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Historic Ellicott City is on the mend, but let clock tower go [Mostly Main Street]

This is a clock on Main Street in Ellicott City, which is one of several Howard County tourist destinations.
This is a clock on Main Street in Ellicott City, which is one of several Howard County tourist destinations. (File photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Just over six months ago, life in the historic district changed dramatically. On July 30, the flood waters ravaged our small town and took two lives. Over 190 residents were affected as well as 90 businesses. When you think about the fact that many folk both live and work here, that is a lot of upheaval.

Since then, over 70 businesses have reopened — not all in their original location. People really stepped up to the plate, opening up business space in their own buildings up and down Main Street. The flood caused about $22.4 million in property damages. The work goes on.

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Just the other day, it was difficult to navigate on the street because of the number of workers' trucks lined up doing repairs. It will never be the same again, but the historic district has been evolving since the Ellicott boys got here in 1772, so we know how it's done. I would like to throw my 2 cents in about one landmark.

The tall clock on the Railroad Plaza was erected by the Kiwanis in 2001 to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Howard County. It was a nice tribute and a great gathering spot, but I have seen very similar clocks in other towns I have visited on the eastern seaboard. It is not particularly identified with the town. For a while it was there after the storm as a reminder of what happened. I don't think we need it any more — we know what happened and won't forget. Maybe it's time to move forward and take it down. Just a thought.

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February is Black History Month. On Sunday, Feb. 19, the B&O Museum, Ellicott City Station, is presenting Ed Gantt and the 23rd Regiment USCT with: "African American Marylanders in the Civil War" at the Museum from 2:30 to 4 p.m. As many as 9,000 African-American soldiers participated in the Civil War, and five Marylanders received the Congressional Medal of Honor, including Howard County's Decatur Dorsey. As an added incentive to visiting the Station in February, members of the Baltimore Zoo get in free.

Cindi Ryland, the director of Taylor's Collective, has announced that there are several prime spaces in the newly refurbished building for artists, studios and galleries, all on the first or second floors. For more information, contact her at 410-988-8949. Robin Holliday, owner of HorseSpirit Arts Gallery has welcomed new artist Eileen Williams to her art space, currently featuring over 40 artists. Williams works in mixed media and fabric 3-D-wall art.

The primary fundraiser for the Howard County Library, the Evening in the Stacks, will be held at the Miller Branch, 9421 Frederick Road, on Saturday, Feb. 25, starting at 7 p.m. The theme this year is "An International Affair" and includes live music, food, cocktails and entertainment. This popular event's tickets cost $150 each. Purchase them at hclibrary.org/stacks.

The Howard County Arts Council has scheduled its annual fundraiser for March 25 at 7 p.m. at the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College. This is one of the first events scheduled for the year-long celebration of Columbia's 50th anniversary. Tickets are $100 for the reception and a live performance; $50 for the reception and a simulcast. Call 410-313-ARTS for tickets.

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Also, the Howard County Historical Society is holding its annual meeting on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19 at the Miller Branch. County Executive Allan Kittleman is guest speaker. For more information call 410-480-3250.

Thanks to all for your kind good wishes following my knee replacement surgery on Jan. 24. My husband Tom has been an outstanding nurse, and I look forward to dancing down Main Street with him soon.



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