More History to GSV Estate Mensana

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We received last week the following email regarding Mensana, the fallen Green Spring Valley estate that we and our friend Pigtown Design blogger Meg Fielding have written about. The writer, Serena Black Martin, is the great grand daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Richard Jackson, who owned the estate for over 40 years.  With Serena’s permission, we are sharing the email and a small sample of her lovely photographs of the house in its glory days.  Serena has agreed to write a history of the house for the Baltimore Fishbowl. Look for it in the coming weeks!


I have noticed over the last few months that you have had articles regarding Mensana.  The latest today, titled, “Inside Creepy Mansion Mensana.”

This house has a very special meaning to me because it was the home my great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Jackson, for over forty years.  It was known as Venture then and the 300 plus acre property spanned either side of Greenspring Valley Road.  There were beautiful barns, tenant houses, ice ponds, and endless riding trails.


In 1932, the Jacksons bought the home directly next to them and gave it to my grandmother, Catherine Jackson and my grandfather, Gary Black, as their wedding present.  It was named Adventure, and they added it to the estate.  I now live in Adventure and so I am very concerned what will become of Venture.  

I have wonderful photographs of parties etc. that show the splendor of the home and its true beauty.  Maybe people can look past the creepiness of it today and see that it could be spectacular once again.
Serena Black Martin

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  1. These are gorgeous – and I deeply appreciate Mrs. Black’s longing to see a place she loves restored to its luster! Oh how I hope someone with great taste and as much money as sense buys it. The name “Venture” has much more panache than “Mensana”. Isn’t changing the name bad luck? Perhaps that’s how this once happy home lost its glory. Note to future buyer: VENTURE needs to go back on the nameplate.

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