Railway Preservation News

Management Change at Ellicott City B&O Station Museum
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Management Change at Ellicott City B&O Station Museum

https://www.howardcountymd.gov/News/Art ... ews071917b

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and Department of Recreation & Parks Director John R. Byrd [on July 17th] announced that effective Friday, September 1, the County will begin managing and operating the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad Station at Ellicott City.

“The Ellicott City Station is the oldest remaining passenger train station in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. For the past 11 years, the County has partnered with the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore to manage the Ellicott City Station,” said Kittleman. “Because of this partnership, more visitors and residents of our community have a greater appreciation of Howard County’s role in the rich history of railroading in our nation.”

The railroad’s first trip from Baltimore to Ellicott Mills occurred on May 22, 1830, with horse drawn rail cars. Regular passenger service began two days later. Also of historic significance, the B&O demonstrated its first locomotive, the Tom Thumb, at Ellicott's Mills in a famous race against a horse later that same year.

In Historic Ellicott City, the Department of Recreation & Parks currently oversees: the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park; the Ellicott City Colored School, Restored; the Firehouse Museum; the Heritage Orientation Center; the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and the Barnard Fort House. The addition of the B&O Railroad Station at Ellicott City will consolidate these seven historic sites under one management and maintenance umbrella to enhance marketing and programming opportunities in the historic downtown area.

Beginning August 28 through October 5, the B&O Railroad Station at Ellicott City will close for minor renovations and program development. When the museum reopens on Friday, October 6, general admission to the site will be free. In addition to general admission, the museum will feature a variety of educational programs and special events for school groups, families and adults for a fee.

“We enjoy collaborating with the Ellicott City community and hope that this new direction will provide enhanced services to the public,” stated Byrd. “And I am sure we will be partnering with Baltimore to provide future exhibits and events.”

The annual LEGO block holiday train display at the B&O Railroad Station at Ellicott City will still take place each winter; date to be announced this fall.

For more information about the B&O Railroad Station at Ellicott City and future programming, stay tuned to http://www.howardcountymd.gov/HistoricSites.

The B&O Railroad Museum's official response:

The B&O Railroad Museum has operated the Ellicott City Railroad Station Museum for 11 years on behalf of Howard County, Maryland the owner of the historic property through a management contract and grant agreement. At the beginning of June 2017 the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks gave us 30 days' notice that our management contract would end. There was no reason for this move other than the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks made a decision to manage the property as a museum themselves rather than continuing the management contract with us.

For more than a decade we are proud to have brought lively programming, engaging exhibitions and living history to Main Street. The building known as the "oldest railroad station in America" holds national significance and is crucial to the story of the B&O Railroad.

We are disappointed in this decision but are working closely with Howard County officials to ensure a smooth transition. The last day that the museum will be open under our management is August 27, 2017. We wish them well.

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