Attractions

B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station – 3711 Maryland Avenue
A National Historic Landmark, the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad Station in Ellicott City is the oldest railroad station in the United States. Erected in 1830-31, the station served as the terminus of the railroad’s original 13-mile section of track. In service until 1972, the station is now a living history museum offering programs and exhibits that explore the development of transportation in America and the station’s role in historical events of the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum is located at the intersection of Main St. and Maryland Ave. in the Historic District of Ellicott City. Hours are Wed. – Sun., 11 am – 4pm. Admission: $8 adults, $7 seniors (60+), $6 ages 2-12. For information, call 410-461-1945 or visit ecborail.org

The Firehouse Museum – 3829 Church Road
Located in the County’s first firehouse at the intersection of Main St. and Church Rd. in Historic Ellicott City, the Firehouse Museum houses a wide array of fire apparatus, model toys, and an impressive visual history of Howard County’s Volunteer Fire Department. The firehouse was constructed by volunteers in 1889 and after 1923 used as a meeting hall, county office space, and library reading room before opening as a museum. Visit the Firehouse Museum Saturday and Sunday at 1-4 PM, April through December. Private and group tours are available year-round, weather permitting.

Howard County Welcome Center – 8267 Main Street
Meet the fun, friendly Tourism Team with local insights; pick-up the Official Howard County Visitor + Resident guide, regional maps and travel brochures; Check-out historical, cultural and recreational displays; Rest and recharge in the comfortable lounge area; Enjoy ever-changing photography art and craft exhibits; Take home souvenirs by local artists and authors. Monday-Thursday 10-5; Friday-Saturday 10-8:30 April through November during Ghost Tour Season – otherwise 10-5; Sunday & Holidays 12-5. 410-313-1900; http://www.visithowardcounty.com

 Howard County Police Museum – 8267 Main Street
As you tour the museum, you will learn about the bravery, dedication and sacrifices displayed by the men and women of HCPD while keeping this community safe. You will learn the stories of the officers who have given their lives in service to their fellow citizens. You will hear about the major cases the Department has investigated, the disasters we have responded to, and the times we have rendered care and safekeeping to people in need. You will also discover how the Department has evolved and changed over the years to keep pace with society. Hours: April 1st – Sept 30th – Fri-Sat, 11AM- 6PM, Sun, 11AM- 4PM. October 1st – March 31st – Fri- Sun,  11AM- 4PM. (410) 313-1447 hcpdmuseum@howardcountymd.gov

Thomas Isaac Log Cabin – 8394 Main Street
Named after its late 19th century owner, this rustic structure was built circa 1780 as a settler’s home of Ellicotts Mills. The cabin was reconstructed on the present site in the late 20th Century. Here, visitors can learn about the settlement and development of the region and artisans. The cabin is located at the intersection of Main Street and Ellicott Mills Drive in Historic Ellicott City, and open Saturday and Sunday at 1-4 PM, April through early December. Private and group tours are available year-round, weather permitting.

Heritage Orientation Center – 8344 Main Street
The Heritage Orientation Center is located behind the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin in the county’s first Court Records building. View unique exhibits on the 18th and 19th Century milling techniques, floods of Ellicott Mills, and the Ellicott Family. The center is open daily from 11 AM–4 PM.

Ellicott City Colored School, Restored -8683 Frederick Road
This one-room schoolhouse building was constructed in 1880 as the first public school for black children in Howard County. In use as a school until the early 1950’s, the building was re-purchased by the county in 1995 and restored with the assistance of public and private funding. The building, located at 8683 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, now houses a  genealogical resource center and a museum chronicling the history of African Americans in Howard County. Changing exhibits and seminars highlight the contributions by people of color to the history of the region. Tours are offered Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM, April through October. Private and group tours are available year-round, weather permitting.

Howard County Historical Society Museum – 8328 Court Avenue
The Museum is home to hundreds of objects that tell the story of Howard County’s history from before European settlement to recent events.  From mills and businesses to homes, Native Americans to today’s diverse population, the railroad to the automotive age, the HCHS Museum has something to explore. Fridays and Saturdays: 1:00PM-5:00PM; Sundays 1:00PM – 5:00PM. Please contact us at 410.480.3250 or info@hchsmd.org for more information or to inquire about donating items.

Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park -3655 Church Road
Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Patapsco River Valley, The Patapsco Female Institute was founded in 1837 as an elegant finishing school for young women. The stabilized ruins of the Greek revival structure are open for tours, and serve as a beautiful setting for special events including weddings, receptions, camps, and open-air theatre. The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park is located at 3655 Church Road in historic Ellicott City. Tours are on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM, April through October. Private and group tours are available year-round, weather permitting. For more information and scheduling special events and rentals, call 410-313-0420.