Find information about our Community Centers, Athletic Complex, Nature Center, Historic Sites, Golf Course.
Rent a pavilion, boat, field, court, historic venue, indoor facility, or meeting room or for info on holding a wedding, birthday party or special event.
Please call before going to any location if there is inclement weather. (Some historic sites also close during times of heavy rainfall.)
Open based on programs.
Perfect for larger events with a banquet capacity of 200 people. Room dividers can partition the facility into three areas.
The Ellicott City Station is the oldest surviving railroad depot in America, and one of the oldest in the world. When built in 1831, it was the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s first 13 miles that ran from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland (today known as Ellicott City). The railroad was named for its point of origin, Baltimore, and its intended destination, the Ohio River.
While passenger service was offered from the start, the depot was originally built to handle freight. Passengers boarded at the railroad hotel across the street until the station was remodeled in 1857 to be a passenger terminus.
Even before the station opened, Ellicott City was the site of many firsts. This includes the B&O’s inaugural trip from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills that took place on May 22, 1830 using horse-drawn rail cars. Regular passenger service began on May 24 of that year. The B&O demonstrated its first steam locomotive, known as the Tom Thumb, at Ellicott's Mills in 1830. In the first year of operation, 80,000 passengers rode the train from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mills. Passenger service ceased at the station in 1949 and freight and express service continued until 1972. The station closed for good following Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and was saved by Historic Ellicott City, Inc., a group of local preservationists that opened the site as a museum. Today, the building is owned by Howard County and managed by their Heritage Program through the Department of Recreation and Parks.
Belmont Manor and Historic Park now hosts an array of events. These include weddings, rehearsals dinners, business meetings, holiday parties, anniversary parties, retirement parties, quinceaneras, bat/bar mitzvahs, retreats and bridal showers. Create your perfect event or take advantage of our special events and recreational programs.
Tours are available from 1-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays from May through December 18.
Opened in 1880, the Ellicott City Colored School fulfilled an 1879 Maryland State law requiring that counties provide educational facilities for African American children. The school — the first to be built with county funds — operated until 1953, before the landmark Supreme Court Case Brown vs. Board of Education called for the integration of public schools.
In stark contrast with the lavish Patapsco Female Institute, the one-room structure lacked running water, electricity or central heating. In 1950, after 14 years of parents petitioning the school board, a well was dug and a water pump installed outside of the building.
The Ellicott City Colored School closed its doors in 1953. The next school year, students attended the newly constructed Fells Lane Elementary School, which operated until the end of school segregation in 1965.
The school house went largely unused except as storage for Roger Carter's Bus Service. By 1989 the building was neglected and overgrown with vines and branches, sitting largely forgotten and hidden on the hillside. When researcher Beulah "Meach" Buckner was searching for African American graves for a project with the Central Maryland Chapter Afro-American Historical and Geneaological Society, she came across the ruins of the school. After researching the building, she strongly felt the site needed to be restored and successfully campaigned for its restoration. In 1995, the Department of Recreation and Parks purchased the property and began the preservation process.
The restored building was dedicated as a museum in 2002 and currently is furnished to represent an early 1900s rural classroom. Exhibits highlighting other segregated schools in Howard County and the history of local African Americans can be seen.
Tours are available from 1-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays May through December 18.
Located in the heart of the historic district, the Firehouse Museum explores the unique challenges of fighting fire in late 19th and early 20th century Ellicott City. The city’s topography and architecture — steep, sloping streets tightly lined with adjoined wooden buildings — provided prime conditions for the spread of fire while inhibiting the transport of water. In 1889, a group of volunteers constructed the firehouse at a cost of $500 dollars. Conveniently situated on a small, triangular lot, the original building was simply designed to house the hand-drawn and horse-drawn fire equipment. It operated until 1924, when the firehouse relocated to 8320 Main Street, and moved again in 1937 to the building known today as the Wine Bin. In 1995, the station moved to its current location on Route 103.
The building served as municipal office and a meeting hall from 1906-1935 and later as a reading room for the Howard County Library. With decline in use, the library was closed November 15, 1988.
The exterior has since been restored to its original design, and the interior refurbished. This was accomplished through the cooperative efforts of former County Executive Elizabeth Bobo, the Howard County Employment and Training Center, and the Home Builders Association of Maryland. The site was dedicated as a museum in 1991.
The Patapsco Female Insittute is now closed for the season and will reopen in Spring of 2023.
The Patapsco Female Institute is open for free history tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm, from May through November 14. Tours are weather permitting. For the most up-to-date information, please call the program status line at 410-313-0421.
Select year-round availability options exist for school groups and private tours.
Perched at Ellicott City’s highest point, the Patapsco Female Institute offered a revolutionary curriculum to young women from 1837-1891. The school earned a national reputation for its inclusion of botany, chemistry, and mathematics in a time where it was believed that women could not learn such subjects.
Since the school’s closure circa 1891, the site lived other lives as a summer resort hotel, a private residence, the Hilltop Theatre (Maryland's first summer stock theater), and a nursing home first known as the Brennan Convalescent Home and later Highland Manor. A long period of vacancy with an absentee owner led to the building's gradual deterioration. The Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute formed in 1965 as a grassroots organization to save the site from further decay. Thanks to their efforts and partnership with Howard County, the ruins of this grand example of Greek-revival architecture were stabilized and restored in 1995.
Explore the Victorian era in Howard County by joining us for a tour or attending an educational program at this breezy hilltop historic park.
Tours will be available on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm May through December 18. School groups and private tours available year-round, weather permitting.
Constructed around 1780 on nearby Merryman Street, the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin commemorates the early stages of European development in the Patapsco River Valley. The site’s namesake, Thomas Isaac, purchased the structure in 1858 to expand his land holdings. The site served as important resource for city’s African American community in the 1870s, preceding the still-active St. Luke A.M.E. church as a meeting place. The cabin remained in the Isaac family until 1933. John Henry Stanton acquired the property and later willed it to his widow, Fannie Jackson Stanton, in 1963. By the 1970s, the building was vacant and boarded up.
In the 1980s, the cabin was dismantled and rebuilt at the intersection of Main Street and Ellicott Mills Drive. After the 2018 flash flood, the cabin was temporarily moved to Parking Lot F. After the construction of a new foundation, the cabin has been returned to its previous location at the intersection of Main Street and Ellicott Mills Drive.
The cabin’s small size and spare interior reflect the style of most homes from the end of the 18th century, lending visitors a sense of Howard County’s colonial past.
Free admission to all sites listed below. Dates subject to change depending on weather and staff availability.
B&O Ellicott City Station Museum: Wednesdays-Thursdays: 10am-3pm; Fridays-Sundays: 10am-5pm; Mondays and Tuesdays: Closed
Firehouse Museum: 12/10, 12/11, 12/17, 12/18
Ellicott City Colored School, Restored: 12/11, 12/17
Thomas Isaac Log Cabin: 12/10, 12/11, 12/17, 12/18
Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park: Closed for the season
Original Courthouse of the Howard District: Closed
For more information about tours of our Main Street Ellicott City sites, contact the Living History and Heritage Program line at 410-313-0421.
Field Trips with the Howard County Heritage Program
The Living History and Heritage Program provides archaeology, history and historic preservation-themed field trips at the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park (PFI), the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Firehouse Museum and the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum.
Third Grade Field Trips
Field trips are optimized for the third grade local history unit in the Howard County Public School System, but all of our programs are adaptable for your grade and age-appropriateness.
Old Ellicott City Tour: Visit some of Old Ellicott City's most historic sites! Groups will rotate through three stations: one at the Patapsco Female Institute where students will get a tour and participate in a hands-on activity using real PFI artifacts; a walking tour of Main Street with a trip to the Firehouse Museum and a program on the geography of Ellicott City in 1772; and a tour of the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum. These field trips are available on Wednesdays-Fridays. Please contact Emily Mosher for pricing and more information: 410-313-0419 or [email protected].
Customizable and shorter field trip options are available for private schools and smaller groups, please call for availability, pricing and details.
The Living History and Heritage Program is bringing our field trips to your classroom!
We have optimized our popular on-site field trip for the classroom! Heritage program staff will visit your classroom and take students on a tour of Ellicott City with hands-on activities. Handle artifacts from the Patapsco Female Institute and learn about life during the Victorian era, and take a virtual tour of Main Street to the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Firehouse Museum, and the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum! Please contact Emily Mosher at [email protected] for more information and pricing.
Pre-K Drop In is currently on hold until further notice.
410-313-1161 (general information)
410-313-4452 (recorded information/inclement weather and general announcements about the complex)
The Meadowbrook Athletic Complex (MAC) is a destination for indoor basketball, volleyball, field hockey, badminton, jump rope and much more! The facility houses 35,000 square feet of unobstructed gymnasium space designed to serve all ages and all levels of play. Meadowbrook Athletic Complex is available for rentals during operating hours. All applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Email or call Matthew Knoerlein at 410-313-1163 for details and reservation information.
10000 Route 108, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Kayaks, paddleboats, and canoe rentals at Centennial Park will open in late Spring 2023.
(Call the recorded line for the most current information: 410-313-7303.)