Travel Back in Time in Quaint & Charming Ellicott City

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I had never heard of Ellicott City, Maryland before our trip this past summer. A stone’s throw from Baltimore, you can go back in time to old world America within an hour of the state’s bustling harbor city by the bay. It reminded me a bit of a smaller Salem Massachusetts but without the local tourist hype around witches although there’s plenty of ghost and goblin stories and history in the area as well. On a quiet summer afternoon, you almost might think the place is haunted, it’s so quiet and desolate and there’s enough antique stores to make you think you’re in the north of Maine rather than rural Maryland. All of this is what makes it so charming and so interesting — that and the people. Once you start talking to locals, you get a better of its rich history.

It’s been around since 1772, most known for its historical connection to the B&O Railroad — there’s a museum that sits there today at the Ellicott City Station celebrating that historical past.

I consider it a small town even though it’s much larger than the Adirondack town where I grew up. The historical district in the pictureseque stream valley of the upper Western Branch of the Patapsco River, which is a very popular destination among antiques shoppers, and historical tourists with restaurants, has tons of eclectic boutique shops, coffee shops, a tea room and many historic sites.

The downtown area in the Patapsco Valley is often called “Historic Ellicott City” or “Old Ellicott City”, to distinguish it from the surrounding suburban unincorporated area that extends north to the Baltimore County line, and this is where we spent most of our time.

In addition to the B&O Railroad Museum, there’s a few other things worth noting, including the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Heritage Orientation Center, the Historic Society Museum, the Ellicott City Colored School, the local cemetery, the shrine of St. Anthony, Patterson Viaduct Bridge. Also nearby is the Enchanted Forrest and the Bagpipe Museum – how cool is that? I wished we had an opportunity to visit.

I felt like our time in Ellicott City was short since we mostly buzzed around — in and out of shops and cafes, narrow alleys around the old town and along the main drag.

A historical clock at the end of the main drag near the museum.

Flowers were left on a park bench in the center of town.

The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant, tucked back from the rest of the shops along the main drag.

And, one antique and gift store after another.

The main drag…

What may not be evident on your first visit is that apparently Ellicott City is listed among America’s most affluent communities. You don’t get the sense of this at first glance; you’d need to drive around the surrounding area to see some of the bigger estates nearby and to get a flavor for the old money from years gone past. It’s a charming town with great architecture and history, so if you make it to Baltimore, try to fit a side trip to Elliott during your stay — it would easily make a nice side trip from Baltimore.

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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