I visited The Irish Railroad Workers Museum and Shrine at the edge of downtown Baltimore.
The museum is dedicated to the tens of thousands of Irish who began immigrating to the city during the Great Famine and continued to the middle of the 20th century. Many worked at the nearby Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
The museum is contained within two row houses typical of the West Baltimore neighborhood of the period. There is a nice introductory video narrated by Martin O’Malley, former Baltimore mayor (1999-2007) and Maryland governor (2007-2015) in the museum welcome center, which also contains artifacts from the nearby St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church (now a Baptist worship space) and B&O rail yards. The adjoining house is restored as a typical workers’s home of the period.
The Memorial Garden in the rear features the shrine mural by artist Wayne Nield. The image depicts three phases of the Irish experience: the famine of the 1840s (right), the treacherous voyage across the Atlantic (center) and the new life in America (left), where the predominantly rural immigrants remade themselves as city dwellers.
Museum Board Member Barry Larkin and Managing Director Luke McCusker were very friendly and informative during my visit. I hope to return soon.