Howard County Executive Calvin Ball was recently joined by Department of Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme in Historic Ellicott City for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially reopen the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and celebrate recent renovations to the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum in time to celebrate Ellicott City’s upcoming 250th anniversary.
Built in 1831, the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station once operated inside the oldest surviving railroad station in America. Initially a freight depot, the station was remodeled in 1857 to accommodate passengers and was later designated as a museum in 1972 after it ceased operations.
In 2017, Recreation & Parks’ took over management and operations of the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum and in 2018, received two grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Totaling more than $80,000, the grants allowed for the restoration of the museum’s iconic C-2149 caboose and Freight Room diorama. The C-2149 caboose was restored using historically accurate materials and interpretive signage, while the restoration of the Freight House diorama involved a comprehensive update showing the first 13 miles of railroad in the United States.
Constructed around 1780 on nearby Merryman Street, the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin commemorates the early stages of European development in the Patapsco River Valley. In the 1870s, it served as an important resource for Ellicott City’s African American community. In the 1980s, the cabin was dismantled and rebuilt on the historic Barnard Fort House property, where it stood until the summer of 2018.
Following the 2018 flood, the cabin was temporarily moved to Parking Lot F while Ellicott Mills Drive was reconstructed. This past spring, the cabin moved back to its previous location atop a new foundation. The proposed drainage improvements in Ellicott City as part of Ball’s EC Safe and Sound plan and the new foundation sitting one foot above Ellicott City’s100-year flood elevation should keep the cabin safe from future floods.
With its reopening, the cabin will once again house the same programs and artifacts it did prior to the 2018 flood, including interpretive exhibits and programs about the history of Ellicott City. Funding to restore the Cabin was provided thanks to a nearly $250,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.