Historical Ellicott City Building History

Howard House Pure Wine

“Howard House” 8202 Main Street

Present Day Howard House was built in 1842. For the first thirty years, the property changed hands several times. However, when Mr. and Mrs. Eckert purchased the property, they turned it into a restaurant. The restaurant became a prime eating and meeting spot for the people of 1890’s Ellicott City.


During their ownership, Mr. and Mrs. Eckert ran a successful restaurant that served amazing German food. The bar was located on the first floor and the dinning area was on the second floor.


The Eckert’s were so successful; they decided to build an addition in the 1890’s. This building became a larger dinning area that sat up to 150 people. It also was used as a venue that showed silent movies and wrestling matches in the evenings.


In 1921, the buildings were separated and sold to different people, but the door that once connected these two buildings remains.


Today, the 1890’s building holds Pure Wine Cafe, and the 1840’s building holds apartment buildings on the top floors, while the ground floor houses the Oriental Art Gallery and Pam Long Photography.

Historical Ellicott City Building History

The Firehouse Museum

“Howard County Fire Department – The Firehouse Museum” – 3829 Church Road


The Firehouse Museum, located on the corner of Church Road and Main Street, was built in 1896. Some of the original equipment housed in the first firehouse in Ellicott City included leather buckets and ropes.


Eventually, the equipment was upgraded to a pump was mounted on wheels. This may have been more efficient than buckets and ropes, but created problems for the firemen who had to either push or pull the wagon up and down Main Street.


Further improvements were made later on when a gasoline powered, two-wheeled truck was used, and this helped the firemen get to their locations faster and with little effort.


In 1924, the firehouse had purchased a new building and had acquired a new, modern, fire truck. After the move, several other county businesses were located in the building, including the Howard County Welfare Board, Sanitation, Health Department, and the first branch of the Howard County Library.


Today, the building holds the Ellicott City Firehouse Museum where visitors can take a trip through time and learn about the history of Howard County’s first firehouse.

Historic Ellicott City Building History


“Ellicott City Station”   – 2711 Maryland Ave.


The building that holds The Ellicott City Station in Historic Ellicott City dates back to the 1830’s. This railroad and station were built in response to the development of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which potentially could draw people away from Baltimore. The plan to build a railroad was a success and resulted in a 13-mile stretch of track extending from Ellicott City to Baltimore.


It was no secret that the railroad and canal developments were in competition with each other. This was further proved when Charles Carroll of Carrollton unearthed the first shovel of soil for railroad construction on July 4th, 1828; the same day construction began on the canal.


The beginnings of the construction of the railroad were not very cost effective or timely. However, progress continued and on May 24th, 1830 the inaugural ride from Ellicott City to Baltimore (then pulled by horses) was a success! Anyone who had 75 cents could make the hour and a half trek from Baltimore to Ellicott City, and in the first 30 days, the railroad brought in $1,000 a week.


Throughout the years, the railroad continued to move westward, and by 1852 it had beat the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal by stretching all the way to Wheeling, WV.


Today, the Ellicott City Station houses a B&O Railroad Museum that is open to the public. Visitors can go and learn about the history and explore the, mostly unchanged, station where the United States railroad began.


Historic Ellicott City Building History

The Patapsco Hotel

“The Patapsco Hotel” 8004 – 8026 Main Street

The Patapsco Hotel was rebuilt in 1930. The building that stands today at 8004 – 8026 Main Street was reconstructed using stones from the original Patapsco Hotel.


The original Patapsco Hotel was said to have a second story balcony that was built flush against the railroad track. This feature was designed to make entrance to the hotel easier for weary travellers. When the building was rebuilt in 1930, the balcony was not included.


The current building was designed to house apartments on the top two levels and storefronts on the bottom level. This is how it remains today.


The bottom level currently houses three businesses: The Archive Music & Games, Cotton Duck Art & Apparel, and Imperium.

Historic Ellicott City Building History

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“Patapsco National Bank” 8098 Main Street


The Patapsco National Bank building, located at 8098 Main Street in Historic Ellicott City, dates back to 1905.


The Patapsco National Bank began in the 1840’s and was founded by several prominent names including, Ellicott, Dorsey, and Carroll. This was the first bank in Ellicott City (then known as Ellicott Mills.)


The bank moved its offices to the present-day 8098 Main Street building in 1905 when the building was erected to house the bank. This building was comprised of rich details including marble and mahogany. An Italian marble wall measuring four to five feet tall was placed to separate off an area for ladies to conduct business with the bank.


In 1971, the Patapsco National Bank merged with the First National Bank but remained in the building as the Ellicott City office. It operated out of this building until the 1980’s when the branch was closed.


Today, this historic building houses Wessel’s Flowers. This beautiful flower store serves the community with whatever flower needs they may have, including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and more.

Historic Ellicott City Building History

Disney's Tavern

“Disney’s Tavern” 8304 – 8298 Main Street

Disney’s Tavern located at 8304 – 8298 Main Street in Historic Ellicott City today houses two businesses: Gramp’s Attic Books and the law offices of Dennis A. Hodge, P.A. But historians believed that this building dates back to the late eighteenth century.


One of the oldest original buildings on Main Street, this charming building once was owned and operated by Deborah Disney who ran the tavern from 1840 – 1862. Disney bought the building for $6,000 from William Lorman, which also consisted of just over 10 acres.


In the 1940’s, the building was split into two properties and only the west side was sold to Harry and Janet Tamburo, who ran a fine fabric shop out of the divided building.


Through the years the building has changed hands several times, been split into two, has been a home, a fabric store, and a ladies boutique. Now, it houses Gramp’s Attic Books, an antique and rare bookstore on one side, and the law offices of Dennis A. Hodge on the other.

Why Shop Small?

Like snowflakes, each independently owned boutique and restaurant is unique. With more than 50 artist galleries, shopsShop-Local-Small-Business-Saturday and restaurants in the Ellicott City Historic District – we’ve got a blizzard of shopping opportunities this holiday season!

Did you know that local businesses are known to have a “multiplier effect” on their communities? The fact is that every dollar spent at a local, independently owned business stays in the community and generates a far greater economic value by creating jobs and more localized spending. But it’s not just about the economy: Research shows that vibrant local business communities lead to more charitable giving in a community, more walkable neighborhoods with unique character and less pollution.

More than two dozen studies have looked at the value that small businesses bring to their local communities, says Michael H. Shuman, an economist and author who specializes in community economics.

“Every single one of them shows that every single dollar spent at a local business leads to two to four times the amount of jobs, income and wealth, tax collections, and charitable contributions,” Shuman says. “There’s no magic to it—it’s basic economics that companies that are local have more local relationships, and that’s what creates this disproportionate positive effect.”

For example, a 2012 study by Civic Economics, a company that analyzes the impact of buying local, found that the locally owned independent retailers in the study returned 52% of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 13.6 percent by national chain retailers.

Major corporations have changed the dynamic of shopping in the United States over the past few decades, with many big-box stores driving out small, local retailers by undercutting their prices and building mammoth operations. But in cities and towns all across America, locally owned businesses are making a comeback—and it’s making a difference.

As Small Business Saturday approaches on November 28, it’s a good time to remember the tremendous value that the Historic Ellicott City businesses provide our community. Please be a champion for Old Ellicott City by ‘Shopping Small’ this holiday season!

Upcoming Patapsco Heritage Designation Hearing

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday,  December 8 on whether to designate an area rich in cultural, natural, and historic resources surrounding the Patapsco River as a State Certified Heritage Area. Designation creates a strategy and fosters partnership between government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations to promote sustainable economic development and heritage resource conservation through grants, loans, tax credits and other tools.

To be designated, communities prepare a management plan summarizing the area’s heritage resources and themes, boundaries, proposed tourism and conservation projects. If the request is approved, qualified local jurisdictions, non-profits, businesses and individuals will be eligible to apply for grants, loans, tax credits or other benefit programs available through the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

WHAT: Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Public Hearing on the proposed designation of a Patapsco Certified Heritage Area

WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Monday, December 8, 2014

WHERE: Catonsville Clubhouse
10 Saint Timothy’s Lane
Catonsville, MD 21228

WHO: Local government officials, heritage resource organizations, conservationists, tourism industry representatives, business and property owners, and others who are interested in the proposal to designate the Patapsco Certified Heritage Area.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is an independent unit of state government that operates in the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP). For more information, visit the website.

Ellicott City Designated As A Main Street Maryland Community

We are proud to announce that our little town was designated as a Main Street Maryland today.  A press conference was held this morning at the Howard County Welcome Center.  We are the first town to get this designation in Howard County.  For the video and more information on the Main Street Maryland program, check out the below video and link.  Thanks for helping us make this a great community!

Press Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVK02o1_unk

Howard County Press Release:  http://www.co.ho.md.us/News111714b.htm

Main Street Maryland: http://www.mainstreetmaryland.org/blog/2014/11/visit-ellicott-city-main-street/

#visitellicottcity #VisitHoCoMD


HallowRead Mini-Con Brings National Authors to Town

Local Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, Rachel Rawlings, had a crazy idea. Create a book convention for genre fiction and hold it the weekend before Halloween. Haunted and historic Ellicott City has always held a special place in her heart so there was no other place to take her convention. The town welcomed her and HallowRead with open arms. Each ticket sold helps raise money for the Ellicott City Partnership- a coalition of residents and business owners for the betterment of the town.

HallowRead is a book convention for authors and fans of the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, SteamPunk and Horror genres. This multi-author event will feature various activities throughout the weekend including Writing Workshops, Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Author Tea, Author Panels, Book Signing, Paranormal Investigation, the new House on Hahallowread_bannerunted Hill attraction at the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute. Hang out with your favorite authors in the haunted and historic town of Ellicott City, Maryland!

HallowRead and the other events held in the historic district raise money for projects like rain barrels which help reduce the sediment and contaminants running into the Patapsco River and fund grants for projects like Paint Main Street which helped small business owners get a much needed fresh coat of paint improving the moral and over all appearance of the town. One ticket, whether it’s a $10 House on Haunted Hill attraction admission or the full monty ticket makes a difference for the town and the wonderful people who call it home, something Rachel is extremely proud of.

Oct 24 & 25, 2014

  Visit HallowRead for more information on events and tickets!