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A new business and some historic site reopenings in Ellicott City | Mostly Main

I am delighted to report that a new shop has opened on Main Street.

The Apna Juice Bar at 8018 Main St. offers a lovely menu of smoothies, juices and fruit salads — just the things you want to eat when the temperature skyrockets as it has lately. Its products are 100% natural and preservative-free, locally sourced wherever possible, including from their own farm. Enticing combinations include the cucumber crush, brightened with mint, and the berry berry, featuring mixed berries and yogurt. Go to its website at apnajuice.com for more information.

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Speaking of websites, the Howard County Historical Society has recently launched a new interactive website, hchsmd.org. The society has a wealth of information about our county’s history and is the go-to place to do any research you may be interested in — including on marriage licenses, genealogy, yearbooks and information on properties, people and businesses. The website has detailed information on how to conduct searches and how it can help with them.

Some of the historic sites around town are reopening.

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Currently the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is open from Wednesday to Sunday. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am. to 3 p.m., Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Firehouse Museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. as is the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park. The Ellicott City Colored School, Restored and the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin remain closed at this time.

Planning a major event takes time, so it’s no surprise that the planning committee for the celebration of Ellicott City’s 250th anniversary in 2022 is already at work. I remember being on the committee for the 225th anniversary celebration in 1997, and it was a lot of work.

Probably the most notable celebration was Ellicott City’s Bicentennial in 1972. The town planned a series of events, with the culmination being a huge party at Turf Valley in October. Well, best laid plans and all that, you might recall that the most significant event in Ellicott City in 1972 was not the Bicentennial celebration but rather Tropical Storm Agnes in June. The citizens of the town didn’t know whether to continue with their plans or cancel the whole event. But, being just as scrappy and determined then as we all are now, they cleaned up the town after the storm and the party went on as planned.

One early contribution to this next event has been the publication of a new book, “The Mill Town’s 250th Anniversary,” by John McGrain and Jack Shagena Jr. McGrain recently retired as historic sites planner for Baltimore County’s Office of Planning. I met him years ago when I was involved in a project to build a mill education center in the historic district. He was a wealth of information on mill history in the area. The most interesting part of this new book to me is the picture portfolio at the end, where many wonderful historic photos are included.

It also includes essays by John Tyson, written in mid-19th century. This is the first significant documented description of the establishment of mills in Ellicott City. The Howard County Historical Society has a limited number of copies of the book. Contact them at 410-480-3250.

The Little Market Cafe in Tonge Row has begun its Concerts in the Courtyard on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. On Friday, July 31, it is featuring Richard Watson. On Aug. 1, Better Weather will throw a Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash. On Aug. 2, it will have Frankie and the Mayberrys. On Aug. 7, it’s the Alyssa Shouse Duo and on Aug. 8, it’s Gary and the Groove. The events are family friendly and well-behaved dogs are welcome as well. Please, no outside food or beverages.

Fernand Tersiguel died July 24 at the age of 78. He has been a part of the fabric of the historic district since he opened his first restaurant, Chez Fernand on Main Street on Bastille Day, July 14, 1975.

Tersiguel grew up on a farm outside of Quimper, France and came to America with his wife, Odette, in 1963. Their son, Michel, was born in New York soon after they arrived there. Chez Fernand was destroyed in a fire on Nov. 14, 1984, and Tersiguel moved the restaurant to Baltimore, where they operated near the Phoenix Shot Tower for five years. They then moved to their current location on Main Street, where they have endured two floods and a pandemic.

Tersiguel was always committed to supporting the community, through fundraisers, French classes for young students and involvement with community organizations like the Rotary and Historic Ellicott City Inc. I once commented to him that everyone considered themselves his best friend. He merely smiled in response. I remember him serving up his signature kir royale to start a meal, dramatically presenting a beautiful cassoulet at Christmas and serving up a bonus portion of pate during a tasting menu.

I will always remember his kindness and generosity as well as his sense of fun: can-can girls at the Nouveau Beaujolais celebration, and an amazing ride we once took to his goat farm outside Annapolis, where he milked the goats and we ate stinky goat cheese. He gave so many young people a start working at his restaurant, including both of my sons. He is survived by his wife, son Michel and his wife, and their sons Lucas and Landon. He will be greatly missed.

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