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Ellicott City: Civil War re-enactors invade historic Ellicott City during Picnic in the Park

Larry Allen reenacts as a confederate soldier as a nod to the eleven ancestors who fought for the South, all in the same unit from Kentucky. He is an active member of the Trimble Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Ellicott City.
Larry Allen reenacts as a confederate soldier as a nod to the eleven ancestors who fought for the South, all in the same unit from Kentucky. He is an active member of the Trimble Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Ellicott City.(Submitted photo)

Calling all history buffs! On Saturday, Oct, 1 from noon to 3 p.m., the Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute will host its first free (and possibly annual) Civil War re-enactment. As part of the organization's signature Picnic in the Park themed events, family and children will have the opportunity bring a picnic lunch and enjoy interacting with Union and Confederate soldiers complete in period costumes. Re-enactors and historians will share their opinions about the war with a focus on war time in Ellicott City.

The re-enactment will feature musket firings, dress-up station for children's period costumes, historical lectures, docent tours, an archaeology dig, a hands-on archaeology lab, live music and many veteran Civil War re-enactors. In fact, husband-and-wife re-enactors Larry and Lisa Allen, of Elkridge, will renew their wedding vows in an authentic Civil War-time wedding featuring period clothing and wedding party.

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The soliders will talk about Maryland's unique location sandwiched between the South-leaning states and North-leaning states. It was not uncommon for Maryland neighbors and even family members to support different sides in the war.

Lee Preston, the president of Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute, told me he recently learned from a newly discovered solider's diary that more than 800 members of a Pennsylvania regiment were stationed in what was then called "Patapsco Heights," situated a bit north of the Patapsco Female Institute.

Free shuttle vans will be available to transport attendees to the re-enactment. Park in the Circuit courthouse parking lot to catch the shuttle. The location is also accessible by walking. Water and possibly light fare will be available for sale. For more information, call the Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute at 410-465-8500 or check out the group onFacebook.

With a projected grand opening date of December nearing for the new Charles E. Miller Branch and Historical Center, the existing Miller Branch of the Howard County Library will need to close in order to transition to the new location. Friday, Sept. 30 is the last day to pick up any items you have on reserve. Starting Saturday, Oct. 1, the branch will be officially closed and all remaining reserved items will be transferred to the East Columbia Branch library.

Stay up-to-date on the Miller Branch and Historical Center's December grand opening by going to the Howard County Library's website at http://www.hclibrary.org. Be sure to check out the terrific photos of the new building plus learn what Ellicott City historical sites inspired the architects to design the new structure; Click on "Contact Us," "Future Plans," "Update: Charles E. Miller Branch and Historical Center" then scroll to the bottom of the page for hyperlinks to "photos" and "view."

A number of people have asked me about the blue and white signs posted on Old Annapolis Road in the Centennial neighborhood adjacent to Centennial Park. It is a county notice that indicates that the new owner of approximately 46.8 acres of the Mason Family farm is submitting development plans to the county.

According to the developer representative Joe Rutter, who responded via email to resident requests for information about the proposed project, Rutter said he "think(s) (the development) would max the (single-family) units at around 89."

Learn more about the proposed development when Rutter presents the plans at a public county pre-submission meeting scheduled for Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Ellicott City Senior Center, behind the old Miller Branch Library.

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Congratulations to John Heslin who won the Sept. 11 Police Pace 5K in the 50-plus age group. In addition, he placed third overall out of a pool of 628 runners.

While he said "I haven't trained to race in a long time," Heslin must be doing something right since he has captured first place in the Police Pace race 50+ age bracket three of the past four years.

"At this point in my life I run mainly for fitness and enjoy the challenges of my own routine. I run a few races each year to keep myself honest and for the social occasion," Heslin said.

Heslin runs daily in and around Centennial Park. So, don't be surprised if you see him. Well, that's if you can catch a glimpse. Based on his record, he's fast!

Way to go to all the 628 runners — almost half were from Ellicott City — who ran for this worthy cause. To see the race results, go to the Striders website at http://www.striders.net/races/police/2011.

Chef Michel Tersiguel, of Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant, invites you to its Indian Summer Wine Dinner Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. Celebrate the autumn harvest with a five-course tasting menu featuring scrumptious seasonal flavors. Each course will be matched with at least five noteworthy wines.

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The dinner is $85 per person inclusive of wine pairings, tax and gratuity. For more information, go to the historic Ellicott City restaurant's website at http://www.tersiguels.com or call them at 410-465-4004.

Happy 30th birthday to the Howard County Tourism and Promotion office. They will celebrate the occasion with big shindig at the Turf Valley Hotel Friday, Sept. 30. Of course, there will be plenty of local fare including goodies from Aida Bistro & Wine Bar, Rams Head Tavern, The Woodstock Inn, Alexandra's Restaurant and more.

Dress in your favorite 1980s attire and "Party like it's 1981" at this retro event that features a dance party and special guest appearance by former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Paul Blair.

For ticket information, go to http://www.VisitHowardCounty.com.

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