In the early 1760’s a young enterprising Pennsylvania merchant named Robert Long bought an individual plot within the newly organized waterfront development known as Fell’s Point. By 1765, Long built for himself a modest brick house close to the waterfront that is now the oldest surviving residence within the original city limits established with the incorporation of Baltimore in 1792.
Unlike most historic houses in Maryland that tell stories of major landowners, prominent families, and political figures the Robert Long House connects visitors with the life of a member of America’s then rising middle class. Within twenty years of coming to Fell’s Point, Long was able to amass considerable wealth as a merchant with a flourishing import/export business that allowed him to retire to Baltimore County with the title of Gentleman.
By the 1970’s the house, although surviving, had suffered decades of neglect and abuse. Derelict and vacant, the building was purchased by the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point as part of its strategy to play a major role in the redevelopment the neighborhood after the threat of the Federal Highway through Fell’s Point had been removed.
Once the issue of the highway was successfully resolved the Preservation Society set about realizing its goal to rehabilitate the house and raised over $500,000.00 in public and private funds to restore and furnish the house to its 1765 appearance. In 1983 the Preservation Society opened the building as a house museum to interpret life in colonial Fell’s Point.
Today you can tour the first floor parlors. Furnishings carefully documented as to their appropriate use in the Colonial Period were the U.S. bicentennial project of the Maryland State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Currently the Preservation Society has its offices on the second floor. Baltimore’s Commission on Historic and Architectural Preservation designed the house a Baltimore City Landmark.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are not currently any specific tour hours, but you can contact us to set-up a private tour that is within CDC guidelines.