably her servants.” 15 stars were required, as Vermont and Kentucky had joined the Union. They finished the job in August 1813.
Your starting point is the Museum. A ten-minute film gives you the background on the story. The exhibit features two can’t miss items. One is a piece of the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry. The other is a piece of the rafter from Key’s Georgetown Home. Given that nothing remains from his home, this piece of wood takes on more importance.
A guided tour of Pickersgill’s home lasts about 20 minutes. If you’re collecting a list of creaky floor tours, add this one.
Be sure and wander over to the stone mosaic of the Continental United States in the back yard, and take the photo op with the large flag on the side of the museum.