Nestled in the rolling hills just outside of Baltimore is the quaint, sleepy town of Ellicott City, Maryland. The community, originally named Ellicott’s Mills, was established in the late 1700’s by three Quaker brothers, Joseph, Andrew, and John Ellicott. The town’s unique geography and proximity to the river made it ideal for establishing mills to grind wheat and other grains. To this day, the Wilkins-Rogers plant in Ellicott City is the only remaining grist mill in Maryland.
In addition to being known as a mill town, Ellicott City has a strong connection to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The B&O Museum has a historic station in the city, which is the oldest U.S. station, featuring a depot built in 1831. CSX trains still run through the town on a daily basis and the distinctive, red railroad bridge greets visitors as they enter in from Baltimore County.
The Main Street district, dubbed “Old Ellicott City”, is the highlight of the area – a winding, two lane road lined with shops, restaurants, and historical sites. You’ll often find an eclectic mix of people in town, from local artists, to musicians, or just families strolling the street.
Over the years, Old Ellicott City has seen its fair share of disasters. Most recently, the town was devastated by two catastrophic flash floods, one on July 30, 2016 and the second just twenty-two months later on May 27, 2018. Although fires and floods have changed the face of the town, much of what makes it unique remains.