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

DIRECTIONS to the Museum from Main Street Ellicott City: Take Court Avenue up the hill, past the Court House. Museum is in the stone church to your left. DIRECTIONS to the Research Library and Archive from Main Street Ellicott City. Take Main Street in Ellicott City west approximately 2 miles to the Charles E. Miller Branch Library and Historical Center. 2nd floor at top of main staircase. Elevators available. Follow us on TWITTER -- Follow us on INSTAGRAM --

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

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile #32Laura Laurenson Byrne  1855 - 1938Pictured on the left in the photo with Mrs....

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile #32

Laura Laurenson Byrne 1855 - 1938

Pictured on the left in the photo with Mrs. Stonestreet and Mrs. Ramsey. Photo on the right is her daughter Laura Byrne Hickok.

The women of Howard County owe a debt to Laura Laurenson Byrne or Mrs. B. J. Byrne. She, along with her daughter Laura Byrne Hickok and many women in Howard County fought for the Suffrage Movement through the Just Government League (JGL).

The JGL was an organization that supported rights for all women which included the right to vote, to hold public office, equal rights in family law, to enter into legal contracts, to have reproductive rights, to have the right to bodily integrity, to be free of sexual violence, the right of fair wages and equal pay, to own property and to obtain an education and advance in society.

The JGL was a national and international organization and their goals not only included the rights listed above, but some organizations went further to promote anti-lynching laws, the end of child labor, sanitation laws and the legalization of prostitution.

On the local level, Mrs. Bernard J. Byrne led the fight for Women’s Suffrage in Howard County along with her daughter Laura Byrne Hickok. As the President of the Howard County Just Government League, Laura Byrne worked tirelessly to inform and educate all women of Howard County regardless of race, religion, or political persuasion. Often traveling all over the county, when most of the roads were dirt or gravel, she visited the ladies on the farms who did not get into town frequently or did not have access to newspapers. In 1911, the Evening Sun in Baltimore reported the Suffrage Movement in Howard County to be flourishing. Most of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Howard County took place between 1910 and 1920.

Laura was born in 1855 into a family of privilege; her maternal grandparents were Charles Carroll IV and Harriet Chew Carroll of Homewood. Laura did not flaunt her life of privilege but worked diligently for the JGL. She traveled the state giving lectures, organizing committee meetings, providing educational material and fund raising for the cause.

In 1910, Mrs. Byrne lived on Main Street at Disney's Tavern in Ellicott City with her husband Dr. Bernard J. Byrne, daughter Laura Byrne and Bernard’s sister, Eliza. Her daughter was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and a Suffragette. Mrs. Byrne held many meetings at her house which included speakers like Belva Lockwood, the oldest practicing attorney in the United States. She would also set up booths on the sidewalk on Main Street to hand out buttons, pamphlets, and educational material.

The Ellicott City Times under the direction of editor Colonel W. S. Powell was the first newspaper in Maryland to support women’s suffrage. The support of Colonel Powell and many other gentlemen in the county helped to promote The Just Government League.

Heritage Fund Highlight: Carriage House at Mt. Pleasant Farm Restored by Howard County Conservancy - Preservation Maryla...
Heritage Fund Highlight: Carriage House at Mt. Pleasant Farm Restored by Howard County Conservancy - Preservation Maryland

Heritage Fund Highlight: Carriage House at Mt. Pleasant Farm Restored by Howard County Conservancy - Preservation Maryland

The Howard County Conservancy stewards over three centuries of history at Mt. Pleasant Farm, including a newly restored Carriage House, funding in part by the Heritage Fund grant program. Historic Mt. Pleasant farm was donated for preservation by sisters Ruth and Frances Brown, retired Howard County...

The Howard County Historical Society is happy to partner with our friends at Park Ridge Creamery to provide a SPECIAL tr...
Park Ridge Creamery - Visit Old Ellicott City

The Howard County Historical Society is happy to partner with our friends at Park Ridge Creamery to provide a SPECIAL treat for our "Passporters" this year.

Complete the Passport to the Past Family program and your child will get a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream from Historic Ellicott City's PREMIUM Hand Scooped Ice Cream Spot, Park Ridge Creamery!

Email [email protected] for more info.

Passport to the Past

Park Ridge Creamery

Visit Old Ellicott City Park Ridge Creamery - Old Ellicott City, Ellicott City Partnership, Dining, Shopping, Museums, Music, History, Family Friendly

Museum of Howard County History

Museum of Howard County History

Tune in tomorrow to Good Morning America as they do a segment on Elliott City. Our County Executive, Dr. Calvin Ball, was interviewed in the Museum first the segment.

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile # 31Carrie E. Dorsey   1886 – 1963 “When you endeavor to do what’s right against...

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile # 31

Carrie E. Dorsey 1886 – 1963

“When you endeavor to do what’s right against all odds, even if you don’t at first succeed, there’s nobility and even majesty in such setbacks.”
~Herb Cohen, Negotiator~

Carrie Dorsey represents thousands of women who have struggled for freedom and equality. She didn’t have a degree, in fact little education. She didn’t invent some scientific machine or develop social theories; however, her life was the platform for women born after her to succeed and carry on in the world.

The 9th daughter of Catherine “Kitty” and John Dorsey was born in Bushy Park. Kitty, enslaved by Isaac Anderson, was freed in 1864 when Maryland wrote legislation to finally free slaves in states that had not betrayed the Union. Kitty walked away determined to live a free and fulfilling life.

Carrie followed in the tradition of her mother. Carrie was known as a “medicine woman” in the county, caring for anyone that needed her help. Like her mother, a well-known midwife, Carrie not only delivered babies, but also tended to the sick and provided excellent care. Carrie always responded to those in need.

Carrie managed to raise 12 children, often the children wearing patched clothes and little food to feed them, but she taught her children to endeavor, to do their best, and succeed. If you would like to learn more about Carrie and her family, check our online gift shop for “In Carrie’s Footprints – the Long Walk of Warren Dorsey” by Jack McBride White with Warren Dorsey.

August 7 is PURPLE HEART DAYToday we honor a Purple Heart recipient from Howard County, Warrant Officet Gary William Han...


Today we honor a Purple Heart recipient from Howard County, Warrant Officet Gary William Hanna, KIA during the Tet Offensive, January 31, 1968. Mr. Hanna's medals and photo of his parents accepting the posthumous award are on display at the Museum and in this post.

Purple Heart Day, on August 7th, commemorates the creation of the oldest American military decoration for military merit. The Purple Heart honors the men and women who are of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. During the American Revolutionary War, the Badge for Military Merit decorated six known soldiers.

General George Washington created the Badge of Merit in 1782. Washington intended the honor to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action.” Its design included a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver. Across the face, the word Merit was embroidered in silver. While the badge symbolized the courage and devotion of an American Patriot, no one knows who designed the award.

Until Washington’s 200th birthday, the Purple Heart persisted as a Revolutionary War footnote. Through the efforts of General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. War Department created the Order of the Purple Heart. Today the medal bears a bust of George Washington and his coat of arms.

Walking Tours of Elliott City begin tomorrow, space is limited.
Walking Tours - Howard County Historical Society

Walking Tours of Elliott City begin tomorrow, space is limited.

Walk This Way: Historic Ellicott City Walking Tours Time: Saturdays 11:00AM – 12:30PM Tickets: $15 per person | $12 per person (HCHS members, seniors, military, children under 13) Due to COVID Concerns, the following requirements must be followed for Historic Ellicott City Walking Tours All ticket...

The museum will be on next week's Good Morning America episode also!

The museum will be on next week's Good Morning America episode also!

Just a little visit to Main Street from Good Morning America!! Supposed to air next week❤️...I think Malina & Sophie wanted to join their crew-a pretty exciting few minutes for SEJ today!

Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution

On this day in 1777, the Battle of Oriskany, considered one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, was fought in New York. Nearly all of the participants at the Battle of Oriskany were American, and it marked the Oneida Indian Nation's split from the other nations of the Six Nations Confederacy.

Thaonawyuthe, known as Chainbreaker or Governor Blacksnake, fought alongside the British during the Revolutionary War. As an old man, he still recalled the bloody Battle of Oriskany, when and his fellow Senecas fought against a force of American militia and Oneida Indians. His portrait can be found on The Revolution's Veterans wall at the Museum, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.

Look for his portrait on your next visit when we reopen September 3. Learn more and reserve your tickets:

Ellicott City Walking Tour
Ellicott City Walking Tour

Ellicott City Walking Tour

Ellicott City, located in the Howard County, Maryland has a deep and rich history that stretches back to colonial times. Our company is offering a unique walking tour with expert guides that will t…

Members,  the Summer issue of the Legacy Newsletter featuring an article on the Women's Suffrage Movement in Howard Coun...

Members, the Summer issue of the Legacy Newsletter featuring an article on the Women's Suffrage Movement in Howard County by our deputy Director Paulette Lutz, will be mailed out tomorrow. E-newsletters will be sent out as well.

If you are interested in receiving our newsletter, which updates our members with "goings-ons" at the Historical Society and the Museum of Howard County History, as well as two to three articles researched and written by our staff using source material from our collection, join as a member today!

This year, The Howard County Historical Society has been a monthly contributor to the Business Monthly.  This issue has ...
TBM August

This year, The Howard County Historical Society has been a monthly contributor to the Business Monthly. This issue has a great article by our amazing Deputy Director, Paulette Lutz, on the Disney Tavern in Ellicott City.

TBM August

Historic Ellicott City By Air

Historic Ellicott City By Air

Henry R. Hazlehurst was born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England and this is his "Lilburn Mansion", built in 1857, located right here in OEC. A quick Google search revealed that it is available as an Airbnb.

Have a marvelous Monday ! 🌞🌞🌞

English countryside photos by AAIC Visual Perceptions 😉

Copyright © AAIC Visual Perceptions - All rights reserved

#ellicottcity #aaicdrones #historicellicottcitybyair #historicmaryland #howardcounty #patapscorivervalley #patapsco #baltimorearea #marylandhistory #milltown #smalltownusa #marylanddroneservice #howardcountyhistory #oldmills #marylandphotographer #ellicottcityartist #historicellicottcity #ellicottcitymd #maryland #michaeltranchitellaphoto #ellicottcityfromabove #baltimorecounty #marylandrealestate #lilburnmansion #england #baltimorehistory #hauntedhouses #hauntedmaryland

The Howard County Historical Society will start our Historic Ellicott City Walking Tours this Saturday at 11:00.  Tours ...

The Howard County Historical Society will start our Historic Ellicott City Walking Tours this Saturday at 11:00. Tours will be scheduled every Saturday at 11:00 until it gets too cold.

***Masks MUST be worn during this tour and 6' Distance must be maintained between guests and tour guides. The maximum number of guests will be 10, minimum of two.***

Our website will be updated this week with links to purchase tickets and our policies for the tours. Please bear with us as we work through this process. We have decided to resume tours due to demand, but we must maintain social distancing for the safety of our guests and staff.

Our page will be updated by Friday for ticket sales. Custom tours can be scheduled, please email [email protected] for information.

Maria Mitchell, a Quaker, was the first professional woman astronomer in the United States.
Maria Mitchell | Biography & Accomplishments

Maria Mitchell, a Quaker, was the first professional woman astronomer in the United States.

Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also the first professional woman astronomer in the U.S. In 1847 she established the orbit of a new comet, which became known as ‘Miss Mitchell’s Comet.’ Learn more about...

Benjamin Banneker Foundation, Inc.

Benjamin Banneker Foundation, Inc.

George Ellicott wants to share where to look for Jupiter and Saturn in the sky, with the Moon near them tonight.

FFC Historical Tours

FFC Historical Tours

Most museums and indoor activities are on hold right now. Why not go on an escorted tour outside. Tours in western Maryland running now. Small groups, social distancing in effect. Check out our tours at #tour #tourism #maryland #ffchistoricaltours #getoutside #civilwar #history #wanderlust

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile #30Mary Ellen DuncanMary Ellen Duncan, Ph.D., Retired President at Howard Commun...

Year of the Howard County Woman Profile #30

Mary Ellen Duncan

Mary Ellen Duncan, Ph.D., Retired President at Howard Community College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in academic administration and higher education.

An esteemed figure in the fields of academic administration and education, Dr. Duncan most recently served as the first female president of Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, a position she held for 10 years between 1998 and 2008.

Dr. Duncan authored “Indicators of Institutional Effectiveness: A Process for Assessing 2-Year Colleges” in 1989. Surprisingly, she never intended to delve into academic administration; however, due to her desire to implement positive changes in her environment and community, she took on increasingly responsible roles within the educational system. She reflects back on her years at Howard Community College as some of her career highlights, as she was able to take charge of the facility and transform it into the prestigious college it appears today.

A member of the American Association of Community Colleges and the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, she has also been a member and longtime legislative liaison of the National Council for Resource Development since 1990.

In light of her outstanding contributions to education, she was the recipient of a Merit Award from the South Carolina Women in Higher Education in 1985, and a John Fry Award and Merit Award from the American Association of Community Colleges in 1981 and 1982, respectively. Highlighted in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who of American Women, Dr. Duncan has held a Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University since 1963, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Connecticut since 1973 and 1982, respectively.

Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities

This July, our Chautauqua living history series goes virtual as Maryland Humanities raises the voices of four notable women who took action to secure their right to vote.

Our final week of Chautauqua features Arthuretta Martin as one of the most powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movement in the South, Fannie Lou Hamer. This video will be available July 27-August 2, 2020. You can join us for a live Q&A with Arthuretta on July 29, 2020. To learn more and register please visit:
About the Performance
Fannie Lou Hamer (1917–1977) is considered one of the most powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movement in the South. In 1961, she attended a meeting led by members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Outraged by efforts to deny Black votes, she became a SNCC organizer and in 1962, and led a group to register to vote in Mississippi, which they were denied. She was later arrested for sitting in a segregated bus station restaurant and was then beaten at the jailhouse. In 1964, she co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Party to increase Black participation in the Democratic Party. She later became part of Mississippi’s first integrated delegation. Hamer attempted to run for the Mississippi House of Representatives but was barred from the ballot. After becoming frustrated with the political system, Hamer shifted her focus to create economic opportunities for black farmers in Mississippi.

Arthuretta Martin is a lifelong storyteller, accomplished speaker, civil rights advocate Distinguished Toastmaster and teaching artist. Her repertoire includes Aesop’s Fables, Anansi, and Brier Rabbit Tales, as well as historical narratives of women in history including Fannie Lou Hamer, Odetta Holmes, Frances Walker Harper, Marian Anderson, and Siseretta Jones. She has performed in diverse venues from the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts to Johannesburg, South Africa, Cape Coast Ghana and Dakar, Senegal. She is a vocalist in the Howard University Rankin Chapel Choir, the Washington Revel’s Jubilee Voices based in Washington, DC, Voices from the Earth Inc.., National Association of Black Storytellers, National Storytelling Alliance, and the National Speakers Association. She holds a BA from James Madison University, an MA from Florida Institute of Technology and continued post-graduate work in public policy, history, and communication at George Mason University. Her theatrical and music training were at George Mason University, Voices from the Earth, Inc., Woolly Mamouth Theater, and the Edward Jackson of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Anne Hurley Studios, Fairfax, Virginia.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in Chautauqua are the performers’ interpretations of the historical figures and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Maryland Humanities or our funders.


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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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
Hi how was Howard County started???
REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Event: 13th Annual Family History Conference Host: Washington DC Family History Center (WDCFHC) Keynote Speaker: Bernice Alexander Bennett Theme: My Journey Back to the Motherland Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019 Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Location: Washington DC Family History Center (WDCFHC) 10000 Stoneybrook Drive Kensington, MD 20895 Email: [email protected] This conference is presented FREE OF CHARGE. Registration is required. Registration: Blog: #genealogy #familyhistory #conference #WDCFHC
I hope you will join us on Saturday March 16th for our Guilford Historic Area Walking Tours starting at 10:00am at the Guilford Pratt Bridge parking lot.