Monday, April 17, 2017

George Ellicott Jr. home becomes part of St. Mary's College

The Ilchester Hotel/Home/Tavern that Ellicott built in the early 1830s was sold in 1866 to the Redeptorists for $15,000.  The walls had weakened by the coal trains and had to have pipes to stabilize the old stone structure.  The main 'upper house' was built in 1868, and a large wooden addition was built beside and behind the 4 story granite building.  The first chapel with long windows was attached to the granite hotel and used into at least 1895.

Past post on the original hotel/tavern with running water and water fountain in the garden.HERE

The steep slope had been terraced and in this view of the back, the main doors of the additions are on the terrace level.

A picture of both the upper and lower houses

Arial view showing the addition over the back half of the Ellicott hotel roof

A covered walk, called a sloop, between the two buildings, on left

The Ellicott house was burned in 1968, and four years later the last class - of ten - graduated.  In 1982 a developer bought the property, with plans to turn the upper building into apartments.  It was left vacant, deteriorated, and burned on Halloween night 1997, and the remaining walls bulldozed into the ground a decade later.

Pictures from the book: C. SS. R. Ilchester Memories, 1868-1957: to commemorate the golden jubilee, 1907-1957 of the Redemptorist Novitiate at Ilchester, Maryland.  by Paul Stroh, 1957.  in the Howard County Historical Society.

HO-392 St. Mary’s College HERE

From - Donahoe's Magazine, Boston: May 1895 –

House of Studies and Grounds of the Redemptorist Fathers at Ilchester, Md.

George Ellicott, Jr. “conceived the idea of establishing at this place a hotel for travelers…his scheme, however, proved a failure.  Its beautiful name, derived from the Latin “Iicum Castra,” signifying the Camp of Oaks, was Ilchester’s most attractive feature.  A small station, in those days little better than a cattle-shed; a railroad bridge across the “brawling mill-stream” euphoniously called the Patapsco river; a cotton factory in whose shadow lay a score of corporation tenement houses,-- this was Ilchester, and these charms certainly were not calculated to attract any large contingent of the travelling public.  So the “Wayside Inn” went a beggin for guests, and its owner for some one to take it off his hands.

The wooden structure is at the foot of a hill, near the railroad station, and is attached to the old hotel. This was originally the Preparatory College, where young men desirous of entering the Congregation received their classical education. In 1881 this department was transferred to North East, Penn, where the Fathers purchased a fine, large brick building originally used as a Protestant seminary. At present the old wooden structure at Ilchester serves as an annex to the college proper. Its beautiful chapel is filled on Sundays by devout parishioners, and a portion of the building does duty as a parish school.

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

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