The Inner Harbor's Final Jewel

The Inner Harbor's Final Jewel

Revolutionary War-Era Survivor

“The Final Jewel in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Development.” That’s how Mayor William Donald Schaefer once described the tourism potential of nearby Carroll Park. The National Park Service agreed, describing the park in its 1988 Master Plan worthy of claiming “its place of honor among its contemporary Colonial estates, such as Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Stratford Hall.”

Mayor Schaefer and NPS were both referring to an important survivor of Maryland’s Revolutionary War-era past not ten minutes from the Inner Harbor. Tucked away in obscure Carroll Park, few Baltimoreans know of its existence. But Carroll’s Hundred is one of the most important historical landscapes in Maryland.

Colonial Beginnings in 1730

The historic property that includes present-day Carroll Park was a 2,300-acre 1730s land grant to Dr. Charles Carroll. There, at its western edge on the Gwynns Falls, the doctor and his four partners established one of the largest iron furnaces in the Mid-Atlantic – the Baltimore Company Iron Works – one of the earliest industrial iron manufacturing operations in America. In 1754, the property passed to the doctor’s son, Charles Carroll Barrister (attorney), an important decision-maker in both the French and Indian War and on Maryland’s Revolutionary Council of Safety. By the 1770s, the Barrister had completed his vision of paradise at Carroll’s Hundred. At the center stood his mansion (Mount Clare) surrounded by the jewel-like symmetry of a Georgian landscape with its orchards, vineyards, and terraced gardens. Carroll is also credited with drafting the core document that is Maryland’s constitution.

Early American Melting Pot

The Carrolls, like the Adam’s and the Jeffersons, form the core of the great American legend – the founding heroes who created the philosophical and political framework for our radical new experiment in individual freedom. But this legend has also traditionally left out the story of their fellow travelers – those invisible Americans without whom there would have been no Revolution, no mansions, no gardens, no agriculture. But through archaeology the invisible, forgotten world of another early America is coming to life at Carroll’s Hundred.

Watch the 18th Century Emerge

The vision of Carroll’s Hundred is to bring an exciting new interpretation to the invisible world of indentured servants, convict laborers, run-a-ways, slaves, free blacks, and Native Americans at the dawn of nationhood. Plans call for the site to come to life with living history role players interacting with visitors to bring this human world into focus against the backdrop of an authentically restored landscape. Over the next several years, we plan to excavate a 1770s slave quarter. Long-term plans are to reconstruct the period orangery (greenhouse) as a visitor orientation center, to restore the landscape, and to conduct on-site tours.


Over the years, the Foundation has conducted historical research and archaeological programs for young people and the public. Bring this precious history into your home or classroom with our dedicated educational materials.