Hot House: 410 Fairmount Avenue, Towson MD 21286

Historic log cabin, circa 1868, with wood shingle siding, screened side porch, stone foundation and unfinished basement. Completely renovated in 2015, and moved from original location on Jefferson Street. Two bedrooms, one and a half baths over 1,352 sq. ft. Original wood floors. All new systems. Living room and dining room with original wood beam ceiling, log and post construction, fireplace, new kitchen, downstairs powder room. Upstairs sitting room, master bedroom and second bedroom, full bath. Central air. Large, sunny backyard with driveway: $325,000

What: One of the few remaining original homes in historic East Towson, a historically black community (see below). It stands proudly in its acre-ish lot, looking like the survivor it is, increasingly dwarfed by the high-rise apartment buildings and new construction that are Towson today. Inside, the split logs are a reminder that this house was likely built by hand, with rough beams in the ceiling and a single chimney up the middle. It may not have been built to last, but it has nevertheless stood the test of time.

Where: 410 Fairmount Avenue is a short walk to Towson University, Towson Town Center, the Towson Farmer’s Market, the Towson Cineplex and almost anything worth mentioning in downtown Towson. It was also part of Maryland’s earliest recorded African-American community, the East Towson African American Survey District, settled in the 1850s by former slaves.

According to this article in The Baltimore Sun, many of these slaves had been employed by Charles Ridgely, former Maryland governor and owner of the Hampton Mansion. Ridgely died in 1829, and a number of his slaves were freed. Some settled in East Towson, where they built their homes. The first African-American to buy here was Daniel Harris, who paid $187.50 in 1853 for a one-and-a-quarter-acre plot of land. Over time, this became a tightly knit community where generations of African-Americans lived within a largely white neighborhood.

Since the 1960s, development has taken a toll on East Towson. Many of the original homes were razed to make way for Towsontown Boulevard and the Towson Town Center. What remains are just a handful of wood frame homes like this one, small in size but laden with charm, resisting the onslaught of the 21st century.

Why: Character, interesting history, good location.

Why Not: Low ceilings on second floor.

Would Suit: Free spirit, proud individualist, historian… not too tall.

NB: Realtor can provide historic photos and documents pertaining to the property.