Howard County Times
Howard County

Ellicott City getting ready to celebrate 250 years all year long

What in the world is a Sestercentennial? I predict that it won’t be long before the term is rolling off of everyone’s tongue — at least everyone who knows and loves the historic district of Ellicott City. It’s quite a cause for celebration.

You see, 250 years ago the Ellicott brothers arrived here from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and started their mills — and our town. And so, we will mark this momentous occasion with a variety of special events.


First, there was the kickoff at the Welcome Center on Main Street on Jan. 22. There are also special commemorative banners around town, a commemorative magazine and a Mill Town Ellicott City exhibit at the Howard County Historical Society’s Museum of Howard County History that will be in place all year. Every month of this year will bring new events to mark this special milestone.

As part of this celebration, local artist Wiley Purkey painted 50 (wow!) original paintings of Ellicott City. “A Brush with History” will be on display at the Ellicott City Gallery of Art in the former Ellicott Theater building this weekend, Jan. 28 and 29. Go to the event’s website, and for a $5 donation, you will be entered into a contest to win an original signed print from this historic series. I have had a Purkey winter scene, with an original remarque of Mt. Ida, hanging in my living room for over 25 years. I never get tired of looking at it.


Howard County Restaurant and Craft Beverages Weeks are coming to an end on Jan. 30. The Ellicott City restaurants participating include Alexandra’s American Fusion in Turf Valley, the Manor Hill Tavern in the historic district and the EC Diner and White Oak Tavern on Baltimore National Pike.

The next Jazz Jam at the Judge’s Bench at 8385 Main St. will take place on Feb. 1, starting at 8:30 p.m. The Artists’ Gallery, at 8197 Main St., is offering Winter on Main with art to “warm hands, heart and soul.” Call 443-325-5936 for details.

The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is offering a free guided tour of the building on Saturday, Jan. 29, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The tour will originate at the gift shop and include in-depth information about the history of the oldest railroad terminal in America.

The next Lunch Date with History will take place on Friday, Feb. 4, at the Museum of Howard County History on Court Avenue, starting at noon. The topic is Colorful Ellicott City Characters, presented by Ed Lilley. The cost is $5, free for members of the Howard County Historical Society. Call 410-480-3250 to register.

The Howard County Center for the Arts on High Ridge Road is presenting two exhibits, each running through Feb. 4. Abstraction Contraptions features the mixed media works of Stanley Wenocur and Andrew Flanders. The Howard County Open 2022 showcases local artists. Both exhibits are also available for viewing on the Arts website,

If you would like to take up a new hobby, the Howard County Beekeepers Association is offering an introduction to beekeeping at the Howard County Fairgrounds on Wednesdays from 7 to 9:15 p.m., Feb. 2 to March 9. To register, go to

The Howard County Conservancy is continuing its Let’s go, let it snow program through Feb. 10. Sponsored by the Patapsco Heritage Greenway, the initiative encourages family time outdoors. There are a variety of challenges and raffle prizes. Get out and hug a tree. Go to to learn more.