Then and Now: Old Ellicott City

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Maryland’s first factory town Ellicott City celebrates its 250th anniversary this year. Ellicott brothers Joseph, Andrew and John founded the town along the Patapsco River. Over time, Ellicott City has evolved and endured, withstanding floods and fires for more than two-and-a-half centuries.

Main Street

Old Ellicott City 1936
Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland, photograph by E.H. Pickering, 1936. Maryland Center for History and Culture, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Historic American Building Survey Photograph Collection, PP85
Old Ellicott City 2022
Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland, photograph by David Stuck, 2022.

The historic images of the town were taken in 1936 as part of the Historic American Building Survey. One image shows houses along Columbia Pike, and the other shows empty storefronts along Main Street.

Columbia Pike

Columbia Pike 1936
Houses on Columbia Pike in Ellicott City, photograph by E.H. Pickering, 1936. Maryland Center for History and Culture, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Historic American Building Survey Photograph Collection, PP85
Columbia Pike 2022
Houses on Columbia Pike in Ellicott City, photograph by David Stuck, 2022.

Historical Photos Courtesy of the Maryland Center for History and Culture

The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) collects, preserves and interprets the history, art and culture of Maryland. Originally founded as the Maryland Historical Society in 1844, MCHC offers a museum and library in Baltimore. The exhibition “Resilient: 250 Years of Ellicott City” opens June 17. See it Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the museum at 610 Park Ave. View a selection of images from MCHC’s collections at mdhistory.org/digital-collections.

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