I look out my window and see all of the gorgeous orange leaves of the trees lining our street and know that in just a few days our street will also be lined with a variety of princesses, goblins and scarecrows.
Yes, Halloween is upon us. In addition to the wee folk ringing our doorbells and demanding sweets, the area also offers some other interesting Halloween events.
Foremost, of course, is Trick or Treat on Main Street happening from 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31. You and your child can visit the merchants on Main Street and enjoy holiday treats there, and still get home in time to carry on the tradition in your own neighborhood.
Historic district trick-or-treating is extra fun because some of the merchants get into the spirit of the event and dress up as well. Could you imagine Halloween without the Forget-Me-Not Factory's Bubble Man in costume? Unthinkable. And great fun.
While you are down in the historic district in October, be sure to check out the Lego Halloween landscape display at Taylor's Antique Mall, 8197 Main St. You can stop by from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Tourism's ghost tours are especially spooky at this time of year. Sign up for Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City. Tours are offered on Oct. 26 and 27, and Nov. 2 and 3, starting at the Welcome Center, 8267 Main St. Reservations are recommended. Call them at 410-313-1900.
The director of the Howard County Historical Society Museum, Karen Griffith, tells me that they currently have a fascinating exhibit of dollhouses that represent houses that actually exist in Howard County.
One was donated by Betty Martin Cugle and represents the house she grew up in, a circa 1900 home that still exists in the historic district on Fells Lane. The other was donated by Natalie McKee and represents her former home in Elkridge overlooking the Patapsco River, built around 1820.
Both show incredible attention to detail, including tiny decorations that change with the seasons.
The museum is located in the former Presbyterian Church at the top of Courthouse Drive, and the hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Karen also was interested in finding out if anyone else in the county has a dollhouse depicting an existing Howard County structure. If you do, call the museum at 410-480-3250.
The society's library, located in the Miller Library on Frederick Road, is hosting volunteers from the Genealogical Society from 1 to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month. This free service can help you get started on creating your own family tree-just like "Who do you think you are?" Now you can find out.
Back in the day there were several mill towns along the Patapsco River besides Ellicott's Mills. One was Daniels, just four miles north of the historic district of Ellicott City.
Our former county executive Jim Robey was born and raised there — his father was an electrician at the mill and his mother was a homemaker. He worked there himself until moving out in 1963 to join the police department in Howard County. Daniels was destroyed just a few years later, by Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.
No one lives there now, but the town is not forgotten. Discover Daniels Day is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Daniels Area of Patapsco Valley State Park in Ellicott City.
Activities include hikes, living history reenactments, music by the Daniels Band, nature and environmental programs, storytelling and children's activities.
Free shuttle bus service will operate from Hollifield Station Elementary School and from Crossroads Church of the Nazarene. Event planner Lisa Wingate points out that Daniels is home to the only cave in Howard County — and also has a town band without a town. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about what life was like in the early mill towns in our area.
Don't forget First Friday in the historic district. The next one is Nov. 2, from 5 to 9 p.m. and features specials and entertainment from participating venues. This might be a good time to start your holiday shopping.