Corn Culture

Corn Culture (HM1HNW)

Location: Towson, MD 21286 Baltimore County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 25.236', W 76° 35.232'

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

Hampton National Historic Site

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 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.

Historical Period18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century
Historical PlaceNational Register of Historic Places, Plantation
Marker TypeHistoric Building
Marker ClassHistorical Marker
Marker StyleFree Standing
Placed ByNational Park Service-United States Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 9:03am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 363375 N 4364654
Decimal Degrees39.42060000, -76.58720000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 25.236', W 76° 35.232'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 25' 14.1600" N, 76° 35' 13.9200" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 443
Can be seen from road?No
Is marker in the median?No
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 699 Valley View Rd, Towson MD 21286, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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