In 1771 four Quakers from Pennsylvania arrived in the Patapsco Valley to take advantage of the area’s steep slopes and fast running river (and cheap land, for it was poor for farming). The Ellicott brothers established a flour mill here and soon other mills, businesses and settlements followed. John Slater, president of the nonprofit group Patapsco Heritage Greenway which is partnering with us on this tour, has called Ellicott City and its surrounds “the Silicon Valley of the 1700s and 1800s” as it sparkled with innovation brought on by bright engineers improving their milling operations.
For our tour, we will journey through 450 million years of environmental and social history in two hours to discover why geological and geographic features of the Patapsco Valley caught the eye of the Ellicott Brothers, the B&O Railroad, and others. Our tour guide is Mr. Ned Tillman, a local naturalist and author of Saving the Places we Love: Paths to Environmental Stewardship – available for purchase when you register for the tour!
You can expect include hills but also plenty of rest breaks. With thanks to the Howard County Office of Tourism and Promotion, we will start and end the walk at the Welcome Center, with parking and a bathroom, on Main Street in Ellicott City.