Elkridge residents preparing for Heritage Week events


September 14, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THOSE WHO only know Elkridge along U.S. 1 can explore our area's rich heritage in two events: the opening of four historic sites as part of Howard County Heritage Week Sept. 21, and the Elk Ridge Heritage Society's House Tour Oct. 3.

Those who know Elkridge well may want to visit -- or revisit -- homes and sites not often open to the public.

Four sites in Elkridge will be featured as part of Heritage Week, which has been organized by the Howard County Historical and Cultural Alliance.

Some 20 organizations and sites work together in the alliance to promote awareness, appreciation and understanding of historical sites and cultural resources in the county.

This year, they have organized 28 events at 21 sites throughout the county.

On Sept. 21, Elkridge Furnace Inn will offer a tour from 10: 30 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m.

Dan Wecker, one of the owners of the inn, has researched the history of the property and will shed his chef's apron to share his findings.

Belmont Manor will hold an open house from 1: 30 to 3: 30 p.m., with a narrated garden tour at 2 p.m.

Now owned by the American Chemical Society and used as a conference center, the Georgian-style mansion sits on a lovely hill at the end of a long tree-lined drive.

Behind the mansion are formal gardens with mature boxwoods.

Elk Ridge Heritage Society will exhibit doll paintings by local artist Florence Bahr from 11: 30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Brumbaugh House.

The Heritage Society will serve lunch for $2 and light refreshments in the late afternoon at no charge.

Call 410-796-3282 to reserve lunch.

When Dr. Benjamin Bruce Brumbaugh brought his bride home to his new house at 5825 Main St. in 1921, well-wishers gave them an old-time shivaree, said Helen Voris, who grew up two doors up the street. They stood under the streetlight beating pots and pans with wooden spoons, she said.

Brumbaugh served as family doctor to many in Elkridge for more than 60 years, retiring after age 80.

The Heritage Society bought his home and maintains his waiting room and office as they were when he practiced.

The Cider Mill Farm will offer demonstrations of cider making and hay rides and samples of fresh cider and bread from 4: 30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 21.

The cost is $2 per adult; $1 per child.

In 1916, Frederick "Fritz" Kelly, son of Dr. Howard Kelly, one of the founders of the John Hopkins University, married Vita Bloede and planted 5,000 apple trees at the site.

His father-in-law, Victor Bloede, had designed a hydroelectric dam nearby on the Patapsco River.

When the trees bore fruit, Fritz Kelly founded the cider mill.

The mill was used until 1969. In 1970, the Owens family bought the mill and Tom Owens began restoring it.

The Cider Mill now features events every fall weekend.

Ellicott City events

Events also have been planned in Ellicott City for Heritage Week.

The Patapsco Female Institute will sponsor two showings of "Captain Blood," a 1935 swashbuckler starring Errol Flynn on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The institute also will feature a Civil War encampment, Civil War dance demonstrations and a "Lesson in Social Botany" by Nan Keenan in the Victorian Parlor at Mount Ida.

Keenan creates art using the symbolism of flowers, with each flower representing a name, date or sentiment.

Guided tours of Mount Ida and the Patapsco Female Institute will be offered. Walking tours and ghost tours of Main Street also are planned.

The Howard County Center for the Arts will feature exhibits of prints and sculptures; the Howard County Historical Society a display of furniture.

B. H. Shipley Jr. will be signing his book "Remembrances of Passing Days: A Pictorial History of Ellicott City and Its Fire Department" at the Firehouse Museum.

The Heritage Orientation Center will provide an overview of the founding of the town and its mills. Interpreters at the Thomas Isaacs Log Cabin will demonstrate aspects of Colonial life.

Events will be offered the next week and weekend, too. Most of the events are free or have a nominal charge.

For a complete schedule, stop by the Tourism Office in the basement of the post office building on Main Street in Ellicott City, or call the Tourism Office at 410-313-1900.

House tour

On Oct. 3, a house tour sponsored by Elk Ridge Heritage Society will feature six public and private homes in the Elkridge area.

Included on the tour are the Brumbaugh house, the Babcock house, the Grabowski house, "Rockburn," the Coll House in Relay and Trinity Preparatory School.

Planning for the event began soon after Jerry Fleischmann assumed the presidency of the society in January.

His wife, Kathy, heads the tour committee that includes Connie Bauman, Mary Strow, Lillian McCurdy, Shirley Drell, Mary Strow, Ginny Stickles and Judy Peddicord.

The tour will include Rockburn, a large, red brick, Georgian-style house built by Caleb Dorsey's brother, and two homes near St. Augustine's Church.

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