Historic Ellicott City Inc: How it All Started

The Beginning of a Restoration Movement

In the 1960’s Main Street Ellicott City was going through a moment of truth. Modernization on Route 40 was looming, but a natural born preservationist, Jean Hannon, was determined not to lose what history had provided. Jean initiated and supervised the restoration movement begun by garden clubs and civic organizations. In 1960 she participated in “Paint Ellicott City”, a painting and clean-up project sponsored by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and won a $500 prize that was the seed money for her newly established Old Line Shop on Main Street.

The Old Line Shop became the launching pad for others interested in investing in Main Street. Jean subsequently founded Historic Ellicott Mills, Inc., an all-volunteer nonprofit with a mission to restore and preserve Old Ellicott City.