One hundred years of habitation

Written by on October 3, 2012 in Featured, Neighborhood News - 1 Comment

Barbara Baynes takes a seat in front of the home her family has lived in since 1912. The Centennial Homes plaque is visible to the upper left. Photo by Danielle Sweeney

Barbara Baynes, who has lived in the same house in Canton her whole life, received a Centennial Homes plaque from Baltimore Heritage on Saturday, Sept. 22, because her home on S. Kenwood Ave. has been in her family for 100 years.

“Barbara Baynes and her family join four other Southeast families whose homes have been designated Centennial Homes. There are now eight homes sharing this unique and special place in our city,” said Councilman James Kraft, who developed the Centennial Homes program with Baltimore

Heritage, Baltimore’s nonprofit historic and architectural preservation organization.

One Highlandtown family, one Patterson Park family, and one family in Little Italy (with two Centennial Homes next to each other) share this distinction.

Baynes’ maternal grandparents, John and Julia Randall were born in Fell’s Point and married in St. Brigid’s Church in 1891. They rented a home on

Essex St. in Canton, but outgrew it as they raised a family of six children, one of whom was Baynes’ mother, Helen.

The Randalls had heard about a development in Canton, built by pioneer home developer Edward Gallagher, and bought the new rowhouse in 1912.

“They were excited to get a buff-brick house with marble steps and indoor plumbing,” said Baynes. “The house cost approximately $1,500.”

In 1935, Baynes’ mother Helen married William Duffy, and Baynes [Barbara Duffy] was born in 1939. Baynes married her late husband Nelson in 1960, and he moved into the home, which they shared with her mother.

The couple bought the home in 1968 and raised three children, Kevin, Lisa, and Randy.Baynes says that at one time she had a dozen aunts, uncles and cousins living within a few blocks of her home. “That was very common in East Baltimore at that time,” she said, adding that in her home today she is constantly reminded of her family.

The Baltimore Centennial Homes program recognizes Baltimore families who have lived in the same home for 100 years, acting as stewards of the city’s historic neighborhoods. Recipients are recognized at a City Hall ceremony and receive a plaque to be displayed in front of their house.

by Danielle Sweeney

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