Baltimore Christmas Train Gardens

December 4, 2018

Dreamstime/Fran Lane

I love Christmas Train Gardens! My father built a beautiful one for our family in the late 1960’s. Christmas Train Gardens are very popular in Baltimore. These holiday displays have been a mainstay in the Baltimore area for generations, a tradition dating to the late 1800s when German immigrants would set up scenes as they had done in Europe.

"The custom is known only to Baltimore and many of the smaller towns of Pennsylvania," according to a 1936 article in The Sun, "particularly those settled originally by people of German origin." A Christmas Day 1949 Sun article offers more detail, tracing the phenomenon to an old German tradition of placing a manger scene, called a "putz”, underneath the yule tree. More than two centuries ago, German immigrants brought the practice to Maryland and Pennsylvania, where it gradually changed into the elaborate Christmas gardens that we know today.

Check out this link of Baltimore area Christmas Train Gardens:   http://www.wvmgrs.org/TrainGardens.htm#Baltimore