"We love it," she said. "It has character. It's not like the houses that are built now and all look the same."

She said she and Rauscher started the National Register nomination process because they felt it was important to acknowledge the property's significance. "It was our initiative," she said. " We are 100 percent behind it."

Short said he is not sure why the building is called Howard Lodge, because no one named Howard ever lived there and it was never used as an inn. He said he believes a historian at some point may have erroneously thought it was owned by George Howard, a former Maryland governor.

Galbani said she heard that a previous owner from the late 1800s, lumber dealer Theodore Mottu, had a primary residence in Baltimore and kept the Sykesville property as a private hunting lodge. Because it was in Howard County, she said, Mottu called it Howard Lodge.

Galbani said maintaining a property such as Howard Lodge requires a lot of work, but it has been worth it.

"None of us regrets it," she said. "We're just fascinated with it all."

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell contributed research to this article.

ed.gunts@baltsun.com

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