Sunday, August 7, 2016

8113 Main St., to be torn down after 2016 Ellicott City flood, had connections to Elizabeth Ellicott Lea

Elizabeth Ellicott Lea (1793-1858), whose cookbook Domestic Cookery was first published in 1845, had ties to the shorter of the two adjoining buildings due to be torn down. The old building sets over the Tiber River (usually more of a stream) on hand-hewed wooden beams forming a truss system (like a bridge).  Incredible. For about 200 years these buildings have been held up by wood. [HO-586] The supporting wall between the frame (wood) buildings was destroyed during the flood, making it a hazard. Lea was born in the George Ellicott home (below).

News flash!  Go to Preservation Maryland to see how the two buildings are being stabilized. HERE

Two months after the flood (above photo), later the plywood was painted -
Faux painting

Elizabeth Ellicott Lea was one of the daughters of George (son of one of the 3 founders, Andrew) and Elizabeth Brooke Ellicott.  Another daughter was the writer, historian and Quaker elder Martha Ellicott Tyson who helped start Swathmore College. 
George Ellicott built the stone house in 1789 on the other side of the Patapsco River from Ellicott City.  Flooded in the 1970s, the home was moved from in front of the floor mill to higher ground across the street.
George died in 1832, followed 20 years later by his wife Elizabeth Brooke Ellicott, and her TEN page will in 1853, listed properties and bank stocks given to their children and grandchildren. Her will stated that EELea had been receiving $40 a year in ground rent for a "frame house and the lot of ground...on the Baltimore and Frederick Town Turnpike road" (Main Street), but granddaughter Anne Tyson would get the building.  Undoubtedly the ground rent helped support Lea, living at "Walnut Hill" on the Brooke family lands in Montgomery County, since her husband died in 1829 and she raised their eight children by herself.   
"It is known that there was a frame house on the property in 1836.  In the 1850s Elizabeth Ellicott Lea inherited the property from her grandmother." [Cramm]   The granddaughter Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, Jr (1825-1902, youngest child, four when her father died) was mentioned in the will but not for any land. The author, Cramm, of the EC tour guide may have seen it in the deed books.  Next time I am at the Md State Archives I'll check, and add to this post.

And after the Ellicott ownership of the land?  "Anthony Laumann purchased the property in 1860 for $650, and it stayed in the family until 1952.  Laumann was said to have opened a barbershop in town in 1828, and records show the building was still in use as a barbershop in 1887.  Phil Laumann continued the barber-shop business until Joe Miller took over.  Old-timers recall that Laumann's shop had a sign that read "Cupping and Leeching", which indicates that in those days, barbers often drew blood for medicinal reasons." [Cramm]  Other businesses followed - a wig shop, Craig Coyne Jewelers (moved up the street to 8133) and now Joan Eve Classics & Collectibles.

How high did the water rise?... to the bridge lamp globes!...more HERE

Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, many recipes  HERE
Elizabeth Brooke Ellicott will  Dec. 1853 (photocopy from Md State Archives)
Cramm, Joetta.  Historic Ellicott City, A Walking Tour.  1996
HO-586  Md Historical Trust, Inventory of Historic Properties  HERE
George Ellicott home flood photo, move and restoration  HERE
Preservation Maryland  HERE
©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber
Forgotten history of Ellicott City & Howard County MD

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