Monday, March 27, 2017

Ann Tonge and Tonge Row

Tonge or Tongue Row was built in the 1840s, with one duplex completed each year by a widow, Ann Tonge.  The three lovely stone buildings reportedly have appeared in movies, such as the TV film Les Miserables in 2000 and the Pied Piper of Hamlin.


Ann Tonge (c1792-1863) built the three buildings as rental units for mill workers in Ellicott City.  Born in England, she married James Tonge who died c1840 and she signed a release of mortgage deed on Feb 26, 1844 as "Administratrix of James Tonge deceased."

In the 1860 census she lived alone next to James Gowan's Railroad Hotel and was worth $6,000 in real estate and $100 personal.

Two heirs were mentioned in her will - daughter Margaret and granddaughter Sarah Ann Fusting, a minor, who would inherit the northern half of Tonge's Row, and Margaret would get the southern half.  Her daughter would also get: Baltimore House (406 West St. from Anton Cadper on in May 1859); and two "frame dwellings in Ellicott mills on the Frederick Turnpike [Main St] together with the lot of ground upon which they are located".. from Edward and Rebecca Johnson.

Tonge Row - "tract of land on Columbia Turnpike from John Day Feb 2, 1844... with the three stone dwellings thereon erected...six stone buildings known as Tonge's Row".

The Feb. 10, 1863 probate listed Margaret E. and William Hughes with Thomas Jenkins putting up a bond for $2,000.

The three duplexes of "Tonge Row" are two stories on the road, and a walk-out bottom floor in the back.  Each duplex side has an upper and lower door and a central chimney.

Photo and minimal information at MHIP   HO-309, HO-310, HO-311
Photocopy  of signature from the Howard County Historical Society
Located at 3736-3742, 3744-3748, and 3752-3744 Old Columbia Road.
Will in Howard County Wills TBH Libr2 folio 3  Feb 3, 1863.  Md State Archives

©2017 Patricia Bixler Reber
Forgotten history of Ellicott City & Howard County MD

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