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April 8 was a pretty busy night. The local theater in Greenbelt, Maryland was among the numerous theaters nationwide who held a simultaneous screening of the film 1984. Before the movie began a group of local activists held a reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “Beyond Vietnam” in honor of the 50th anniversary of that speech. (Ironically MLK gave that speech exactly one year before his assassination.)
I spent Groundhog Day in Savage for two very good reasons. First, I’m going to admit that for the past month I’ve been going to these twice a month meetings of people who are currently looking for work that’s sponsored by the American Jobs Center (formerly known as the Maryland Workforce Exchange). It’s an accountability group where we break into smaller groups, swap job hunting ideas, and set goals that we would achieve before the next meeting.
Someone in my group mentioned a store at Savage Mill known as Charity’s Closet, which specializes in selling used clothes that are suitable for job interviews, weddings, and other formal occasions. The store sells each clothing item, shoes, and accessories for only $5 each. So I decided to make visiting that store one of my priorities.
Second, I learned via Facebook that Savage Mill was having a special Girls’ Night Out scheduled for Groundhog Day where the stores not only stay open two hours later than usual (most of the stores tend to close at 6) but many of the stores offered free snacks and wine.
On top of it I also have a map of a short walking tour of the town of Savage itself that I picked up on a previous trip to Savage Mill. I thought it would be cool to just do that walking tour once to see if there was more to Savage than just the mill-turned-shopping center.
So I waited until February 2 to make a combined trip to Savage. The weather was cold yet sunny so I did the walking tour while took pictures. The one thing I learned is that the town was, and still is, centered around the mill, which was owned by the Baldwin family from 1859 until 1948, when the mill closed for good. The Baldwins were basically the town elites. The next photo is of Carroll Baldwin Hall, named after the President of the Savage Manufacturing Company from 1905-1918, which was built for the Savage residents as their community hall.
Here is the Savage Mill United Methodist Church, which was built by William Henry Baldwin (another indication of how dominant the Baldwins were in Savage) in 1888.
The next few photos show the townhouses on Baltimore Street (which is the main drag of the original historic area of Savage). They were built by the mill owners during the Civil War for its workers. Up to four families lived in each townhouse building. The one thing that struck me is that these townhouses are incredibly boxy.
This nice looking building is the Savage Mill Manor House, which was built in 1894 and was used as the residence of the superintendent of the Savage Manufacturing Company (which operated at Savage Mill). Today it houses a law office but some of the rooms can be rented for meetings, weddings, and other events.
This white building is now known as the Masonic Hall but it was originally a school when it was first built.
I only took pictures of the house in the next three photos because that family still had their Christmas decorations up despite the fact that it was Groundhog Day when I was there.
Located next to Savage Mill are the ruins of the former Savage Mill Powerhouse, which used to provide power for the mill until the lines of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) were introduced in 1931.
The next couple of pictures are of the Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge, which spans the Little Patuxent River. I already wrote extensively in this blog about visiting that bridge during the spring and last December, when it was strung up in lights, which is why I’m just posting two new token photos.
Located near the Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge is the Scenic Savage Mill Trail, which was formerly part of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad’s rail corridor. It has since been converted to a nature trail. I didn’t spend too much time on that trail mainly because it was almost sunset, when the trail closes. I intend to make a return trip at a later date (when the weather becomes warmer) so I could just walk this trail and see where it leads to.
It wasn’t a bad walking tour but it’s so obvious that Savage was originally founded as a small company town that was completely centered around Savage Mill. It was originally a textile mill that was operated by the Savage Manufacturing Company from 1822 to 1947. Today it is a unique shopping center that’s dominated by locally-owned stores and artist studios. (There are no chain stores in Savage Mill.) Here are some photos of the outside of the mill along with an area of the lawn that has charming sculptures featuring children at play.
The first thing I did once I got inside Savage Mill was to check out the Charity’s Closet store. The good news is that it had all kinds of nice clothes to wear ranging from suits for job interviews to evening gowns. The bad news is that I couldn’t find anything in my size. All the outfits that caught my eye were either too small or too big for me, which was frustrating. At least I still have a nice outfit for job interviews that I bought at Walmart over a year ago and I can tell my fellow job hunters at my next accountability meeting that I made an effort to shop at Charity’s Closet.
After Charity’s Closet, I ordered this bacon, lettuce, and tomato grilled cheese sandwich from one of the locally-owned places, which tasted pretty good.
After dinner I checked out the other stores that were participating in the Girls’ Night Out event where I ate a variety of free snacks (mostly cheese, crackers, and popcorn).
This bookstore had a humorous sign, which definitely resonates with me given the current political climate of the Trump Administration, where people tell “alternative facts” instead of lies.
I spent some time at The Queen’s Ink, which is an arts supply store that specializes in mixed-media art.
I made just one purchase at Savage Mill besides dinner. It’s an art supply bundle from The Queen’s Ink that’s known as a “Creative Cache-Limited Edition.” It’s basically an assortment of materials that’s appropriate for making collages, Artist Trading Cards, art journals, postcards, and other types of mixed-media art. The bundle only costs $6.50 and I thought it would be a fun challenge to try to make something artistic using only what is in that bundle.
I’m writing this at 5:24 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and, as of this writing, the government is no closer to any kind of agreement that will prevent the Federal Government from shutting down. Yes, I’m totally pissed and I’m also dreading it since my husband, sister-in-law, two cousins, and a nephew will be directly impacted by this while another cousin who works with a government contractor may or may not affected depending on how it impacts her employer.
The only silver lining in all this is that one of my jewelry items has been featured in another Etsy treasury called Countdown ’till Shutdown. It’s good news because one of my items has been featured but it’s bad news because I will face an uncertain future with my furloughed husband. Here’s a direct link to my Etsy item that made it to the treasury.
Now I have to sit and wait until midnight when the government shutdown will become official unless those Tea Partiers back down and accept the idea that funding Planned Parenthood’s birth control programs will lead to fewer abortions because using birth control leads to fewer unwanted pregnancies. It’s not fair to hold the livelihoods of millions of workers hostage just because of some kind of dogmatic religious idea disguised as government funding. What’s next? Will the Tea Party extremists call for government funding of a new organization called the Anti Sex Society. (Yes, I’m referencing George Orwell’s 1984 here.)
NOTE: This entry has been cross-posted on The Daily Kos.