Thursday, July 3, 2014

Vacation Part1: U.K. James and Ellicott City, Md.

James (left) and Tom (right) on the bridge to Ellicott City
Our friend James is visiting us from England, and has not toured Maryland and Washington, D.C. before so join us as we share some of our favorite places to take visitors - as we did with James.


Patapsco River
Ellicott City is an unincorporated community  in Howard County, Maryland. The downtown area is historic and was founded in 1772. It 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. 
B&O Railroad Bridge With a welcome to Ellicott City
ORIGINS OF THE TOWN -  Settlement at Ellicott Mills - 1771  (Source:
Joseph, Andrew and John Ellicott were Quakers who had grown up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As the boys grew they were apprenticed to learn the trades that led to their later success in Maryland.

Lush vegetation and the swiftly flowing Patapsco River must have captivated the three Ellicott brothers when they searched for land in the late 1760's. The brothers had searched throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania for a site where they could grow wheat and harness water power for a mill. In 1771 the Ellicott brothers purchased many acres east of the river in the valley known as the "Hollow." Although the valley was uninhabitable, they were not alone; other settlers lived along the bluffs overlooking the river.

INDUSTRY IN THE "NEW" TOWN -  The Ellicott brothers constructed sawmills, smithies, stables, an oil mill, a grain distillery, and grain mills. 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 Old Mill Bakery Café
OUR TOUR - We learned that most of the shops were closed Monday and Tuesday, and we picked a Monday to visit. What was most important was the architecture of the buildings that still stood from the 1800s anyway, so it was still fun.  We did stop and have a really wonderful lunch at The Old Mill Bakery Café located just over the bridge.

THE TOWN'S HISTORIC FLOODING AND FLOOD MARKERS AT RAILROAD BRIDGE - Just to the left side in the photo of the railroad bridge is a river the flows under the elevated tracks. On one of the support beams are markings with dates that represent floods that hit the town.  There were two major floods in recorded history, the first being in 1868 which destroyed the lower end of Main Street, and  resulted in fatalities, and 1972's Tropical Storm Agnes.
VIDEO FROM A FLOOD IN APRIL2014:   (credit: Jeremy Clark)



Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next