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News Release

Office of News and Information
212 Whitehead Hall / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

February 29, 1996, 1996
CONTACT: Leslie Rice

"Homewood in Flower: A Country House Spring"
at Johns Hopkins University

Visit historic Homewood House at one of its most lovely times, when it is in bloom with spring blossoms arranged as they would have been so many Aprils ago. From April 11 to April 14, Homewood will greet spring with special tours and programs during "Homewood in Flower: A Country House Spring." The house is located at Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles Street in Baltimore.

Cut flowers will be arranged according to Federal period sources and illustrations throughout the elegant, neoclassical mansion. The former home of the Carrolls, one of Baltimore's first leading families, will become a riot of yellow and pink tulips, dark and light purple sea lavender, yellow lilies, delicate pink Gypsophillia and dozens of other flower varieties. Even the fire hearths will be filled with herbs, lemon leaves, cedar, Camellia leaves and Ruskus, filling its rooms with their wonderful fragrances. Seasonal vegetables like asparagus, rhubarb, scallions and radishes will also be creatively arranged throughout the house.

The late 18th and early 19th centuries in America saw a widespread interest in horticulture, as an amusement for some and a consuming passion and advocation for others. In addition to the practical gardening of fruits and vegetables, for the first time in this country "exotic and curious plants" became readily available through nurseries and seed companies.

In the rural setting of Homewood, the principal business activity was farming and its records show an exchange of fruits and vegetables. But family correspondence also frequently mention Charles Carroll Jr.'s interest in roses, flowering fruit trees and grafting techniques to produce new flower varieties.

Tours will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday April 11; Friday, April 12; and Saturday, April 13; and Sunday, April 14, from noon to 3 p.m. Admission is $5, $4 for seniors, and free for Hopkins staff and students. Group rates are also available.

There will also be a brown bag lunch, lecture and demonstration called "Planning, Cultivating and Arranging Your Own Flowers, 101" on Friday, April 12, at noon held under the Homecoming Tent in the Freshman Quad. Rain location, Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Registration is $5.

Homewood is a neoclassical, five-part mansion built between 1801 and 1804 on more than 120 acres north of the center of Baltimore. The estate was a gift from Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, to his son Charles Carroll Jr., upon the latter's marriage to Harriet Chew of Philadelphia in 1800. At completion, the handsome country house cost $40,000 and enormous expenditure for the day, even for one of the wealthiest men of America.

Homewood served as the Carroll home until 1839, when it was bought by Baltimore philanthropist Samuel Wyman, whose son William deeded Homewood and the 60 acres west of North Charles Street that had been part of the original estate to Johns Hopkins University in 1902. Homewood House served briefly as a museum, and then as a faculty club and administrative building until an endowment from alumnus and trustee Robert Merrick aided a massive restoration project. Homewood was re-opened as a museum in 1987.

Note: Color slides available upon request.

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