Constructed of river rocks hauled by horse and cart from the nearby Little Patuxent River, the stone building on Baltimore Street has been a landmark in the town of Savage since 1922. Its distinguishing features include large windows with stone arches, a massive chimney and a state roof. The style is a blend of Romanesque Revival architecture with Queen Anne and Beaux Arts elements.
The building consists of a main hall, where graduation ceremonies, meetings, parties, and musical events continue to be held. A stage for plays and movies is at the east end, where residents played the piano or drums to accompany silent movies in the 1920's. The building had a "radio listening apparatus," and dances were often held.
The room at the west end, with the large fireplace, housed the first library in Savage. It operated from 1922 until the new Savage Branch of the Howard Public Library opened on Gorman Road in 1991.
The basement provided a kitchen, a pool table and a bowling alley. For a time, it served as the local branch of the Health Department.
While Savage continued to prosper as a mill town, the Hall was used for a variety of events. After the Savage Mill ceased to manufacture cotton duck canvas, and was sold after WWII to Harry Heim, the hall turned into a toy shop that displayed toys and Christmas ornaments the factory produced. When "Santa Novelties" closed in 1950, the Hall slipped into disrepair.
in 1955, concerned citizens, spearheaded by the Savage Home-makers Club, raised funds to make repairs, and revived the Carroll Baldwin Memorial Institute. After more decades of use, the building showed signs of wear as it neared its century-mark. In 2010, a Community Legacy Grant was awarded to restore the historic structure so it can continue to enrich the lives of the town's residents into the 21st Century.
Who was Carroll Baldwin?
Known as "a friend of his fellow workers," Carroll Baldwin was president of the Savage Manufacturing Company from 1905 until his death in 1918, a the age of 46. His successor described him as "generous to partners, to associates, to relatives, and to those who worked for him." He was also "devoted to his mother and sisters," and was "socially a favorite with many."
His sister Sallie, wished to create a tribute to him that would benefit people of the town where he worked and where Baldwin family's summer home was located. Family members began erecting a building, laying the cornerstone in 1921, and forming a non-profit corporation to develop and maintain a public library and community hall for "meetings, entertainments and amusements" of the town's residents. Chartered on June 23, 1922, with a board of Managers and $30,000 in stocks, the Carroll Baldwin Memorial Institute, Inc., was sustained by gifts, dues and memberships. Carroll's 2nd cousin, Rignal W. Baldwin, who succeeded him as a company president, served on the board.
The Memorial was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, November 30, 1922. Carroll's uncle,the Reverend Charles W. Baldwin, delivered a tribute, a plaque was unveiled and hymns were sung. Afterward, 500 people enjoyed a turkey dinner, provided by the Savage Manufacturing Company — a Baldwin family-owned business since 1859.