The restored George Ellicott House, once home to the amateur astronomer son of Ellicott City founder Andrew Ellicott, is thought to be the last remaining edifice from the 18th century Ellicott Mills settlement. Through two centuries, it has withstood the tempestuous waters of the Patapsco River, hurricanes and, four years ago, a move to higher ground.
Since the mid-70s, the state, private groups and history-minded individuals have provided more than $1 million in loans and gifts to restore the granite, early-Federalist dwelling now seeking new life as office space. "It's all we have left of the original Ellicott Mills community," said Joette Cramm, an amateur Howard County historian. "It's kind of a monument to the Ellicotts."
Pity that this monument isn't being used in a more appropriate fashion, perhaps as a museum or a bed and breakfast. But alas, Historic Ellicott City Inc., the group that owns the property, is saddled with $600,000 in restoration loans. In a state where so much mill-town history has been destroyed by nature or development, it is enough that the Ellicott House has been restored.