Tours offer spirits in all forms in historic district [Mostly Main Street]

Howard County Times

With the weather cooling off this is a great time to walk around the historic district. Did you ever want to take one of the tours offered by the Howard County Historical Society? If its schedule doesn’t mesh with yours, you should be glad about its latest offering—a downloadable app that helps you take your own tour of the town. It’s a free download—just go to the website www.hchsmd.org, go to the events tab and click on the link for the download. It offers descriptions of a couple of dozen historic sites around town, along with directions to get to them from where you are, as long as you have GPS.

Also, if you enjoy a good scare, the Historical Society has a program coming up on Friday, Oct. 13, called “So what are you afraid of?” Is it triskaidokaphobia, fear of the number 13? Or maybe paraskevitekatriaphobia, fear of Friday the 13th. Think about it — Maryland is one of the original 13 colonies; our railroad terminal sits at the end of the first 13 miles of the B&O line from Baltimore; to visit Ellicott City you need to get off the Baltimore Beltway at exit 13. So back to the tour—there will be 5 tour times, starting at 7:13 p.m. And you guessed the cost, of course-$13 a ticket. This tour is in addition to its usual “Haunted History of Old Ellicott City” tours available every Friday and Saturday night until Nov. 18. They also offer a “Spirits of Ellicott City Pub Tour.” This is for adults 21 and over, and originates at the Wine Bin. The next one is on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. The Historical Society’s next Lunch Date with History is this Friday, Oct. 6. A panel will discuss “Black Churches in Howard County.” Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and tickets are $5, free to Society members. For all Historical Society events, call 410-480-3250.

The Wine Bin is holding a winemaker dinner at Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant on Tuesday, Oct. 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. This event features John Bookwalter, of the J. Bookwalter Winery. Tickets are $90 per person, inclusive. For reservations, call 410-465-4004.

Historic Ellicott City Inc.’s 31st Decorator Show House, White Hall, is up and running, through Oct. 22. It is at 4103 Chatham Road (south of Frederick Road, away from Baltimore National Pike.) It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., closed on Monday. Tickets are $25 in advance (at website www.HistoricEC.com or in the historic district at Shoemaker Country, 8095 Main St.) or $30 at the door. In addition to several dozen of the area’s best designers, the event also features a resident artist, my friend Wiley Purkey. Light fare, antiques and a boutique are also on site, as is parking. This year’s proceeds will benefit the Historic Ellicott City Revitalization Grant Program and the restoration of Carroll Hall on the grounds of the Shrine of St. Anthony.

Before it was a storage space for Precious Gifts, the art Deco building on the corner of Main Street and Old Columbia Pike was a theater—hence the marquee. It has gone through many iterations over the years, including as a disco called “Club Super Star.” As recently as the late 1990s I attended live performances there, most memorably a one-man show about Will Rogers. Now that Precious Gifts has moved to a new space down Main Street, the theater building is being renovated to become a restaurant and music venue. It’s a great space so I’m glad it is going to be used again.

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