If you are headed out to the Maryland suburbs, or you live in the state, you may want to plan a visit to the Laurel Museum. Located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this museum, started by the Laurel Historical Society, is housed an old local mill worker’s family house.
The brick and stone building is indicative of the time it was built. Don’t miss the very first museum exhibit “Mill House to Museum,” to see how the home has been lovingly restored and cared for over the years.
Note: check online for opening hours and closures, for both the museum and the museum shop.
In our effort to highlight all of the best museums in Maryland, we spoke with Ann Bennett, Executive Director at the Laurel Museum, to share what makes this museum special, why you should visit, and what you need to know before you go.
Where is the museum located?
- Laurel Museum, 817 Main Street, Laurel, MD 20707
In historic downtown Laurel, a 19th-century mill town, at the corner of Main and 9th streets
What topics does the museum cover?
The Laurel Museum digs into the history and pre-history of Laurel, Maryland. Our exhibits change each year and showcase a different topic – in 2020 it was “Unpacking Laurel’s Past: 150 Years on Display.”
What is your museum’s claim to fame?
The Laurel Historical Society was founded in 1975 and we offer free admission, summer camps, and online access to our digital collections.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?
Mamie Eisenhower’s evening dress is on display in the current exhibit, and it is gorgeous.
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
- Speaker Series seven times a year
- Children’s days at the museum
- Summer camps on archaeology and simple machines
- Annual Gala
- Fundraising walkathon
- Holiday open house
Are there guided tours available?
Guided tours are by appointment. Guests go through on a self-guided tour after docent introduction.
Printed exhibit guides are available in Spanish.
Parts of the exhibit are on audio devices.
How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?
Guests should plan on spending at least 30-45 minutes in the museum.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?
Strollers are difficult to accommodate in the museum; pets except service animals are not allowed.
Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?
Yes, for personal use only.
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum?
We have sensory resource kits for children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.
We have an entire area in the basement for a children’s interactive area, where they can have free play with simple machines, dress up, fake food and a reading area.
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
Mugs, pouches, coasters with images from our historic photograph collection, and of course, our collectible Christmas ornaments.
Is there a museum cafe or restaurant?
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
We love working with educators and have several options available for walking tours and lesson plans.
What else should a visitor know before visiting?
Self-guided walking tour maps are available at the museum and are a perfect option for a post-museum visit.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
- Wednesday through Friday, 10am-2pm
- Sunday 1-4pm
Is the museum accessible?
The first floor gallery space is level and accessible. The restroom has grab bars.
The historic basement kitchens/museum store is accessible with a portable wheelchair ramp in place.
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
Is there parking available?
Free street parking is available. We do not offer lot parking. One designated handicapped spot can be found out front.
Is there an admission fee?
Admission is by donation. Credit cards can be used in the museum store or online store