Copyright (C) 2015 Preservation Howard County



Howard County's Top Ten Endangered Sites, 2006

Doughoregan Manor


Historic Significance: Doughoregan Manor is a national treasure located in the heart of Howard County. It is a designated National Landmark of international importance, as the man who called it his home triggered events in the 1700's that changed the face of the world.


Threat: Development. A Maryland Historic Trust Easement protecting the property expired in May of 2007. The current family is contemplating development and preservation options.


Doughoregan Manor was built circa 1725 by Charles Carroll The Settler, and his son Charles Carroll of Annapolis. Charles Carroll III (the grandson of the Settler) was one of four patriots from Maryland who signed the Declaration of Independence. As the only Roman Catholic Signer and, at the time, the richest man in America, he had everything to lose in his pursuit of liberty and of freedom of religion. He is interred in the private Catholic chapel on the grounds of his beloved home. Doughoregan Manor was a frequent destination of many patriots, including George Washington, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock.


Additional historic features include one of the earliest private Catholic Chapels in Maryland; existing significant outbuildings, including barns and slave quarters; and historic cemeteries. The Carrolls were instrumental in creating the first leg of the National Road, which ran from Baltimore City to Ellicott City and westward to the Cumberland Gap. The road, which runs along the northern border of Doughoregan, was designated by Congress in 2002 as an "America’s Byway" - one of only two in Maryland. In 1998, it was designated by the Maryland State Highway Administration as a "Scenic Byway."


"He who postpones till to-morrow what can and ought to be done to-day, will never thrive in this world. It was not by procrastination this estate was acquired, but by activity, thought, perseverance, and economy, and by the same means it must be preserved and prevented from melting away."

- Charles Carroll of Carrollton, July 10, 1801


Belmont, Elkridge


Historic Significance: Belmont, a National Register property, is one of the oldest, surviving colonial plantations in the County and one of Howard County’s most unique landmarks.


Threat: Development. Current plans for Belmont call for the extension of public water and sewer, the construction of more than 100,000 sq. feet of additions and new buildings, and roads and parking areas that violate the spirit of the preservation easement drafted by the Smithsonian Institution in 1983 to protect this significant historic asset.

Listed on the National Historic Register, Belmont was built in 1738 by Caleb and Priscilla Dorsey on a tract patented in 1695 as "Moore’s Morning Choice." The property remained in the extended Dorsey family for 229 years.


Belmont is completely surrounded by the Patapsco State Park and by private land under conservation easements for nearly a half-mile in every direction. The land surrounding Belmont is as significant as the house itself; the rolling hills, pasture and woods remain much as they were in the days of Caleb Dorsey: thus the setting is similar to what existed in 1738 when the Belmont lands exceeded 1,300 acres.


The Dorseys’ farmed their extensive land holdings and built and operated forges and iron furnaces along the Patapsco River near Elk Ridge Landing. For over 100 years, ships bearing goods manufactured in England sailed from the Chesapeake Bay up the Patapsco River for six miles to Elk Ridge Landing, the last deep water portion of the Patapsco before the first falls of the Piedmont.


The Dorsey’s of Morning Choice, their land, and their methods of doing business were a significant part of this early economic, social, and cultural history of the Patapsco valley. This cultural landscape is the last surviving relic of the prominent position occupied by Elk Ridge Landing as an inland, deep water shipping port and industrial powerhouse in the lower Patapsco valley during the 18th and 19th centuries.


In the 20th century, Belmont was owned by Howard and Mary Bruce. Mr. Bruce was a prominent industrialist and financier. Known for his superior organizing ability, during WWII he became the first civilian to administer the Army’s production, procurement and delivery of vital supplies. For this valuable service he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.


Woodlawn, Columbia


Historic Significance: Woodlawn, A National Register Property, was built in the first half of the 1800’s.


Threat: Development: Current plans call for the construction of a 74,000 sq. foot office building directly behind the National Register Property and the removal of all of its 200-year-old trees — the woods of Woodlawn.


According to the Maryland Historic Trust, "Woodlawn is a two-story, stuoccoed stone house constructed in the mid 19th century whose design reflects the transition between the Greek Revival and Italinate styles. Woodlawn derives significance from its architecture and from its association with Henry Howard Owings.


Architecturally, Woodlawn is unique in Howard County in representing the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Elements of the Greek Revival are embodied in the building’s square proportions, smooth stuccoed surface, and simple interior trim, while the central projecting bay and deep cornice reflect Italianate influence.


Woodlawn is also significant for its association with Henry Howard Owings, a prominent landowner and farmer. The property’s present appearance reflects the period of Owing’s occupancy in the 1850’s and 1860’s during which he served as Judge of the Orphan’s Court for Howard County."


Historic African American Churches


Historic Significance: These churches, all founded in the late 1800’s, provided African Americans the opportunity to gather and worship. In addition to providing a base of power that fostered leadership opportunities and initiated political change, these churches provided important social services to their communities including establishing schools and caring for the poor and homeless.

Threat: Demolition. Due to financial and land constraints of the current congregations, each of these churches is being razed to make way for newer, larger church facilities. The loss of these structures that witnessed significant political and civil rights shifts, marks the end of an era in African American history.


Mt. Pigsah A.M.E.


Mount Pisgah A.M.E. was founded in 1898 in Jonestown, a town founded by free blacks before the Civil War, that was once located along Route 108 near Howard High School. The first church edifice was donated by the Bellow Springs Methodist Church and was moved to Jonestown in 1901. The historic Mount Pisgah presently located along Route 108 was rebuilt in 1923. Funds are being sought to move this small structure out of the path of new construction for a neighboring church.














Mount Gregory Church


Mount Gregory Church was founded in the 1870’s in Cooksville. In 1867, Thomas Hood granted an acre of land and a stone building for the sole purpose of educating the "black children of Cooksville." Within a few years, the deed was amended to include "school and church," and the first floor of the stone building was used for worship, leaving the top floor to be utilized as a school. The current Mount Gregory church edifice was constructed in 1898. This church is due to be razed to allow for expansion of a new church building.














Locust Methodist


Locust Methodist was established in 1869 as "Locust Chapel." The current edifice was built in 1951 on the site of the original church. The church served the surrounding free black community known as "Freetown." This church is being razed to make way for a new church building.












Christ Episcopal Church


Historic Significance: The oldest Episcopal Church in Howard County , built in 1727.


Threat: Deterioration: The church is in the process of raising funds for the vital restoration of the original church building and its stained glass windows.


According to Celia M. Holland's Landmarks of Howard County, Christ Church, built in 1727, was designated Queen Caroline Parish Church in 1728. The Reverend James Macgill (Macgill’s Common) served as its first full-time rector. After the Revolution, Christ Church suffered for lack of care and was practically abandoned. Then in 1809, the present building was erected on the foundation of the old.


Today, nearly 200 years later, the church is in active use, but deteriorating and in need of funding and repair. The structure has been enlarged, but the original church containing memorial stained glass windows given in honor of Rev. MacGill and an old slave gallery which extends around three sides of the church, remains the heart of the structure.


The church is seeking funds to replace the cedar shake roof, restore the stain glass windows, and replace the wood trim.


Mount Hebron Barns


Historic Significance: These stone buildings are located on what was once the 21,252-acre farm of Judge Thomas Beale Dorsey, a well known lawyer in Howard County and Chief Justice at Annapolis in the early 1800's. Judge Dorsey was instrumental in the Howard District's becoming a county in 1851. Howard County Planning and Zoning along with Maryland Historic Trust have documented that the barn at one time was used as a slave quarters.

Threat: Development and Demolition


Monte Joy Outbuildings



Historic Significance: Original slave quarters


Threat: Deterioration


MonteJoy/ Santa Fe Farm may have existed as a dependency of "Chews Resolution Manor" as early as 1695. The Howard County Historic Sites Inventory identifies the stone building lying immediately northeast of the main house as an original slave quarters. Just adjacent to the slave quarters is a log cabin, which is clad in wood siding. This cabin may predate the main house and may have also served as slave quarters.

The main house is undergoing restoration, but the two remaining outbuildings are still deteriorating.


Brumbaugh House


Historic Significance: Built in the late 1800’s and current home of the Elkridge Heritage Society


Threat: Deterioration


Built in the late 1800s on Main Street in Elkridge, the Brumbaugh House has been the home of many physicians. The most notable of these was Dr. Brumbaugh, who purchased the house in the 1920s.


The Elkridge Heritage Society now owns the house. The Society is looking to membership, donations (including material and labor), and fund raising events to make extensive repairs to the house.


Clover Hill


Historic Significance: Clover Hill was built around or before 1798.


Threat: Deterioration


The brick and frame house with a gable roof is an example of late eighteenth-century architecture with nineteenth-century additions.


In 2001, the County entered into its first "curatorship" contract based on a similar State program. The contract is a public/private initiative that seeks to create an adaptive use opportunity for Clover Hill. That initial curatorship deal fell through, and the County has identified another interested party. We are supportive of this agreement and optimistic that it will provide for the restoration and use of this historic site (Council Resolution 54-2006).

Historic Significance: Only one of five remaining in Howard County


Threat: Destruction


Clarksville's Milestone #9


Milestone #9 is located at the intersection of Route 108 and Great Star Drive in front of the Howard County Safety Training facility. Route 108, built in the 1700s, was originally known as the Ellicott Mills to Montgomery County Courthouse Road. The milestone measures 12 inches wide, 8 inches deep and approximately 30 inches above the grade of the road. The stone material is believed to be from the Ellicott Mills area.


In 2003, the milestone was damaged by a vehicle and remains in a most precarious position.


There are only five milestones remaining in Howard County, as others have been lost to time, vandalism, and construction. Adjacent property owners have carefully attended to the remaining four milestones.