The Schmuck House

The Schmuck House is thought to have been constructed circa 1785 by one of Towson’s founding families, making it one of the oldest structures still standing in Towson. Features that make it an architectural standout are its facade made of local stone, large fireplaces, carved paneling, and the formal fenestration (the finish of its windows and doors).

Surrounded by every imaginable indicator of modern commercial life, the Shmuck house is a genuine relic, a throwback to Towson’s era as a crossroads town. Originally a private residence set on some 200 acres of land, over time the Shmuck House has had its fair share of unlikely commercial uses, having been a gun shop in the late 1960s and a bridal shop in the late 1970s.

Photo courtesy of Baltimore County Public Library collection.

[The Baltimore County Landmarks List BA-0208 (2001)]

The Schmuck House at 617 York Road is a small, T-shaped building of stone, supposedly built by Solomon Schmuck, an in-law of the Towson family. Two-and-a-half stories with dormers, it is probably the oldest remaining structure in Towson. Schmuck’s lot was unimproved in 1833, but when John Green was owner in 1841, the house was assessed at $1000, along with store goods. Silversmith Samuel Kirk once owned the house. For a number of years in the 1960s and 70s, it was used as a gun shop. In 1980, it was a residence and palm-reader shop, and in 1981-82, it was a bridal shop

The Schmuck House

After exiting the park, continue north on York Road for our final stop. Cross to the east side of York Road to visit Prospect Hill Cemetery, a quiet oasis in a busy metropolitan area. Soldiers from every war since the Revolution can be found among the graves.

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