Part of “Merryman’s Lott,” 210 Acres of virgin timberland granted by Lord Baltimore in 1688 to Charles Merryman, whose descendants farmed here until 1869. The building of the stone house called “Clover Hill” began between 1790 and 1810. Enlarged to its present dimensions between 1825 and 1830, the home has seen numerous changes over the years. The mansard roof dates to the 1870’s and the small front entry porch was added about 1910. In 1909, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland bought what remained of the Clover Hill estate; the house was to become the residence for the bishop of Maryland, and the grounds were set aside for the building of the new cathedral. That year John Gardner Murray was elected bishop coadjutor for the diocese, and moved into Clover Hill, followed by each succeeding bishop until 2008.
Cathedral of the Incarnation
The commitment to form a worshipping congregation for the newly conceived Cathedral of the Incarnation arose from the joining of two Baltimore congregations: St. George’s and St. Barnabas’, which combined into a single congregation in 1904. Bishop William Paret had written to the Standing Committee on May 10, 1904, “The vestry of St. Barnabas’ Church, Baltimore, finding themselves entirely surrounded by Colored people, whose numbers are steadily increasing, have determined, if possible, to sell their church, and to remove to some other part of the city.” St. George’s was similarly becoming “surrounded by Colored people.” Their church building was sold to Mt. Calvary Church in 1910 to be the home for St. Katharine’s Church, one of their missions for African-Americans.
After St. Barnabas’ sold their building in 1907, the vestry purchased a lot at St. Paul and 35th Street as a site for a new church building for the united congregations of St. Barnabas’ and St. George; however, in May of 1908, a deal was reached with the Cathedral Foundation: St. Barnabas’ would sell their lot, give the $9,000.00 to the Cathedral Foundation in exchange for worship space in the soon-to-be-built Cathedral. Hence, the combined congregations gave up their identity, their buildings, and their assets in order to become part of the vision for a diocesan Cathedral. However, that self-sacrificing act was tempered by the reasons the congregations left west Baltimore – fleeing the steadily increasing numbers of “colored people” to relocate to the emerging affluent Guilford area. Since the devastating downtown fire of 1904, institutions (including Johns Hopkins University) and homeowners sought higher ground away from the gritty harbor and dilapidated row houses, into areas unashamedly advertising housing restrictions.
Learn more: https://episcopalmaryland.org
The Episcopal Diocesan Center and Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore
4 East University Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21218