Newcomer's of Northern Baltimore County Star Spangled Spectacular
Today the Newcomer's of Northern Baltimore County hosted a delightful luncheon in the private dining room of the Rusty Scupper that faces the harbor, giving us a perfect view of the visiting tall ships! But not all of the entertainment was outside! Arlen St. John, who arranged the spectacular extravaganza, transformed into Mary Pickersgill before our eyes! With the help of her delightful granddaughter, and a few simple props, "Mary transported us back in time to tell us her story and the challenges involved in creating the enormous Star Spangled Banner that inspired the song by Francis Scott Key.
Mary Young was born on February 12, 1776 to another flag maker, her mother, Rebecca Young. She learned the craft which later gave her an economic base to support herself and later others. Mary married Pickersgill, but became a widow at the age of 29. She was able to support herself through her flag business and was commissioned to by Major George Armistead to make a flag for Fort McHenry. It was to be "so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance." The flag was completed ahead of time, delivered to Fort McHenry where it inspired the song that eventually became the United States National Anthem, written Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Baltimore.
Mary Pickersgill bought the house she had been renting in in 1820. She contributed time and resources to supporting disadvantaged women who had been widowed, were unemployed or found themselves in need because of economic challenges. She founded a home for aging women, and later built an adjacent home for aging men.Over a century later the facility became the Pickersgill Retirement Community, located in Towson, Maryland.
Her home, located at the northwest corner of Albemarie and East Pratt Streets in downtown Baltimore, is now officially known as the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. Sincere thanks to Arlen and Newcomer's of Northern Baltimore County for bringing history alive and celebrating history in the making in beautiful Baltimore!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!