Since its incorporation in 1959, the Historical Society of Baltimore County (HSBC) has been housed in Baltimore County’s third and last Almshouse (built 1872). HSBC’s mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the rich history of Baltimore County for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Almshouse, constructed in 1872, was once home to the poor, indigent, mentally ill, and occasionally used as a hostel by travelers passing by. In addition to its many collections, the society maintains the Almshouse’s original ledgers detailing the admission and departure of its “inmates,” as its occupants were referred to. Sections of the Almshouse burned twice – in both the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – and were only partially rebuilt. The Almshouse was also previously used as a Civil Defense fall-out shelter in the midst of the Cold War, and retains its deposit of emergency paraphernalia.