Historic Ellicott City Building History

Howard County Courthouse

“Old Howard County Courthouse” – The corner of Ellicott Mills Drive and Main Street


The Old Howard County Courthouse was built in 1840 and served as the first county seat until 1843 when the large granite courthouse was constructed on Mount Misery. Originally, it was located on Mercer Street and had an adjoining wood structure that served as stables.


By 1969, the original structure had fallen into disrepair and was slated by the county to be demolished. However, in 1970, The Howard County Historical Society convinced the county executives to sell them the property for $1.


In 1971, along with other donations, the Howard County Historical Society held a dinner/dance fundraiser and was able to raise enough money to move and restore the Old Howard County Courthouse.


Today, the Old Howard County Courthouse holds the Heritage Orientation Center. It is open daily from 11am – 4pm.