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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Quaker connection in Howard County

        One of the features I like best with the new Miller Library is that it is the new location for the Howard County Historical Society.  Having dropped by a couple of times I have found the folks there always willing to talk about Howard County's history.  One of the things I learned about on my last visit was the early connection with the Quakers and the Ellicott brothers.
       The Ellicotts moved to this area in the 1780's from Pennsylvania to develop a flour mill. The farmers of that time were mostly tobacco growers but the soil was becoming poor for this crop because of over-planting.  Some of the farmers had already left the area for better growing areas.  The Ellicotts convinced some of the growers to switch to growing wheat that they needed for their flour mill.  This convergence was advanced by the Carroll family converting to growing wheat.
       Like many Pennsylvanians of that time the Ellicotts were Quakers.  The local Quakers had been meeting in a Quaker Meeting House in Elkridge at the time the Ellicotts moved to the area.  Because of the difficulty with traveling to that meeting house the Ellicotts decided to build a meeting house on a hill near where they lived.  This building still exists but is now a private residence as shown above.   
                            The graves of the Ellicott brothers is in a nearby family cemetery.   
                           The one of the original Ellicott homes still exists as offices for local businesses.

         Did you know 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Tropical Storm Agnes? Join the Friends of Patapsco tonight, April 10th, 7-9pm at the George Howard Building/Banneker Room (3430 Court House Drive) for an interesting evening of remembrance and videos.

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