Historic Places to Visit in Howard County
The real beauty of a community lies in its great and rich history. Let’s revisit the golden years through these top historic sites in Howard County.
African Art Museum of Maryland
11711 East Market Street, Fulton, MD 20759
The African Art Museum of Maryland is the first museum in the planned community of Columbia, and has been recognized as “One of the State’s Most Respected Cultural Institutions”. Founded in 1980, it is one of only three museums of its kind in the country exclusively devoted to the art of Africa, and the only one founded by an actual African American.
Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum
2711 Maryland Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043
The Baltimore & Ohio City Station is the oldest surviving train station in America. The station was originally established as a freight station with passengers loading and unloading from a platform attached to a hotel across. In the 1850s, the B&O decided to allow passengers to use it as well.
The station served an important role during the civil war as it was a transportation hub for supplies and troops for the union. It continued as a passenger station until 1949, and as a freight station until the ’70s. It was then converted to a museum and is now listed under the National Register of Historic Places
12300 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Carrollton Hall was founded by Father Charles Carroll and was built in 1832. It serves as an architectural masterpiece dedicated to faith, history, culture, and Howard County citizenship. In this hall, you will also see the Shrine of Saint Anthony. It is truly a great place to spend family time.
Columbia Archives, A Service of Columbia Association
6310 Hillside Ct., Columbia, MD 21046
Columbia Archives is the primary resource on the history of the planning and development of the Columbia community. It also holds the records of its visionary founder, James Rouse, which tells of his life and career. Anyone who wishes to learn more about Columbia’s past, present, and its future plans, are welcome to visit.
The Ellicott City Firehouse Museum
3829 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043
The Firehouse Museum explores the unique challenges of fire fighting that the people of Ellicott City faced in the late 19th and early 20th century. The city’s topography and architecture-steep provided prime conditions for the spread of fire- sloping streets tightly lined with adjoined wooden buildings inhibited the transport of water. So, in 1889, a group of volunteers constructed this firehouse at a cost of $500 dollars and placed it downtown. Its simple design housed the hand-drawn-later hourse-drawn-fire equipment. It operated until 1924 and served as a municipal office and a meeting hall from 1906 to 1935.
The Ellicott City Colored School, Restored
8683 Fredrick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Eleven years before Patapsco Female Institute’s closure, this school opened and fulfilled an 1879 Maryland State law, which required counties to provide educational facilities for African American children. It is the first school of its kind to be built with county funds and operated until 1953, before the landmark Supreme Court Case Brown vs. Board of Education called for the integration of public schools. The one-room structure was very primitive and it never had running water, electricity, or central heating. It now serves as a genealogical resource center and a museum highlighting the history of African Americans in Howard County.
Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum
12985 Frederick Road, West Friendship, MD 21794
This museum was started in 1995 by the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club, a group of people looking to preserve the farming heritage of Howard County. Its mission is to preserve the agricultural way of life that is disappearing too quickly throughout the community.
Howard County Police Department Museum
8267 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043
The Howard County Police Department was formed in 1952 and a museum was built to educate visitors on the bravery, dedication, and sacrifices of the men and women of Howard County Police Department. The museum displays the evolution of the department over the years to keep pace with society.
Museum of Howard County History and Library
8328 Court Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Home to hundreds of objects that tell the story of Howard County’s history before European settlement to the county’s recent events. From mills to businesses to homes, Native American to today’s diverse population, the railroad to the automotive age, the Museum of Howard County History has something to explore.
Patapsco Female Institute
3655 Church Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Situated at Ellicott City’s highest point, the Patapsco Female Institute offered a revolutionary curriculum to young women from 1837 to 1891. The school earned a national reputation for its inclusion of botany, chemistry, languages, literature, math, and music to help mold elegant young ladies to engaged, active citizens. Since its closure at the end of the 19th century, it has become a hotel, hosted a summer theater, and a nursing home for a short time.