In a Place Together: Art & History

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It’s not a museum. It’s not a place of artifacts; it’s a place of ideas.”
– Jeanie Kahnke

Last Friday night I attended a wonderful gathering – the annual fundraiser for the Historical Society of Baltimore County.

“Mingle at the Mill” included food, drink, music, sales of HSBC publications and an informative talk about the historic preservation work that has been involved in turning the pre-revolutionary grist mill into a fabulous art gallery. The current fine art exhibit on display “Harvest” at the Manor Mill Gallery is from artists Minas Konsolas, Jimmy Rouse, Finch Turner, Kim Weiland and Bo Willse paintings.

(Note: If you are interested in any of the artwork, please contact Lynne Jones at the Manor Mill Gallery, Monkton, MD)

As I visited with various individuals at the event, I became keenly aware the appreciation of history is not a lost art, and there were many people with great knowledge of the upper Baltimore County’s strong, rooted in history heritage. I listened with great interest to the owner of the property talk about the steps involved in bringing the mill to it’s current state. The work is not yet done! I was so happy to hear getting the waterwheel functioning again is in the plan. It will be so important from an educational standpoint. As it’s been said “Tell me, I forget; show me, I remember; involve me, I understand.

Historical societies are challenged to find new ways of keeping the past alive in to this modern day world. Historical preservation work going on all over the country helps to facilitate a better understanding of times past or “back in the time of our country’s early founding and building.” For people, especially students, who find reading history books tedious or grueling, experiential learning is probably the best solution.

The Manor Mill Gallery is a place of ideas where art and history have come together. The selection of The Manor Mill Gallery was a fitting choice of a venue to host a historical society gathering because many of those who are interested in history also have an appreciation for art. In this writer’s opinion, the more we can gather all fields of the humanities together, the more people will understand the term “the humanities” which tends to be a puzzler or a head-scratcher as to what the term really means. The Maryland Humanities Council’s definition well explains it. Here is their mission statement.

The Manor Mill Gallery in Monkton, Maryland is a place that I am ever so happy to return. Seeing the progress that has been made is impressive. Much has been done since I was last there on Easter weekend. The ell off the main structure whose historical integrity has been altered as little as possible has been converted into workshop/office space, “the loft,” and restrooms. Of course they’ve had to accommodate for heat, electricity and running water to make it a public place.

Those at the helm of the project, Gallery Manager Lynne Jones and the owner, their hearts and souls are really in it and it shows. For more information on this historic grist mill, and the historic Monkton Hotel, please visit their respective websites.

Thank you to Scott Batton of Batton Builders for inviting me to the event. I would not liked to have missed it. And as you can see, a builder involved with historical homes and structure preservation does not want to miss anything either. Scott inspected the property from the foundation up to the third story above ground, where the loft is, pondering every bit of it.

The cellar, in itself, tells a foundational story.

In some of the cellar, one must be as only as big as a basement troll to enter into the spaces.

Loft on 3rd level above ground.

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