Howard County Historical Society

Howard County Historical Society EMAIL: [email protected] WEBSITE: MAILING ADDRESS: HCHS, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042 The largest private repository of images, maps, artifacts and archival materials related to the history of Howard County.

MUSEUM HOURS: Friday, Saturday & Sundays 1:00PM- 5:00 PM LIBRARY HOURS: Mondays & Tuesdays 1:00 - 8:00 PM Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 1:00 – 5:00 PM Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 PM Sundays CLOSED

MUSEUM HOURS: Friday, Saturday & Sundays 1:00PM- 5:00 PM LIBRARY HOURS: Mondays & Tuesdays 1:00 - 8:00 PM Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 1:00 – 5:00 PM Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 PM Sundays CLOSED

Mission: The Howard County Historical Society’s main goals are the investigation and study of Howard County history; promotion of programs educating members and the community in the history of Howard County and Maryland; to provide library research and museum facilities on the history of Howard County; collecting, preserving and displaying papers, books, manuscripts, records and artifacts of both local and wider interest; encourage research and writing on the part of the community and students in public schools and colleges; supporting the marking and preservation of historical sites and buildings; engaging in activities appropriate for a historical society and, finally, cooperating with all historical and preservation groups having a common interest.

Operating as usual

OEC Holiday Bucks! - Visit Old Ellicott City
OEC Holiday Bucks! - Visit Old Ellicott City

OEC Holiday Bucks! - Visit Old Ellicott City

The Ellicott City Partnership is offering an extra incentive to shop in Old Ellicott City (OEC) this holiday season, by offering the OEC Holiday Bucks program for another year.

Dying to Tell Their Stories

Dying to Tell Their Stories

Photo by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland for The Historical Marker Database.

Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum

Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum

Clarks Ace Hardware

Clarks Ace Hardware

Check out our holiday decorations in-store. I think you will be surprised at how amazing they are! More pictures will be posted eventually, but here's one to get you started.

To honor our Veterans this month, I would like to bring attention tothis fact.Adapted from a story by The Washington Pos...
In Maryland, these four mothers lead the country’s first all-female state National Guard command staff

To honor our Veterans this month, I would like to bring attention to
this fact.

Adapted from a story by The Washington Post’s Samantha Schmidt.

For the first time in the nation, a state National Guard — Maryland’s —
is led by a command staff of all women. As of last fall, the top four
leaders in the state’s National Guard are all women — three of them
African American — and all mothers.

With Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh at the helm, these leaders have been tested in ways many of their male counterparts haven’t



From Our Past!

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 9, 1806).

Below is a very brief biography and pictured are his obituary from the Howard County Times and a copy of his almanac.

Young Benjamin grew up in Baltimore County, one of two hundred free blacks among a population of four thousand slaves and thirteen thousand whites. He was taught to read by his grandmother Molly, and briefly attended a one-room interracial school taught by a Quaker. He showed an early interest in mathematics and mechanics, preferring books to play.
At the age of 22, having seen only two timepieces in his lifetime -- a sundial and a pocket watch -- Banneker constructed a striking clock almost entirely out of wood, based on his own drawings and calculations. The clock continued to run until it was destroyed in a fire forty years later.

Banneker became friendly with the Ellicott brothers. Like Banneker, George Ellicott was a mathematician and amateur astronomer.

In 1791, Banneker accompanied Major Andrew Ellicott to the banks of the Potomac to assist him in surveying the new federal city that would become the nation's capital. A notice first printed in the Georgetown Weekly Ledger and later copied in other newspapers stated that Ellicott was "attended by Benjamin Banneker, an Ethiopian, whose abilities, as a surveyor, and an astronomer, clearly prove that Mr. Jefferson's concluding that race of men were void of mental endowments, was without foundation."

In 1792, Banneker published an almanac, based on his own painstakingly calculated ephemeris (table of the position of celestial bodies), that also included commentaries, literature, and fillers that had a political and humanitarian purpose. The previous summer, he had sent a copy of the ephemeris to Thomas Jefferson, along with a letter in which he challenged Jefferson's ideas about the inferiority of blacks.

Between 1792 and 1797, Banneker published six almanacs in twenty-eight editions. He continued to live alone, selling off and renting his land, then giving the rest to the Ellicotts in exchange for a small pension. He died in 1806. On the day of his burial, his house and its contents (including his clock) caught fire and burned to the ground.

Dying to Tell Their Stories

Dying to Tell Their Stories

We worked with the Howard County Historical Society and the Maryland Women's Heritage Center to tell the story of suffragist Laura (Laurenson) Byrne. As a young woman in 1880, she traveled alone by train and stagecoach from her family home in Baltimore County to marry her fiancé, Dr. Bernard Byrne, stationed in Ft. Lewis, Colorado. Since she was a descendent of Baltimore's Carroll family, we assume the conditions on a military fort were unlike those of her upbringing.

The family later moved east again and settled in Ellicott City. For several years, they lived on Main Street in a home now designated as the Historic Disney Tavern. From there, Mrs. Byrne led the Howard County suffrage movement at the turn of the 20th century.

Sometimes she set up a table on Main Street to help spread the word about suffrage. Mrs. Byrne became a sought-after speaker and traveled throughout Maryland to advocate for women's right to vote.

She is buried in the family plot at New Cathedral Cemetery (Bonnie Brae). We thank the Howard County Historical Society volunteers who shared their research from newspaper archives about Mrs. Byrne's extensive travels. More:

Historical Society of Carroll County

Historical Society of Carroll County

While we associate paintings with art museums, most history museums also have them. These are usually family portraits or works by local artists. HSCC has both. But, while paintings are common, they are uncommonly difficult to care for.

Paintings are very complex objects. A traditional painting is constructed, in order from bottom to top, of the support, ground, paint, and coating. The support is usually a wooden frame called a stretcher. The ground for most paintings is canvas. The canvas is attached to the stretcher with keys (flat triangular wedges, traditionally wooden) in the corners to adjust the tension of the fabric and to prevent bulges and creases. The ground provides a smooth surface for the paint. The paint on top of the ground can be a very thin single layer or multiple layers. On top of the paint, there is generally a coating. The coating, synthetic or natural resins, is used to provide saturation and to protect the paint underneath from dirt, abrasion, and moisture.

As paintings age, all of these parts can deteriorate. The keys fall out, allowing the stretcher to move. The canvas expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity, and stretches and sags. The paint layers will crack from the movement of the canvas. The coatings often darken with age and absorb dust and dirt, obscuring the original colors and details in the painting.

Recently, one of HSCC’s paintings underwent conservation treatment for all these problems. The painting is a portrait of William Winchester, Jr., son of the founder of Westminster and the man who sold Jacob Sherman the land on which the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House was built. Conservator Heather Smith of Maryland Art Conservation performed the treatment. The back of the canvas was cleaned, new keys installed, and the tension on the canvas corrected. Deformed areas of the paint layer were flattened and the surface of the painting cleaned. A synthetic varnish was applied to protect the surface. Losses to the paint were infilled on top of the varnish so they can be removed if necessary in the future without damaging the original paint layers.

At the same time, conservator William Lewin was treating the frame. Damaged gesso was consolidated and losses infilled. The gilding was gently cleaned and the filled areas painted to match.

The two pieces were reunited and the painting re-hung above the mantel in the Dining Parlor of the house.

Getting ready for the Holidays?  Look at these "Classic" Historic Ornaments of Howard County Landmarks.  $15 at the Muse...

Getting ready for the Holidays? Look at these "Classic" Historic Ornaments of Howard County Landmarks. $15 at the Museum Gift Shop.

These are Classic Collectible Ornaments and stock is limited!
$15 plus tax.

Available at the Museum of Howard County History (while supplies last)

Email us at [email protected] to purchase or reserve for pick up!

Here is what we have left:

(1) Hill House
(2) Waverly
(4) Emory Methodist Church
(2) Castle Angelo
(2) St. Charles College
(1) Thomas Viaduct
(2) Trinity Church

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile # 44Kristine HolderiedWe are celebrating Veterans Day this month and we would li...

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile # 44

Kristine Holderied

We are celebrating Veterans Day this month and we would like to acknowledge an incredible Howard County female veteran.

Midshipman Kristine Holderied, Class of 1984, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis was the first woman to graduate at the top of her class as valedictorian and the top of all of the military service academies. As an oceanography major who carried a 3.88 grade point average, she graduated as Valedictorian and first in a class of 1,005 midshipmen and only 63 women.

Class standing at the Academy is determined through a combination of academic grades, military performance, and professional training. During her time as a midshipman, Holderied was also a Trident Scholar and deputy brigade commander.

The first women entered the Naval Academy in 1976 and according to Holderied; they were the true pioneers. In spite of the fact that she had to obtain a medical waiver due to high frequency hearing loss, she downplays her accomplishments as a female. “I am more and more satisfied at the acceptance of women here. There will always be some diehards who say women don’t belong, just like there are in society. But we’ve come a long way,” Holderied said in an interview.

Living in Woodbine and attending Glenelg High School, her teachers and friends were not surprised at her accomplishment. They remember Kristine as being the kid who “couldn’t stand to do less than her best.” Her track coach, Jim deNobel put her on the championship 2-mile relay team her senior year. He recalled, “Some people are natural athletes, but not Kris. Kris probably got the most out of her abilities of anybody I’ve ever seen. She had to work at being good and she put everything she had into it.”

It was that same determination and hard work that got her through the Naval Academy. She managed to make it through all 4 years with no demerits – an amazing fact considering you could get a demerit for simply having improperly shined shoes or being late for lunch!

Kristine selected the Naval Academy because it was her first choice for studying oceanography. Other colleges did not have the necessary courses for this field. Another reason was her sense of patriotism. She felt indebted to the nation and she felt “I should pay that back and this was kind of my way of doing that.”

After leaving the Academy, Holderied worked in meteorology and weather forecasting for the Navy, including a graduate degree from a combined MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution program. After leaving the Navy, Holderied continued to work in the field, first for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and then for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Laurel Historical Society

Laurel Historical Society

Today, we "remember the ladies" and everyone who worked, fought, and died to ensure that everyone can have the right to vote.
📷 1920s poll books and ballot from our collection, with reproduction suffrage sash

Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities

Maryland Public Television, our Media Sponsor for Museum on Main Street, is providing programming intended to increase discussion and understanding of race-related issues across Maryland.

Tonight at 9, catch BOSS, which explores the history of Black entrepreneurship. Next week, MPT presents Part 1 of RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, hosted by historian and literary critic Henry Louis Gates, Jr. MPT will air Part 2 the next Monday.

Learn more:

Historic Ellicott City

Historic Ellicott City

Women's Sufferage March in Historic Ellicott City.

Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities

Happy #ElectionDay! This image of a button is from our upcoming Museum on Main Street exhibition, VOICES & VOTES. It will tour Maryland beginning in April.

Unfortunately, our Suffragist March had to be "adjusted" today.  We will be moving to to tent at Phoenix Brewing Co. For...

Unfortunately, our Suffragist March had to be "adjusted" today. We will be moving to to tent at Phoenix Brewing Co. For photos at 1:00.

March in Ellicott City, complete with costumes, will mark 100 years of women’s suffrage
March in Ellicott City, complete with costumes, will mark 100 years of women’s suffrage

March in Ellicott City, complete with costumes, will mark 100 years of women’s suffrage

On Sunday, Nov. 1, Ellicott City’s historic district will go back in time as women dressed in period costume march from the Museum of Howard County History to the B&O Railroad Museum before setting up shop at the Little Market Cafe courtyard to deliver speeches from 100 years ago in support of the...

Check out our monthly article on Ellicott City's Kraft Meat Market!
TBM November

Check out our monthly article on Ellicott City's Kraft Meat Market!

TBM November

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile #43We were not able to find a photo of Josephine Ray, but we have a photo of a t...

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile #43

We were not able to find a photo of Josephine Ray,
but we have a photo of a telephone operator in 1911.

Josephine Ray 1855 – 1918

The telephone has had a major impact universally in the everyday life of people. Josephine Ray was an initial driver in Howard County of facilitating the use of the telephone in Howard County by being the Chief Night Operator for the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company founded in 1884. At the age of 29, she was the Chief Night Operator when the system was initially installed in Ellicott City until she was stricken with paralysis at the age of 63 – a month before she died in 1918. Her pleasant manner and promptness in answering calls earned her many friends in her social and business life. She was truly a professional in a new and emerging field.

Josephine attended Maryland State Normal School (now Towson University) in 1872 and remained single for the rest of her life. She was one of six daughters and two sons of John T. Ray and Mary Elizabeth Treakle Ray. They were prominent residents in Ellicott City. John T. Ray was appointed Warden of the Ellicott City Emory Street Jail in 1862. For 20 years, he was one of the most capable and fearless wardens that ever served the county. He was long identified with public service also serving as Court Bailiff and Court Crier. He died at 90 years of age at his residence, Angelo’s Cottage, in 1907.

Josephine’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Treakle Ray was the only daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Treakle a well-known farmer. Her uncle, James Treakle, was a Democratic politician of Howard County. The Treakle farm today is known as Mary's Land Farm on Sheppards Lane. Mary Ray at the time of her death in 1894 was from one of the oldest and most widely connected families in Howard County.

Maryland Center for History and Culture

Maryland Center for History and Culture

As Halloween approaches and we get ready to enter one of the spookiest times of year, the MCHC acknowledges our community’s connections to famed author Edgar Allan Poe. Though he was born in Boston and spent much of his life in Richmond, Poe is forever tied to Baltimore where in 1849 he died under mysterious circumstances. His remains are buried in the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in the city’s downtown, where visitors sometimes come to catch a glimpse of Poe’s memorial grave. Baltimore would also go on to honor the poet’s memory by naming its NFL team the Ravens in 1996, an allusion to his successful poem published in 1845.

The H. Furlong Baldwin Library holds several unique collections related to the life, work, and legacy of Edgar Allan Poe, including this daguerreotype portrait circa 1845. You can learn more about his story and related materials here:

Image: Portrait of Edgar Allen (1809-1849). Undated (Circa 1845), CSPH 277, Box 11. Cased Photograph Collection. H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

Maryland Center for History and Culture

Maryland Center for History and Culture

Need a break from home? Interested in a private guided tour of the "Spectrum of Fashion" exhibition for you and your family? The Maryland Center for History and Culture is happy to lead tours of the exhibition—open through December—for groups of 10 or less, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Schedule now:



9421 Frederick Rd
Ellicott City, MD

General information

MUSEUM LOCATION: 8328 Court Avenue Ellicott City, MD 21043 ARCHIVE & RESEARCH LIBRARY LOCATION: Charles E. Miller Branch Library and Historical Center 9421 Frederick Road Ellicott City, MD 21042 MAILING ADDRESS: Howard County Historical Society 9421 Frederick Road Ellicott City, MD 21042

Opening Hours

Monday 13:00 - 20:00
Tuesday 13:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 13:00 - 17:00
Thursday 13:00 - 17:00
Friday 13:00 - 17:00
Saturday 13:00 - 17:00


(410) 480-3250


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Does anyone happen to know when the iron bridge next to the Miller Branch library was built? I don’t see many iron bridges so I was just curious! It’s a gorgeous view this time of year.
Great News! Today we wrapped up filming "A Different Kind of Song: The March of Black Women and the Unsung Stories of Black Women Composers." Thanks to an extraordinary groundbreaking collaboration between the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAPPA) "Bringing Color to the Classics!" and the Museum of Howard County History at the Howard County Historical Society in Historic Ellicott City, Maryland. Stay tuned for the virtual streaming, a tour de force in creative storytelling through the lens of history, culture, and music. Airing Sunday, November 1, 2020 from 4-5 pm on the CAAPA facebook and youtube pages. All the performances are exquisitely presented at the Museum of Howard County History. Click! and Note: In partnership with Howard County Historical Society, ASALH Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and Maryland Humanities. #music #museums #history #culture #concerts #storytelling #classicalmusic #spiritualmusic #artsandhumanities #communityoutreach #creativityatwork #artists #blackwomencomposers #blacksuffragettes #blackexcellence #gamechanginglives #blackgirlmagic #collaborations #partnerships #arts 2020 video c Denée Barr All Rights Reserved
Hi I was wondering if you know anything about the old graves (9?) on a strip of land across the street from the Bethany Station 8 on Old Frederick Road.
Hey You, yeah you live history, current events and trivia? Well then you should join the Walsh's Traveling Trivia and the Ellicott Silly Comedy Festival this Saturday, 3/28 at 12:30 PM for a FREE interactive game of trivia!! Limited space is available...Clink this link to sign up your team now:
A new discovery from Howard County. Dunloggin Dairy Milk Crate Before the residential area known as Dunloggin in Ellicott City, Maryland was developed, there was a dairy farm called Dunloggin, home of quality purebred Holstein Friesian cattle. Before it was called Dunloggin Farms, the 523 acres was called “Chatham Springs”. The property had been a wedding present to one of the daughters of Thomas W. Ligon. Ligon was governor of Maryland from 1854-1859. The daughter and her husband lived in “White Hall” which is still a private dwelling now listed on the Registry of Historic Places. It stands on Chatham Road at Dunloggin. In 1926, Joseph Natwick, a lumberman from Baltimore, saw the property which was covered with a pristine stand of white oak, and offered to buy the land from the two elderly Ligon sisters. The ladies wanted to sell but were horrified that their land would be raped of its trees so a deal was made where a swath of timber between their house and the rest of the property would be left so they wouldn’t be able to see the trees being destroyed. They were also allowed to live in their house for their lifetimes. After logging the white oak he tried selling the property but was unable to find a buyer. He bought some prized Percheron draft horses and housed them on the farm and called the place “Dunloggin” as he said he was “done logging.” Being a native of Wisconsin he remembered how he loved the farms there with the black and white animals pastured on green backgrounds. So he went to Wisconsin to buy some Holstein breeding stock. He built barns and landscaped. Tree stumps were dug up and large rocks were blasted. Beautiful barns were built and quality cattle were brought to live there. By a series of coincidences he hired a genius of a cowman, Paul B. Misner, from Pennsylvania, and a well known veterinarian, Dr. E. C. Deubler, from Neshameny Farms in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Dr.Deubler traveled to the farm on vaccination days or when an animal was sick. The herd grew, with luck and careful breeding, into what is still known as the model for the breeding of dairy cattle in the world. Dunloggin was one of the first herds to keep pedigrees and breed for confirmation as well as production. The herd was well known and revered in the 1930’s and 40’s and still remains the hallmark of the dairy breeding industry. Dunloggin was an extraordinary coming together of a dream, a man with money to fund it, a genius of a cowman, and men who were loyal hard workers. The farm was sold to Hymie Kaplan, who with his brothers owned Shirtcraft, a firm in New York City. Mark Wakefield, Jr. a young developer from Louisville, Kentucky developed the property into one of the first subdivisions in Howard County.
Please join us this Tuesday, February 11, for a special presentation from The Elkridge Heritage Society. "Little Poland...The Polish People & Their Move to Elkridge" will be a panel discussion with several Elkridge residents, looking back at the early to mid-1900s when many Polish families settled in Elkridge. Hope to see you there! Details here:
Here is another event I hope you will share. Hi! Our second seasonal walk and local history event is sponsored by the Howard County Heritage Program and archaeologist Kelly Palich on Saturday, November 2nd at 1pm. Come celebrate this historic district with us and learn about our upcoming plans. Please register with the County on the Website below - we look forward to seeing you there! Time to register is running out...
A little something for the Ellicott City fans.
I have several photographs of Ellicott City going back to 1990 and several copies of The National Road ...a photographic journey, that I would like to donate to a worthy cause. Clarence Carvell, Fulton, MD 301-725-0234
Colonial era music, dance, and crafts are featured at the local Colonial Market Fair this weekend.
Check out these amazing pics from our Paparazzi at our Classic Hollywood Gala! A big thanks to Brendon Raraigh and Tim Eggborn for these!
💫HISTORIC ELLICOTT CITY OPEN HOUSE TOUR 💫 Saturday 5/4 from 12pm to 4pm & Sunday 5/5 from 1pm to 3pm 6 Bed | 3 Bath | Circa 1930 | 2 Car Garage CENTENNIAL SCHOOLS! Price: $599,900 🏡 HISTORIC home tour in Ellicott City and we're featuring ~The Merson House~ which is a house registered as a historic property. It's an American Four Square that reflects many of the characteristics of this popular style including the box shape, high hipped roof, central gable dormer, and full-width front porch. The house sits on 0.62 acres.The house abuts the scenic Cat Rocks Branch valley. Many original restored features along with all of the new amenities! Original cypress wood front porch! Custom molding and built-ins! Central air conditioning! Modern kit with Silestone counters & Stainless steel appliances! Huge addition with a 1st floor master suite or family room with a full bath! Original pine floors! Fully finished LL! 2 car garage! Screened porch! Stunning yard! Must see! NOT in the flood zone! 1st floor addition could be a fantastic in-law suite or home office! Finished basement could easily be converted into an in-law suite or apartment with a separate entrance! Come see for yourself at our Open House this Saturday & Sunday hosted by Amy Nichols Studdard📲 Or Contact a member of The Savoy Team of Keller Williams Integrity to schedule a private showing! ☎️ 443.858.2723 💻 Listed by Charlotte Savoy at The Savoy Team of Keller Williams Integrity