Baltimore County

Lantern Night at Fire Museum of Maryland a lesson in history

Those visiting the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville Saturday night met up with a sharpshooter from the 1814 Battle of Baltimore, a lady and a soldier from the War of 1812, and firefighters from different eras, among other historical personages.

The occasion was Lantern Night, an annual event during which more than a dozen people, including docents and museum staff, dressed in period attire tell stories of the era against the backdrop of the 40 antique fire engines, many with candlelit lanterns.


Stephen Heaver, museum director and curator, said the event set a new record for attendance with 241 guests. He calls the event, "a wonderful way to see the collection in a new light," especially considering the numerous engines boasting candle lanterns with cut-glass engraved names and numbers.

"It just looks beautiful at night," said Heaver, who himself was dressed as an office clerk from the 1850s.


Some of the visitors were dressed in Halloween costumes, Heaver said. "We saw more kids in firefighters costumes this year than ever before in the past."

For those who didn't come in costume, they could make a trip to the museum's Discovery Room, where they could try on firefighters garb like helmets, boots and coats, and then climb the wooden fire engine.

The event was sponsored by Columbia Bank, and the Arts and Sciences Commission of Baltimore County, Heaver said.

The next event at the museum takes place Nov. 30, when between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Santa, dressed in Victorian attire, takes a seat in the fire chief sleigh for photos. Also that day, the Baltimore City Christmas Train Garden opens. For more information, call 410-321-7500 or go to