For over 30 years, HEC has raised funds to support the preservation and restoration of the Ellicott City Historic District as well as other historic Howard County properties. Here are some highlights of who has benefitted from our mission:
In 1972, Tropical Storm Agnes severely damaged Ellioctt City and threatened the railroad station. Completed in 1831, it is the oldest surviving train station in America. The station and the railroad brought the city to prominence in the 19th Century. Citizens formed HEC and the Decorator Show House was started for the purpose of raising money to save and restore the station, as well as to acquire and restored a caboose, handcar, gang trailer, and speeder car. The station was restored and handed over to the County…
Originally located on Merryman Street, the circa 1780, building known as the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin was donated to Historic Ellicott City, Inc. by the Stanton family, in the interest of preserving it. The cabin was dismantled in 1980, stored by the County at Centennial Park and reassembled on its new site at the corner of Main Street and Ellicott Mills Drive in 1987. HEC dedicated the cabin in its new location on July 16, 1988, and at that time transferred ownership to Howard County.
The George Ellicott House was built in 1789 by the fourth son of Andrew and Elizabeth Ellicott. After the neighboring Jonathan Ellicott House was destroyed by Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972, preservationists looked for ways to spare the George Ellicott House the same fate. In 1989, a partnership including HEC, Charles Wagandt’s Oella Company, Judge John L. Clark and Senator James Clark undertook the ambitious project of moving the house across Frederick Road to higher ground. Today, after a beautiful restoration, it continues in use as office space.
Directly behind the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, at the corner of Main Street and Ellicott Mills Drive, is a small stone building, which once served as Ellicott City’s first courthouse. On August 21, 1998, Historic Ellicott City, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of a special exhibit we created in the building, now called the Heritage Orientation Center. This small building holds a wealth of information about the fires, floods and Ellicott family that all shaped the town we know today.
In 2015, HEC implemented a grant program aimed at encouraging historic buildings and homes in Howard County to apply for small historic preservation grants as part of HEC’s mission to preserve and restore historic properties. While HEC’s focus is primarily in the Historic District of Ellicott City, we share our passion for preservation throughout the County. The inaugural recipient of this grant program was Mt. Gregory United Methodist Church in Glenwood/Cooksville. The Church received a $10,000 grant for expansion and preservation of their 1898 church. Mt. Gregory is one of the oldest African American congregations in Howard County.