The B&O Railroad Station Museum, Ellicott City Station, is again offering its spectacular Holiday Festival of Trains at the station through Jan. 26. If you have been before, I'm sure you will be going again, and if you haven't,well, get yourself and your family down there now!
This is an amazing exhibit. The main train layout, in the freight house, is again a multi-level, 360degree Lego layout put together by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area Lego Train Club. It features thousands of Legos, creating a variety of scenes including a street that looks remarkably like our Main Street.
Also, it has interactive lights, motors and sounds. It's huge, and one trip around the perimeter is never enough. There is always more to see.
My husband Tom and I toured it last year and kept finding new things to enjoy. In addition, the museum has a miniature Thomas the Tank Engine setup, sure to please the younger set, another children's push-button layout, and an N-scale layout.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, as well as Monday, Dec. 30, and Tuesday, Dec. 31. The hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $2 for ages 2 to 12. For more information, call them at 410-461-1945.
One hundred seventy-five years ago, St. Paul's Church, up on College Avenue in the historic district, first opened its doors on land provided by the Ellicott family. This was 1838, just seven years after the oldest railroad terminal in America, the Ellicott City B&O, commenced operation.
Before then, due to religious persecution, Catholics worshipped at the private chapel at Doughoregan Manor. After the land was acquired in 1836, Mass was celebrated at Castle Angelo, on the hill opposite the church site.
The church continues to thrive there today. Best wishes for another 175 years.
Don't forget about Wiley Purkey's pop-up gallery on the second floor of Shoemaker Country on Main Street. He has a lot of nice gift ideas, including mugs and prints.
Also, Historic Ellicott City Inc. is offering a holiday ornament depicting Mt. Ida, the site of the 1995 and 2013 show houses. This lovely brass keepsake is available on its website, http://www.historicec.com.
And, the Howard County Historical Society is accepting submissions for its anniversary cookbook through Dec. 31. Be a part of this fundraiser by visiting the website at http://www.hchsmd.org and filling in a form with your favorite recipe.
Don't forget to come downtown and vote for your favorite window display. The decorations are lovely, and voting enters you into a contest to win a $75 gift certificate to the historic district shop or restaurant of your choice. Ballots are available at many locations around town and can be dropped off at the Visitors Center.
Obladi is gone. This was the small hotel that took the spot where Alda Baptiste used to have her bridal salon. The new owners painted the outside purple, and decorated with a Beatles theme. This might seem unusual for the historic district but back in the day we had our share of long-haired musicians and artists populating the town.
Anyway, it's closed now, and will be a private home in the future. If you want to stay near the historic district for a staycation, I highly recommend the Wayside Inn out on Columbia Pike, just a few minutes away. It's lovely.
The Subway restaurant is gone too. I remember how worried everyone was when a chain restaurant moved into town. They did their best to blend into the community, and I think they did a pretty good job. It will be interesting to see what business takes that spot.
Meanwhile, Craig Coyne jewelers have moved up the street, taking over the spot where Mumbles and Squeaks used to be.