Hampton National Historic Site
Mule Barn, constructed 1855, Corncrib, ca. 1845, destroyed by fire, 1989.
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.
(Inscription in the lower right)
A view of the corncrib and corn shocks from the Farm Road, ca. 1897. The mule barn and corncrib were located near the cornfields to make planting, harvesting, and processing easier. At harvest
Erected by National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
Location. 39° 25.236′ N, 76° 35.232′ W. Marker is in Towson, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker is on Hampton Lane. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 535 Hampton Lane, Towson MD 21286, United States of America.
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); In Memoriam (about 600 feet away); Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 (approx. ¼ mile 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.
Categories. • African Americans • Agriculture • Colonial Era •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 346 times since then and 28 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.