The name of this charming neighborhood is derived from a plantation owned by Charles Ridgely, who acquired the estate as dowry from his wife, Rachael, the daughter of John Eager Howard. In 1732 he combined the property with another known as Brotherly Love and named the entire area Ridgely's Delight.
Legend has it that George Washington stopped in one of the homes in Ridgely's Delight to nurse an injured arm, the same home that later became a stop on the Underground Railroad and is now Rachael's Dowry Bed and Breakfast.
Participation in the events of both the Revolutionary era and Civil War era is quite an incredible mixture for one neighborhood, and especially one house, but Ridgely's Delight is full of interesting mixtures and characters.
Ridgely's Delight's most famous son, baseball superstar Babe Ruth was born at his grandfather's house, which is now the Babe Ruth Museum.
The neighborhood has been a true melting pot for centuries, successfully blending a variety of ethnic groups and income levels.In the early 19th century, craftspeople were the first settlers in the small, cozy, Federal-style houses. In the latter part of the century, when the affluent professionals moved in (the area was once nicknamed Professional Row because of the many lawyers and doctors associated with the University of Maryland), they built more ornate rowhouses. In the 1970s, gradual urban decay resulted in a resurgence of lower income residents in the area until the City's $1 homesteading program, launched in 1973, helped rebuild Ridgely's Delight to its former splendor without displacing its original residents.