Souvenir relic wood gavel produced by the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad, made of wood taken from the clock tower of Baltimore’s Camden Station, erected in 1856 and dismantled in 1951-52.
Camden Station, in Baltimore, Maryland, was the main terminal of the B&O Railroad, the nation’s first commercial railroad. The station opened in 1856 and was completed around 1867. Its most notable architectural feature was the 185-foot clock tower that made it Baltimore’s tallest building. The tower, however, proved to be structurally unsound and was soon drastically shortened. In 1952, what remained of the tower was entirely removed (providing the source of wood for the gavel). In 1971, the B&O vacated the terminal building, using a railcar office on the site instead. The station exterior was renovated in 1992 as part of the complex of the Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the stadium where baseball’s Baltimore Orioles now play. As part of that renovation, a replica of the original tower was placed where the original had stood, to return the station to its 1867 appearance. In 2005, the building reopened as a sports history museum.
Camden Station figures in Civil War history in the Baltimore Massacre, which took place on April 19, 1861, when a mob attacked Union soldiers marching to the station, causing the first bloodshed of the Civil War.
Engraved metal round plate on hammer head end: THE BALTIMORE & OHIO R.R. CO. WOOD FROM CUPOLA CAMDEN STATION BALTIMORE, MD. ERECTED 1856 RETIRED 1951.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light wear, abrasions, minor nicks and indentations. Light wear to paint and surface of metal plaque.
“Baltimore Architecture: Then and Now.” 2004. Maryland Memory Projects: Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society. http://www.mdhs.org/library/baltarch/Page6.html (12 July 2007).
“History of Sports Legends Museum and Camden Station.” Sports Legend Museum at Camden Yards. http://baberuthmuseum.com/history/slmacy/ (7 September 2007).