“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Towson in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Corn Culture

Mule Barn, constructed 1855, Corncrib, ca. 1845, destroyed by fire, 1989


— Hampton National Historic Site, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

Corn Culture Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
1. Corn Culture Marker
Inscription.  There were lots of mouths to feed on a large plantation like Hampton and this made corn an all-important crop. Hard or “dent “corn was used as feed for livestock and ground into cornmeal for slaves as well as for the Ridgelys’ pantry. Most importantly, corn was sold for profit. The cornfields here once extended for thousands of acres. The ears were husked and stored in the corncrib to dry.

You can tell how large the corncrib was based on the size of the foundation before you---it held thousands of ears. Once dry, the corn would be shelled and taken to the mill for grinding. Plowing the cornfields was backbreaking labor. Slaves and tenant farmers used mules, housed in the barn seen nearby, to pull plows. These sure-footed workhorses were the “tractors” of the 19th century.

Corn is justly regarded as the national crop of the United States. Its money value is double that of hay, threefold that of wheat, and fourfold that of cotton.
Report, Commissioner of Agriculture, Washington, 1862.

A view of the corncrib and corn shocks from the Farm Road, ca.
Corn Culture Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
2. Corn Culture Marker
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1897. The mule barn and corncrib were located near the cornfields to make planting, harvesting, and processing easier. At harvest time, slaves from nearby plantations came to help husk corn and haul ears to the crib. Husking parties were festive events, with competitions, music, and storytelling.

Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAgricultureColonial EraHorticulture & ForestrySettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1855.
Location. 39° 25.236′ N, 76° 35.232′ W. Marker is in Towson, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker can be reached from Hampton Lane 0.1 miles west of Stone Barn Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 535 Hampton Lane, Towson MD 21286, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lower House (within shouting distance of this marker); The View from Below (within shouting distance of this marker); A Slave Village (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Quarters #2 & 3 (about 300 feet away); The Cream of Hampton (about 400 feet away); Thoroughbreds at Hampton
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(approx. 0.2 miles away); Hampton: An American Story (approx. ¼ mile away); Ridgely's Pride (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Towson.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 436 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 11, 2021