October 8, 2020
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Howard County Government, 202-277-9412
Anna Hunter, Superintendent of Public Information & Marketing, Howard County Recreation & Parks, 410-313-4686
Howard County Completes Renovations to Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum and Thomas Isaac Log Cabin
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, County Executive Calvin Ball was joined by Department of Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme in Historic Ellicott City for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially reopen the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and celebrate recent renovations to the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum. Photos from the event can be found here.
Here is video from the museum ribbon cutting:
Here is video of the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin ribbon cutting:
“The deep history that surrounds our beloved Ellicott City is part of what makes it so special,” said Ball. “Walking down Main Street provides the experience of walking through our history – the early stages of settlement at the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and the height of industrialization at the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum. Both sites serve as landmarks for residents and visitors alike as the enter our historic community, and these renovations have been completed just in time to help us celebrate Ellicott City’s upcoming 250th anniversary.”
"Historic Ellicott City is one of Maryland’s hidden gems,” said Maryland State Senator Katie Fry Hester. “It’s a beautiful time of year to visit these unique landmarks, eat outdoors and do some early holiday shopping on Main Street."
"I'm thrilled to see so much progress being made on Main Street and lots of people visiting the town,” said Maryland State Delegate Courtney Watson.
Constructed around 1780 on nearby Merryman Street, the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin commemorates the early stages of European development in the Patapsco River Valley. In the 1870s, it served as an important resource for Ellicott City’s African American community. In the 1980s, the cabin was dismantled and rebuilt on the historic Barnard Fort House property, where it stood until the summer of 2018.
Following the 2018 flood, the cabin was temporarily moved to Parking Lot F while Ellicott Mills Drive was reconstructed. This past spring, the cabin moved back to its previous location atop a new foundation. The proposed drainage improvements in Ellicott City as part of Ball’s EC Safe and Sound plan and the new foundation sitting one foot above Ellicott City’s 100-year flood elevation should keep the cabin safe from future floods.
With its reopening, the cabin will once again house the same programs and artifacts it did prior to the 2018 flood, including interpretive exhibits and programs about the history of Ellicott City. Funding to restore the Cabin was provided thanks to a nearly $250,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Of that funding, around $35,000 was spent to move the cabin. The funding also allowed for the installation of electrical and HVAC systems by the County’s Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Facilities. In addition, Howard High School junior Matt Jamerson led an Eagle Scout project in coordination with the Recreation & Parks’ Horticulture and Land Management, to plant flowers and lay new mulch around the cabin.
“The Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and the Baltimore & Ohio Station Museum are living pieces of Ellicott City’s nearly 250-year history,” said Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme. “The Museum is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest surviving railway station in the country, while the Cabin has been an iconic fixture at the top of Main Street for more than 30 years. It’s our duty and our privilege to ensure these important sites are preserved for generations to come.”
“It is with great joy we see the return of the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin. Like our OEC community, we have watched this historical treasure overcome significant obstacles in the last few years, and it’s good to see the building returned home,” says Angie Tersiguel, Ellicott City Partnership President. “With our 250th anniversary on the horizon, it’s exciting to see our history take main stage.”
"We are absolutely thrilled with the reopening of both the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum", said Amanda Hof, Executive Director for Visit Howard County. "Both are historically significant and popular Ellicott City historic district mainstays that will continue to attract residents and visitors alike."
“This entire experience was incredibly rewarding, and I hope to have made a positive impact on the Ellicott City community,” said Eagle Scout Matt Jamerson. “I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with the representatives from Howard County Recreation & Parks who made this project possible.”
Built in 1831, the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station once operated inside the oldest surviving railroad station in America. Initially a freight depot, the Station was remodeled in 1857 to accommodate passengers and was later designated as a museum in 1972 after it ceased operations. In 2017, Recreation & Parks’ took over management and operations of the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum and in 2018, received two grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Totaling more than $80,000, the grants allowed for the restoration of the museum’s iconic C-2149 caboose and Freight Room diorama.
The C-2149 caboose was restored using historically accurate materials and interpretive signage, while the restoration of the Freight House diorama involved a comprehensive update showing the first 13 miles of railroad in the United States. An augmented reality component (not part of the grants) was also added to the diorama to give visitors more information about neighboring train stations and other points of interest, such as mills and historic buildings. Both restoration projects were overseen by Recreation & Parks’ Natural and Historic Resources Division’s Living History and Heritage Program.
To learn more about the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/HistoricSites. For more information about the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum, check out www.howardcountymd.gov/Baltimore-Ohio-Station-at-Ellicott-City.
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