Benjamin Moore Paint is conducting a "Main Street Matters" campaign to revitalize 20 Main Streets across the country. Ellicott City's Main Street is one of the nominees.
Go to http://www.paintwhatmatters.com and click on the state of Maryland on the map, then vote for Ellicott City. You can vote once a day every day until June 30.
This is not a new idea for our town, but it's been a long time between major paint jobs. In 1961, the ladies of the Cross Country Garden Club read about the beautification of the town of Tiburon, Calif., which reminded them a lot of their own Main Street.
They went door to door soliciting funds — $1,000 from the Rotary, free paint from the Davis Paint Co. — and on the weekend of May 20 and 21 set to work with a host of volunteers to paint every building from the Patapsco up to Columbia Road. This was quite an amazing feat — only three buildings chose not to participate — and the town went from drab to cheerful.
Our Main Street looks pretty good today, but a fresh coat of paint would make things a lot better. So vote!
Post office murals
The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation has announced that CSX has given a grant of $2,500 toward the restoration of the old post office murals in what is now the Welcome Center on Main Street.
This is part of the CSX "Beyond Our Rails" community investment program. The two paintings were among 16 commissioned for Maryland Post Offices between 1934 and 1943 to provide income for artists during the Depression.
Titled "The Building of Ellicott's Mills" and "Landscape of Ellicott City," over time the murals have become in need of restoration. With additional donations from Shirley Bossom, Historic Ellicott City Inc., the Besson Landing Foundation, Preservation Howard County, Winnie Carpenter and others, the project is close to being funded. When restored, they will be a major tourist attraction on Main Street.
Historic Ellicott City Inc. has selected Mt. Ida, in the historic district, as this year's decorator show house. The home was the last one built in the area for a member of the Ellicott family and serves as headquarters for the organization.
It last served as a show house in 1995, and the group is planning for a complete restoration of the property with this project. The event will be held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 27. As always, many volunteers are needed to make it a success. If you would like to volunteer, call 410-461-6908 or email to historicEC@hotmail.com.
Shakespeare in the Ruins
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is back for another season at the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park. On weekends until Aug. 4, they are featuring "Antony and Cleopatra" and "The Taming of the Shrew."
This is a great, fun outdoor event. You are encouraged to bring a picnic and arrive early, as there is a show before the show. For tickets and schedule, go to http://www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com.
The Howard County Historical Society has a lot going on right now. First, if you haven't checked out Wiley Purkey's exhibit at the museum, in the old Presbyterian Church on Court Avenue, get there before June 29. If you want to meet the artist, there will be a closing reception on June 29 from 3 to 7 p.m. The exhibit features many interesting views of the historic district, and many items are for sale. It's terrific — don't miss it.
On June 22, the society will hold an open house from 2 to 3 p.m. at the museum. It's free and refreshments will be provided. The featured entertainment will be a performance on the Felgemacher pipe organ by Ann Mellinger of Trinity United Methodist Church in Catonsville (sponsor of the event) and Dean Jestes of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oella.
And about the bat. On July 12 from 7 to 9 p.m., you can see and be photographed at the Miller Library with the 1927 record-setting home run bat used by Babe Ruth. The Babe had an Ellicott City connection, you know — in 1914 he married his first wife, Margaret Helen Woodford, at St. Paul's Church.
The event is $20 per person, $15 for society members. Ballpark food and drink will be served. Sounds like a lot of fun.
Until the end of August, the society will accept recipe submissions for the 50th anniversary cookbook. Share your favorite recipe by going to http://www.hchsmd.org.
Wine Bin movies
The Wine Bin is offering another summer at the movies. Bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy "Midnight in Paris" on June 22 and "The Graduate" on June 29. Popcorn and bottled water will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting "Voices for Children." The movie starts at 9 p.m. Get there early.
I am delighted to report that my son Dave married his lovely Kristen in a beautiful ceremony in Connecticut on June 1. It was a wonderful event.