HISTORICAL SOCIETY of HARFORD COUNTY, Inc.
Booth Room Committee

Tour of Booth Family Historic Sites
II. Baltimore and Howard Counties, and Baltimore City
Researched and Written by
Dinah Faber

March 2002

Part of the mission of the Booth Room Committee is the encouragement of the preservation those sites important to the history of the Booth family, especially those places in Maryland. Thus, this page is devoted to providing accurate information on some of those sites.

Baltimore County

Milton Boarding School/Academy

Location: Milton Inn; 14833 York Road; Sparks, Maryland 21152; phone: 410 -771-4366; fax: 410-771-4184. The former Milton Boarding School/Academy is currently occupied by the Milton Inn, which offers fine dining for lunch and dinner.

Photographed by the Author in 2002

Description: In 1849, at the age of eleven, John Wilkes Booth began attending the Milton Boarding School located in Sparks, Baltimore County, Maryland. He attended this Quaker school for three years.

According to his sister, Asia Booth Clarke, John Wilkes gave one of his earliest dramatic performances during a school picnic on the grounds of the Milton Boarding School. With mother and Asia in attendance, John Wilkes gave a dramatic reading as Shylock from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. Asia later wrote, "The general impression created by this scene was visible in each countenance, and in the stillness which followed the wild exit of Shylock. A swift torrent of applause recalled the young actor, who smiled, and blushed, and bowed repeatedly." (Unlocked Book pg. 54 ) We thank Michael Stishan for his cooperation

St. Timothy's Hall

Location: St. Timothy's Church; 200 Ingleside Avenue; Catonsville, Maryland 21228 Phone: 410-747-6690

Hours: For information about viewing the interior of the church call 410-747-6690.

Description: In 1852-53 fourteen year old John Wilkes Booth attended a boarding school called St. Timothy's Hall in Catonsville, Maryland. His sister Asia Booth Clarke later wrote that John Wilkes Booth and "younger brother [Joseph] were placed at the finishing school at Catonsville, St. Timothy's Hall . . . They here received Baptism [January 23, 1853], and were prepared for the Confirmation according to the Episcopal Church. They entered the Hall as artillery cadets, and wore the steel-gray uniform of the class. Some of the best names of Maryland were on the roll of students at this Hall, names that have resounded through our country both in honor and contumely, names, too, that seem to have gone down in silence with the cause they espoused."

Photographed by the Author in 2002

According to the school's prospectus, "The object of . . . St. Timothy's Hall is to make it an institution of strict discipline, of good morals, and by the grace of God, a religious home for the young. [St. Timothy's is] a literary institution, for the education of young gentlemen whose appreciation of knowledge, and love of order, have made them diligent and patient of restraint."

Comments: The bell tower of St. Timonthy's Church in Catonsville bears the date 1857 which indicates the bell tower and perhaps the present church were built after John Wilkes and Joseph Booth attended St. Timothy's Hall. For more information, see Asia Booth Clarke, John Wilkes Booth: A Sister's Memoir, edited by Terry Alford, (Jackson: University of Mississippi, 1996), pgs. 44-45. This is an edited and annotated version of a biography of John Wilkes Booth published under the title of The Unlocked Book by Asia Booth Clarke. We thank the Rector, Stevin R. Randall, for his cooperation

Howard County

Former Ellicott City Town Hall

Location: Old Town Hall; 8044-8046 Main Street; Ellicott City, Maryland 21043 Currently occupied by the Forget Me Not Factory gift shop.

Description: There is an oral tradition in Ellicott City, Maryland, that John Wilkes Booth made his first amateur performance in the Ellicott City Town Hall which was located on the top floor of a building standing at 8044-8046 Main Street in Ellicott City. Tradition maintains that at the time of this appearance John Wilkes was a student at St. Timothy's Hall in nearby Catonsville. John Wilkes Booth did indeed attend St. Timothy's in 1852-53. However, John Wilkes gave a well-documented reading from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at a school picnic at the Milton Boarding School (see above) where he was a student from 1849-1852. This certainly casts serious doubt on Ellicott City's claim.

It is also interesting to note that according to Historic Ellicott City Walking Tour by Joetta Gramm the top floor of the building at 8044-8046 Main Street was not added until 1858. Gramm writes, "The building was named 'the new Town Hall' after the top floor was built and used as the Town Hall. . . . School groups and others performed in the new Town Hall located on the top floor." As mentioned above, John Wilkes attended St. Timothy's in 1852-53. By the time the top floor was added in 1858, he was 20 years old and had made his first professional performance in Richard III at Baltimore's St. Charles Theatre on August 14, 1855.

Therefore, it would seem that if John Wilkes Booth did perform in Ellicott City while he was a student at St. Timothy's, it was not in the top floor of this building and it was not his debut performance as either an amateur or a professional.

Although Ellicott City's claim that John Wilkes Booth made his amateur debut there is shaky, historic downtown Ellicott City is certainly worth visiting for its charming historic downtown district complete with excellent restaurants and a variety of gift and antique shops. The Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum (which bills itself as "The Oldest Railroad Station in America") and the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park are just two of the sites of interest to history buffs in downtown Ellicott City.

Howard County and Ellicott City Links: Ellicott City B & O Railroad Museum;
Patapsco Female Institute;     Information about Howard County ;     Tour Howard County

Baltimore City

Booth Family Plot at Green Mount Cemetery

Location: Booth Family Plot; Dogwood Lot Number Nine; Green Mount Cemetery; 1501 Greenmount Avenue; Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The cemetery office is open during the same hours except that it closes early on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. The cemetery is closed on Sunday.

Description: After the death of Junius Brutus Booth on 30 November 1852, his body was stored in a mausoleum at the Baltimore Cemetery until it was buried there in the spring of 1853. On 1 May 1858, which would have been Junius Brutus Booth's 62nd birthday, Edwin Booth had an impressive marble shaft placed on his father's grave. In 1869 the body and the shaft were moved to Baltimore's Green Mount Cemetery.

Other Booth family members buried in the Booth Family Plot at Green Mount Cemetery include:
  • Richard Booth, father of Junius Brutus, died 29 December 1839. Richard was originally buried at the Baltimore Cemetery but his grandson Edwin had his body moved to Green Mount Cemetery in 1869.
  • Mary Ann Holmes Booth, wife of Junius Brutus, died 22 October 1885.
  • Mary Ann, Fredrick, and Elizabeth Booth, children of Junius Brutus and Mary Ann Booth, all died at a very young age in a cholera epidemic in February 1833 and were originally buried at the Booth farm in Harford County Maryland. In 1869 their bodies were moved to Green Mount Cemetery.
  • John Wilkes Booth, son of Junius Brutus and Mary Ann Booth, died 26 April 1865. After his death, John Wilkes Booth's body was hidden in secret graves in the lower levels of at least two government buildings in Washington, DC. Over the next few years, Edwin Booth wrote to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and then to Secretary of War Uylesses S. Grant asking that the body of his younger brother be turned over to the family for proper burial. Finally, President Andrew Johnson agreed to release the body, and on 26 June 1869, members of the Booth family gathered at Green Mount Cemetery where the body of John Wilkes Booth was buried in the family plot. The exact location of his grave is not marked.
  • Asia Booth Clarke, daughter of Junius Brutus and Mary Ann Booth, died 18 May 1888 at her home in Bournemouth, England. She was buried at Green Mount Cemetery on 1 June 1888.
  • Rosalie Booth, daughter of Junius Brutus and Mary Ann Booth, died 15 January 1889.
  • Joseph Booth, youngest child of Junius Brutus and Mary Ann Booth, died 26 Februrary 1902. His wife Cora, died 4 March 1936, and their son Edwin T., who died in infancy, are also buried at Green Mount.
Three Booth Sons Not Buried at Green Mount Cemetery:
  • Henry Byron Booth died at age 11 on 28 December 1836 of smallpox while the family was in London, England, and was buried at the Pentonville Chapel. The graveyard has been destroyed and is now Grimaldi Park.
  • Junius Brutus Booth, Jr., died 16 September 1883 at Manchester, Massachusetts, and is buried there.
  • Edwin Booth died 7 June 1893 and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts beside his first wife Mary Devlin Booth who died 21 February 1863.

St. Pauls Episcopal Church

Location: Old St. Paul's Church; At the intersection of Charles and Saratoga Streets; Baltimore, Maryland 21201.    Link to web site including directions:

Description: Asia Booth and John Sleeper Clarke were married here 28 April 1859. Built in 1854-56 under the supervision of architect Robert Upjohn, the present building replaced an 1814 structure, which was destroyed by a fire. A stained glass window from the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany graces the chancel. A visitor to St. Paul's in 1840 described St. Paul's as "the aristocratic or fashionable church of the Episcopalians . . . The congregation is very large, at least a thousand, and most fashionably and expensively dressed."

Contributions or suggestions to this web site are welcome. Contact the webmaster at harchis@msn.com.
Return to the Booth Room Committee Page         or the Booth Tour I., Harford County

RETURN TO HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF HARFORD COUNTY