Ellicott City, Maryland

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Ellicott City, Maryland
Census-designated place
Main Street at Church Lane in Historic Ellicott City
Main Street at Church Lane in Historic Ellicott City
Location of Ellicott City, Maryland
Location of Ellicott City, Maryland
Coordinates: 39°16′5″N 76°47′56″W / 39.26806°N 76.79889°W / 39.26806; -76.79889Coordinates: 39°16′5″N 76°47′56″W / 39.26806°N 76.79889°W / 39.26806; -76.79889
Country  United States
State  Maryland
County Howard
Area
 • Total 30.1 sq mi (77.9 km2)
 • Land 30.0 sq mi (77.6 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 180 ft (55 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 65,834
 • Density 2,200/sq mi (850/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 21041-21043
Area code(s) 410, 443
FIPS code 24-26000
GNIS feature ID 0584282

Ellicott City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Howard County, Maryland, United States. It is part of the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area. The population was 65,834 at the 2010 census.[1] It is the county seat of Howard County.[2] Founded in 1772, the town features the B&O Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station, built in 1830, and a downtown historic district which is a very popular destination among antiques shoppers, with restaurants, eclectic boutique shops, coffee shops, a tea room and many historic sites. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, Ellicott City surpassed Towson, Maryland, as the largest unincorporated county seat in the country.

Ellicott City is listed among America's most affluent communities. It is located in the third wealthiest county in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[3] Since 2005, Ellicott City has been ranked four times among the top "20 Best Places to Live in the United States" by Money and CNNMoney.com.[4][5][6][7]

The downtown area is often called "Historic Ellicott City" or "Old Ellicott City", to distinguish it from the unincorporated area that extends north to the Baltimore County line, south to Columbia, and west to West Friendship.

History[edit]

Before incorporation[edit]

In 1766 James Hood used the Maryland Mill Act of 1669 to condemn 20 acres (8.1 ha) for a mill site adjacent to his 157 acres (64 ha) property. His grist mill was built on the banks of the Patapsco River where the Frederick road crossed (later Ellicott's Upper Mills).[8]

On 24 April 1771, four Quaker brothers from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, chose the picturesque wilderness, upriver from Elk Ridge Landing (today's Elkridge, Maryland), to establish a flour mill, purchasing 50 acres (20 ha) of Baltimore County land from Emanuel Teal and 35 acres (14 ha) from William Williams. In 1775 they expanded their holdings with 30.5 acres (12.3 ha) from Bartholomew Balderson and Hood's Mill.[9] John, Andrew, and Joseph Ellicott founded Ellicott's Mills, which became one of the largest milling and manufacturing towns in the East. Nathaniel sold his partnership in 1777, Joseph sold all but his Hood's Mill ownership the next year.[10]

Thomas Isaac log cabin. Named after a 19th-century owner, the cabin was believed to have been built circa 1780 by an early Ellicott's Mills settler.

The Ellicott brothers constructed sawmills, smithies, stables, an oil mill, a grain distillery, and grain mills.[11] They helped revolutionize farming in the area by persuading farmers to plant wheat instead of tobacco and also by introducing Plaster of Paris fertilizer to revitalize depleted soil. The Ellicotts produced the product until a fire on 11 January 1809.[12] Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a wealthy landowner, was an early influential convert from tobacco to wheat. By 1830, the founders families could no longer support operations as "Ellicott and Company" or "Johnathan Ellicott and Sons". By 1840, the Ellicott family sold off their interests in the two flour mills, the granite quarry, the saw mill and plaster mill.[13]

The city faced floods in 1817 and 1837.[14]

In 1830, Ellicott's Mills became the first terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad outside Baltimore. The station, built of large blocks of locally quarried granite, stands today as a living history museum, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It bears the designation as the "Oldest surviving railroad station in America". The famous race between Peter Cooper's iron engine, the Tom Thumb, and a horse-drawn carriage took place at Relay on the return trip from Ellicott's Mills in August 1830. Even though the horse won the race due to a broken drive belt on the Tom Thumb, steam engines steadily improved, and the railroad became a vital link in the town's economy.

The site of the courthouse, which was built from 1840–1843 when the Howard District of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, was so designated in 1839. Howard County became an official independent jurisdiction in 1851. By 1861, Ellicott's Mills was a prosperous farming and manufacturing area. At the start of the Civil War in May 1861, Union troops seized a Winans Steam Gun en route to Harpers Ferry at Ellicott Mills. The experimental gun was used to guard the Thomas Viaduct for the remainder of the war.[15] On July 10, 1864, Federal troops under the command of General Lew Wallace retreated down the National Pike from the Battle of Monocacy to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Ellicott's Mills station. Homes and churches in Ellicott's Mills were temporarily used as hospitals for the Union wounded. After the war in 1866, cholera broke out and Granite Mills cotton factory owned by Benjamin Detford burned down.[16]

After incorporation[edit]

In 1867, a city charter was secured for Ellicott's Mills, and the name was changed to "Ellicott City". The only chartered city in the county, Ellicott City lost its charter in 1935 and was designated a historic district by the county in 1973. Ellicott City today serves as the county seat for Howard County.[citation needed]

Historic flood stages marked on the B&O viaduct. Hurricane Agnes flood stage (14.5 feet (4.4 m)) is in the middle of the photograph.

A severe flood in 1868 drowned 43 people, wiped out the Granite Manufacturing Cotton Mill, Charles A. Gambrils Patapsco Mill, John Lee Carroll's mill buildings, and dozens of homes.[17]

Howard County built its first jailhouse, Ellicott City Jail, also called Emory Jail or Willow Grove, on Emory Ave. in 1878. The stone jail intended for 12 inmates operated until The Howard County Detention Center opened in 1983.[18]

In 1879, political gangs controlled the polling locations shooting and wounding Ellicott City colored voters. The Deputy Sheriff declined to arrest the leaders for fear of his life and further outbreaks of violence.[19]

Ellicott City was early to the Temperance movement, enacting a law against "spiritous, fermented or intoxicating liquors" in 1882, taking effect May 1, 1883. This was shortly changed to limit sales of liquor to licensed shops that did not sell other goods.[20]

Trolley service was proposed for Ellicott City in 1892, approved on 20 April 1895, and implemented in 1899.[21] The Catonsville & Ellicott City Electric Railway Company rail line was later converted to a hiking trail.[22][23]

In February 1895, shop owner Daniel F. Shea was murdered by Jacob Henson. Henson was tried and sentenced to death. Fearing that Governor Brown might release Henson due to insanity, a group of residents broke into the jail and lynched Henson on Merricks Lane with a sign saying "Brown cannot rule our cort". Governor Brown condemned the citizens and ordered all prisoners sentenced to death be sent to the Maryland Penitentiary from then on.[24] After a difficult start in 1896, Granite mining was started.[25]

In 1907 Taylor Manor started as the Patapsco Manor Sanitarium built on property along New Cut road. In 1939 the facility was purchased by Issac Taylor and run as the Pinel Clinic. Taylor operated an optometrist business and Taylor's Furniture on Main Street. In 1948 the facility expanded to 48 beds, and in 1968 it expanded to 151 beds.[26] The Modern architecture circular rotunda stands out at the center of campus. Taylor Manor covered more than 70 acres (28 ha).[27][28] In 2000, the facility became a branch of the The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital

In 1955, County Commissioner Norman E. Moxley created the city's first major subdivision, Normandy Woods. The first major shopping center, Normandy Shopping Center was constructed.[29]

In 1958, The Goddess, a film loosely based on Marilyn Monroe's life, was shot on location in the city.[30]

The county's only major aircraft incident occurred in the city near Clarksville in 1962. A Vickers Viscount disabled by a bird strike crashed on the Homewood farm killing all aboard.[31]

The same year, the state health department ordered the city to stop dumping its raw sewage into the Patuxent River and develop a modern septic system.[32]

In the early summer of 1972, the downtown Main Street area was extensively flooded by Hurricane Agnes. The Ellicott brothers' house on the mill property was destroyed.

In 1977, the county chose a site outside of the city for a new landfill, leading to the closure of the local New Cut Road landfill which served the county from 1944 until May 1980 for trash and hazardous materials.[33][34] The New Cut landfill became the Worthington Dog Park.[35] In 2011, a portion of the former 83 acres (34 ha) landfill site was developed with a $462,000 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration to build onsite solar arrays to power Worthington Elementary.[36]

Historic Main Street has also been the site of several devastating fires, most notably in November 1984 and again on November 9, 1999. The former was started by Leidig's Bakery's faulty air conditioning unit and destroyed six buildings; the latter, a six-alarm blaze which destroyed five businesses and caused an estimated $2 million in damage, was accidentally started behind a restaurant by a discarded cigarette.[37]

The fairy tale-themed amusement park, the Enchanted Forest, was located in the city. The park closed to the general public since the early 1990s. A shopping center (called the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center) was built on its parking lot. Many of the attractions have been moved to Clark's Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, where they are being restored. The Enchanted Forest was featured in the 1990 John Waters-directed film Cry-Baby[38]

At midnight on August 21, 2012, a CSX coal train derailed on the Old Main Line Subdivision.[39] Two 19-year old girls who were sitting on the railroad bridge over Main Street were killed when coal was dumped on them.[40]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 30.1 square miles (77.9 km2), of which 30.0 square miles (77.6 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.41%, is water.[41]

Ellicott City is claimed to be built on seven hills. These hills lie southeast of the Historic District, which is on the banks of the Patapsco River. The small tributary of the Patapsco that forms the narrow valley followed by Main Street is named the Tiber River. Several deep stream valleys converge at this location, which increases the risk of flooding but at the same time creates the town's dramatic heights. Historic Ellicott City sits on Ordovician granite whose outcrops can be seen lining Main Street.

Climate[edit]

Ellicott City lies within the humid continental climate zone. Summers are hot and humid, with frequent thunderstorms. Spring and fall bring pleasant temperatures. Winter is often considered chilly by U.S. standards, with lighter rain showers of longer duration. Sporadic snowfall can occur in winter, but is usually relatively light. Rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year, with 3–5 inches (76–127 mm) falling each month.

Climate data for Ellicott City, MD
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 78
(26)
80
(27)
90
(32)
95
(35)
97
(36)
101
(38)
105
(41)
103
(39)
101
(38)
95
(35)
83
(28)
77
(25)
105
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 42
(6)
46
(8)
55
(13)
67
(19)
76
(24)
84
(29)
88
(31)
86
(30)
79
(26)
68
(20)
57
(14)
46
(8)
66
(19)
Average low °F (°C) 23
(−5)
25
(−4)
32
(0)
41
(5)
51
(11)
60
(16)
64
(18)
63
(17)
56
(13)
44
(7)
35
(2)
27
(−3)
43
(6)
Record low °F (°C) −18
(−28)
−16
(−27)
−4
(−20)
12
(−11)
27
(−3)
34
(1)
44
(7)
41
(5)
29
(−2)
18
(−8)
3
(−16)
−14
(−26)
−18
(−28)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.74
(95)
3.01
(76.5)
4.30
(109.2)
3.52
(89.4)
4.78
(121.4)
4.11
(104.4)
3.85
(97.8)
3.53
(89.7)
4.09
(103.9)
3.44
(87.4)
3.73
(94.7)
3.53
(89.7)
45.63
(1,159)
Source: Intellicast"Historic Average". Retrieved 2013-01-18. 

Culture and attractions[edit]

Main Street and Maryland Avenue in Historic Ellicott City

Ellicott City has been called one of the most haunted small towns on the east coast.[citation needed] The Howard County Tourism Council runs a Ghost Tour that visits several places with reputations for paranormal activity.[42] Among these are the mansions Lilburn, Hayden House, and Mt. Ida; the B&O railroad bridge that crosses over Main Street in the center of the town; the old Ellicott City Firehouse; and the Patapsco Female Institute.

In 2009, Ellicott City appeared on Newsmax magazine's list of the "Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns," a piece written by current CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. In determining his ranking, Greenberg cited the appeal of Main Street, among several other factors.[43]

Thomas Isaac Log Cabin is located at west end of Ellicott City's Main Street. There, authentically costumed historians relate area history.[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

Population by Race in Ellicott City Maryland (2010)
Race Population  % of Total
Total 65,834 100
Caucasian 42,452 64
Asian 15,056 22
African American 5,585 8
Hispanic 2,323 3
Two or More Races 1,850 2
Other 733 1
Three or more races 139 < 1%
American Indian 134 < 1%
[44]

As of the census of 2010,[1] there were 65,834 people, 23,734 households, and 18,150 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,188.8 people per square mile (845.1/km²). There were 24,672 housing units at an average density of 822.4 per square mile (317.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 64.5% White, 22.9% Asian, 8.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.1% some other race, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.

There were 23,734 households, out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.2% were headed by married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.5% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76, and the average family size was 3.20.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 30.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.7 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.[1]

According to a 2007 estimate,[45] the median income for a household in the CDP was $103,464, and the median income for a family was $120,064. Males had a median income of $63,938 versus $41,721 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $29,287. About 2.2% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

Ellicott City is at present part of Maryland's 7th congressional district, currently represented by Democrat Elijah Cummings.

Education and schools[edit]

Ellicott City proper is served by Mount Hebron High School, Centennial High School, and Howard High School in the Howard County Public School System; Marriotts Ridge High School serves most of the rest of the CDP area.[46] Two of the system's special schools, along with the central offices, also have Ellicott City addresses, though in fact they are on the northern edge of Columbia.[46]

Middle schools serving the CDP are Burleigh Manor, Dunloggin, Bonnie Branch, Mount View, Ellicott Mills and Patapsco.[47] The elementary schools include Veterans, Ilchester, Northfield, Centennial Lane, Manor Woods, St. Johns Lane, Worthington, and Hollifield Station.[48]

St. John's Parish Day School is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the town center, and Glenelg Country School is located at the western edge of the CDP.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Ellicott City CDP, Maryland". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Howard County Tourism Home Page
  4. ^ Money Magazine: Best places to live 2005
  5. ^ Best Places to Live 2006 - Money Magazine
  6. ^ Best places to live 2008 - Top 100 City details: Ellicott City, MD - from Money Magazine
  7. ^ "Best Places to Live 2010". CNN. 
  8. ^ Henry K. Sharp. The Patapsco River Valley. p. 7. 
  9. ^ Henry K. Sharpe. The Patapsco River Valley. p. 7. 
  10. ^ Henry K. Sharpe. The Patapsco River Valley. p. 9. 
  11. ^ Henry K. Sharpe. The Patapsco River Valley. p. 12. 
  12. ^ The Baltimore American. 1809. 
  13. ^ "Flour Mill and Granite Quarry Sale". The Sun. 19 June 1840. 
  14. ^ "The Maryland Flood". The New York Times. 28 July 1868. 
  15. ^ Joseph R. Mitchell, David Stebenne. New City Upon a Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland. p. 22. 
  16. ^ The Evening Telegraph. 18 August 1866. 
  17. ^ "The Maryland Flood". The New York Times. 28 July 1868. 
  18. ^ "Ellicott City Jail". Preservation Howard County. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Maryland-Colored voters shot down and driven away from the polls". The New York Times. 5 November 1879. 
  20. ^ Maryland Court of Appeals. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals, Volume 140 - State vs. Benjamin Mellor Jr. p. 366. 
  21. ^ Baltimore Government. The Ordinances of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. p. 18. 
  22. ^ Marsha Wight Wise. Ellicott City. p. 91. 
  23. ^ "Dynamite too near a fire, two men killed in Explosion near Ellicott City Maryland". The Washington Post. 22 March 1896. 
  24. ^ "Dragged to his death". The Baltimore American. 29 May 1895. 
  25. ^ Marsha Wight Wise. Ellicott City. p. 91. 
  26. ^ Janet Kusterer, Victoria Goeller. Ellicott City. p. 47. 
  27. ^ Jamie Smith Hopkins (12 February 2001). "Taylor, county in land talks Two sides discussing property options for elementary school". The Baltimore Sun. 
  28. ^ Frank J. Ayd. Lexicon of Psychiatry, Neurology, and the Neurosciences. 
  29. ^ "New Shop Center On Route 40". Baltimore Sun. 7 August 1960. 
  30. ^ Marsha Wight Wise. Ellicott City. p. 104. 
  31. ^ Rasmussen, Frederick (24 November 2007). "Flight's tragic encounter with a whistling swan. Collision with a bird caused 1962 crash into woods on a Howard County farm". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  32. ^ "'Rural Howard County Eyes Its Future Warily: Backdoor Route Plan Stands". The Washington Post. 2 January 1962. 
  33. ^ West's federal supplement 981. 1998. p. 382. 
  34. ^ Nelson, Erik (21 February 1993). "Landfill toxins seep into bedrock; County seen as slow to test all wells". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  35. ^ "Wothington Dog Park". Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  36. ^ "Weathering out the storm at Worthington New solar panels will provide 90 percent of school's electricity". The Baltimore Sun. 20 September 2011. 
  37. ^ Janet P. Kusterer, Victoria Goeller. Remembering Ellicott City: Stories from the Patapsco River Valley. p. 120. 
  38. ^ "Cry Baby". Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  39. ^ Train derailment kills 2 in Ellicott City, Maryland Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  40. ^ Funeral set for 1 of 2 women killed in coal train derailment in Maryland's Ellicott City-The Washington Post Retrieved 25 August 2012.[dead link]
  41. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Ellicott City CDP, Maryland". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  42. ^ Historic Ellicott City, MD - Haunted Ellicott City
  43. ^ Greenberg, Peter. "Newsmax Magazine Rates the Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities And Towns". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  44. ^ "Ellicott City Maryland Population Statistics". US Census Bureau. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  45. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. Ellicott City CDP, Maryland - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
  46. ^ a b Howard County Public Schools. High School Attendance Areas (Map) (12/9/2008 ed.). http://www.hcpss.org/boundarylines/map_high.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
  47. ^ Howard County Public Schools. Middle School Attendance Areas (Map) (12/9/2008 ed.). http://www.hcpss.org/boundarylines/map_middle.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
  48. ^ Howard County Public Schools. Elementary School Attendance Areas (Map) (12/9/2008 ed.). http://www.hcpss.org/boundarylines/map_elem.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
  49. ^ Liberty Meadows Book 1: Eden 2002. Image Comics
  50. ^ Milstead, Frances; Heffernan, Kevin; Yeager, Steve (2001). My Son Divine. Los Angeles: Alyson Books. p. 50. ISBN 1-55583-594-5. 
  51. ^ Owens, Donna M. (October 21, 2010). "Aaron Maybin's home-field advantage; Baltimore native may play for the Buffalo Bills, but he has a condo at the Inner Harbor". The Baltimore Sun (Tribune Company). Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  52. ^ Guidera, Mark (December 5, 1993). "Home Grown Hits - The Baltimore Sun". www.kennavarro.com. Ken Navarro. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  53. ^ Lagorio-Chafkin, Christine (May 30, 2012). "How Alexis Ohanian Built a Front Page of the Internet - Inc.". 
  54. ^ Tracy, Connor (June 10, 2013). "What we know about NSA leaker Edward Snowden". NBCNews.com. 

External links[edit]