Then & Now: Howard House Hotel, Ellicott City

This post is a continuation of a series of “Then & Now” images that will show photographs of buildings, street scenes, and other historical locales from Lewis Reed’s Photo Collection alongside photographs of how they appear today.

Howard House Hotel (THEN): The Howard House Hotel, built in 1840, contained a bar and dining room in addition to 14 bedrooms. The hotel featured fine German cooking and was the first place in town to offer ice cream — which was made on Wednesdays only and was a real draw. The hotel and restaurant was a popular stop for mid-19th-century travelers headed west on the National Road, and a day-trip destination for urban dwellers. In the 1940s, the decorative wrought iron on its second-floor porch was sold for scrap metal for the war effort.

The trolley tracks on main street were originally part of the Catonsville and Ellicott City Electric Railway Company trolley line that shuttled passengers between Ellicott City and Baltimore from the late 1890s to the mid-1950s.

Howard House. Ellicott City, 1914.

Howard House Hotel Ellicott City, Maryland, circa 1914. Note the signs over the entrance read, “ICE CREAM” below it “OYSTERS” Photo by Lewis Reed

Howard House Hotel (NOW): The same view 105 years later, restored to its original grandeur as 10 “luxury” rental apartments which includes panel doors, moldings and much of the original woodwork.

Howard House Ellicott City

Howard House Apartments today

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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