Thomas Isaac Log Cabin

Ellicott City is an unincorporated community located in Howard County near Baltimore. The town features shops, restaurants, off the beat stores, coffee shops, a bakery, a tea room, wine stores and the B&O Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station. It is a very popular destination among antiques shoppers and tourist who likes to visits local historic sites.

It was founded in 1772 by three brothers John, Andrew and Joseph Ellicott from Bucks County, Pennysylvania after choosing to establish a flour mill. They built Ellicott Mills which became one of the largest milling and manufacturing town at that time. The Thomas Isaac Log cabin named after its owner was one of the oldest structure built by the early settlers. The brothers revolutionized farming by introducing fertilizers and persuading farmers to plant wheat instead of tobacco.

B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station

It became the first terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad outside of Baltimore. Today, the station has been converted to a national historic landmark and a living museum. It bears the designation as the “Oldest surviving railroad station in America”. It’s also the venue for the famous race between Peter Cooper’s iron engine, the Tom Thumb and a horse carriage in 1830. The horse won the race, but as steam engines steadily improved and become more reliable the steam engine powered the railroad and became a vital link in the town’s economy.

Ellicott City Entrance

It was also a venue to another historical event that happened on July 10, 1864, when Union troops under General Lew Wallace retreated to the National Pike from the Battle of Monocacy to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Ellicott’s Mills Station. The surrounding homes and churches were temporarily used as hospitals for the wounded soldiers. In 1867, The Ellicott Mills name was changed to “Ellicott City” and in 1973 it was designated a historic district.

Ellicott City was the home to the Enchanted Forest a fairy tale-themed amusement park near Route 40. The park was closed in the early 90’s and its parking lot was converted to the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center. Many of the attractions have been moved and restored to Clark’s Eliot Farm. The Enchanted Forest was featured on the famous movie Cry-Baby, starring Ricki Lake and Johnny Depp.

Ellicott City FireHouse Museum

The Ellicott city area has been called one of the most haunted small towns on the east coast. The tourism council runs a Ghost Tour that visits several places with reputations for paranormal activity.It includes the mansions Lilburn, Mt.Ida, the Old Ellicott Fire House, the Patapsco Female Institure, Hayden House, and the B&O railroad bridge that crosses over Main Street in the center of the town.

If you are buying a house here, you might want to think about flood insurance especially around the historic district. Due to its location near the water used by the early settlers, the low lying area of Historic Ellicott City has been prone to flooding. The worst documented case was in the 1868 that wiped out most of early industry in the valley sparing only the flour mill. In the early summer of 1972, the downtown Main Street area was extensively flooded by Hurricane Agnes destroying the Ellicott brothers’ house on the mill property.

Ellicott City Flood Gauge

Today, Ellicott City is the 6th largest city in Maryland and was ranked as the second best place to live in 2010 by CNN Money. Ellicott City is listed amongst America’s most affluent communities, the third wealthiest county in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 2005, Ellicott City has been ranked four times among the top “20 Best Places to Live in the United States” by Money and The downtown area is often called “Historic Ellicott City” or “Old Ellicott City” .It extends north of the Baltimore County line, south towards Columbia, and to the west of West Friendship.