History of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum
The spark that led to Lillie May Carroll Jackson's lifelong career in civil rights occurred in the 1920s when her daughters, Virginia and Juanita, were refused admission to the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Maryland, respectively. She enrolled Virginia in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Juanita in Morgan College,
then later in the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1933, persuaded by Carl Murphy, President/Publisher of the Afro-American Newspaper, Lillie Jackson agreed to serve as chairperson of the reorganization committee of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. After which, she was elected president of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. Under her leadership, the NAACP membership rose from less than 200 in 1935 to over 25,000 by 1946. She remained president until 1970.
With the help of Carl Murphy, Chairman of the NAACP's Legal Redress Committee, the chapter succeeded in desegregating many private and public facilities, achieving equal employment for many citizens, assisted in the election of African Americans to public office, secured appointments of African Americans to leadership positions, revamped discriminatory laws, and desegregated public schools and institutions of higher education.
Dr. Jackson willed her home to Virginia Jackson-Kiah, her eldest daughter. She is credited with developing the home into a museum. It opened in 1978, as Baltimore's first privately owned museum honoring an African American woman.
In 1986, Dr. Jackson was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. The Friends of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum organized a tribute to commemorate the work of Dr. Jackson on May 25, 2002. Martin O'Malley, former Mayor of Baltimore, issued a proclamation designating May 25th as Lillie Carroll Jackson Day in Baltimore.
The Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum is now included in Morgan State University's Office of Museums. This is very fitting, in that Lillie Carroll Jackson received an honorary doctorate from Morgan State University. Morgan is the only institution of higher education in the region that has a Civil Rights Museum.
In 2012, Morgan State University completed a beautiful restoration of Jackson’s spacious Bolton Hill home on Eutaw Place and on June 11, 2016, the grand re-opening of the Lillie May Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum was a huge success.
History of 1320 Eutaw Place Property Ownership
Circa 1868, Charles H.H. Brown purchased the unimproved lot at 402 Eutaw (now 1320 Eutaw Place) and immediately built a home for his family. The U.S. Census of 1880 lists Mr. Charles H.H. Brown, an 81-year-old retired merchant, living there along with his son Frederick S. Brown (38), his daughter Fannie W. Brown (30), a 55-year-old servant named Betsey Hall, and a 17-year-old servant named Sophia Levy. Long after Mr. Brown was deceased in December 1881, his daughter, Fanny W. (Brown) Torrance sold the property to Emma Dammann in a life estate on the 27th of June 1886. Emma Dammann's husband, Earnest A. Dammann was recorded in the U.S. Census of 1900 as a woolen importer. At that time the occupants of the house included Emma and Earnest Dammann, (2) sons, a wife of one of the sons, (3) daughters, a cook, the brother of either Emma or Earnest, and a nurse.
Earnest Dammann died in 1908 and bequeathed 1320 Eutaw Place to Ignatius Dammann, presumably one of his sons. Ignatius mortgaged the property and quickly defaulted on the loan from the Eutaw Savings Bank. A trustee was appointed by the Court to sell the property and on the 12th of April 1909, executed a sale, through a strawman, for the sum of $8,650. The ultimate purchaser was the Vice President of the Eutaw Savings Bank, Mr. Edward L. Robinson and his wife Hester. The U.S. Census of 1910 indicates that Mr. Robinson and his wife were living at 1320 Eutaw along with Richard D. their son, Martha their daughter, Lula F. Harper, and a Servant.
On the 31st of August 1925, Edward L. Robinson & his wife Hester Maria sold the house to the Dental Alumni Club of Baltimore, Inc. aka, the Alpha Omega Fraternity; which, according to their website at www.ao.org. is "the oldest international dental organization in the world and was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1907 by a group of dental students originally to fight discrimination in dental schools." The property served as a fraternity house for the next 28 years.
In 1953 the property was sold by the Dental Alumni Club of Baltimore Inc. to Dorothy R. Kleiman and David Kleiman, who held the property briefly, then sold it to Lillie M. Jackson and her daughter Juanita Jackson Mitchell in December of 1953. It remained in their possession until September of 1969 when Lillie Carroll Jackson established a life estate that conveyed the property, upon her death, to Virginia Jackson Kiah, Lillie Jackson's oldest daughter, for the purpose of developing the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, and upon Virginia's death to be conveyed to Michael Bowen Mitchell for the same purpose.
The property was then transferred to Morgan State University in June of 1996 to continue the development of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum.
The museum reopened its doors on June 11, 2016 after considerable restoration, rehabilitation, and modernization. To learn more about the restoration process, see the "restoration" section of our Resource Center page.