Old Ellicott City, Md., rebounding with a fury
After watching videos of how badly Old Ellicott City, Md., was battered 11 months ago, it’s shocking how quickly it rebounded from the deadly flash flood.
On July 30, rains turned the usually quiet waterways that feed the Patapsco River into killers. Rain was expected, but as much as 10 inches fell within six hours, washing vehicles down the hill, turning roadways into ditches and roaring through buildings. Videos show flood water racing down Main Street nearly to the top of doorways. Two people were killed.
Today, the town still shows a few scars.
Generally, however, the town has turned the corner and welcomes its summer tourist crush.
Almost straight west of Baltimore, Old Ellicott City is about 65 miles from York’s downtown, or about a 90 minute drive.
It’s a boutique kind of town with touristy stores featuring everything from gourmet natural dog foods to popcorn, watch bands, ‘vintage-inspired lifestyle store’, wine, hats and artisans. Lots of artisans. Painters, potters, builders and jewelry.
E.C. Popcorns is one business that opened in the town’s rebuild. Associate Mary Ellen Kelliher sells more chocolate sea salt popcorn than any of the other 50 or so flavors (including caramel, dill pickle, strawberry), but the popcorn display takes up just one wall. Check out the sodas, including bacon, sweet corn, peanut butter and jelly or ranch. Or the more exotic tastes such as Dog Drool, Kitty Piddle, or Bug Barf.
There are dollar bills on the ceiling, beanie babies, sunglasses (complete with bottle opener), chocolate and snow cones.
‘York’ is the resident Black Labrador who greets visitors to The ClayGround Studio and Gallery, just up the street. He’s such a favorite that the owners hang a sign in the window to announce that he’s here. Families can try their hands at pottery, glass fusion or other art endeavors. Make an appointment.
Before heading back to the car and home, check out the B&O Railroad Museum,the oldest surviving railroad station in America, and the original terminus of the first 13 miles of commercial railroad in the country. Be sure to stop and visit with Barry the Bubble Meiser at Forget Me Not Gifts, three floors of ‘whimsical and fantasy related gifts’. He might be on the street, building huge soap bubbles for his friends.
And then, there is… And…
It’s not just an old town, but a destination.