Luke McCusker, an outstanding history student at UB, won the Fisher Award in his senior year and went on to pursue a career in public history. He now serves as the first paid director of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum near the B&O Railroad Museum in Southwest Baltimore. On Monday, March 23, Luke led a class in Dr. Nix’s 19th-century social history class on a tour of the compact neighborhood where Irish immigrants worked, lived, worshipped, shopped for food and educated their children.
As a student in Dr. Nix’s methods course, Luke had uncovered the story of H.L. Norris, a Baltimorean who had started to work for the B&O at age 11. Norris went on to design a refrigerated rail car for transporting milk, and he shared his profits with his community through his philanthropic efforts.
Luke has continued to conduct research into the lives of railroad workers, discovering that the family that lived in the homes that now house the Irish Railroad Workers Museum fled the potato famine to settle in Baltimore. They started out renting the property, eventually bought their home, then bought another larger home in the same neighborhood and rented this smaller property out to new arrivals.
UB grads like Luke continue to add to our understanding of our city and to the interpretation of our history to a wide audience.