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Elkridge, Maryland
Census-designated place
Elkridge Furnace Inn, Furnace Avenue
Elkridge Furnace Inn, Furnace Avenue
Flag of Elkridge, Maryland
Flag
Location of Elkridge, Maryland
Location of Elkridge, Maryland
Country United States of America
State Maryland
County Howard
Established 1734
Area
 • Total 8.40 sq mi (21.75 km2)
 • Land 8.39 sq mi (21.72 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 92 ft (28 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 15,593
 • Density 1,859/sq mi (717.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 21075
Area code(s) 410 and 443
FIPS code 24-25750
GNIS feature ID 0590149
Thomas-viaduct-1
Thomas Viaduct

Elkridge is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Howard County, Maryland, United States. The population was 15,593 at the 2010 census. Founded early in the 18th century, Elkridge is located at the confluence of three counties, the other two being Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.

History

See also: Elkridge Landing

Elkridge qualifies as the oldest settlement in its present county, when Howard was a part of Anne Arundel County. Its location on the Patapsco River was a key element in its growth. The Maryland General Assembly elected a law to erect a 30-acre (120,000 m2), forty-lot town at the pre-existing settlement of Elkridge Landing to be called "Jansen Town" in 1733. In 1738 an attempt to formalize the town failed with the death of the commissioners before passage. In 1750 a second attempt to formalize the town was attempted around the lands of Phillip Hammond. By comparison, Baltimore Town consisted of only 25 dwellings at that time. A third petition was filed in 1762.

The settlement was founded as a place where planters, who each had a wharf along the river, could bring their tobacco crop to be loaded on English trading ships. Later, Elkridge Landing was built as the seaport dock for the community. In 1755 the Elkridge Furnace was founded at the Elkridge Furnace Complex, a historic iron works located on approximately 16 acres (65,000 m2) and including six remaining buildings of an iron furnace which operated into the 1860s. The millrace that fed water to the furnace was filled in in the 1920s to create the current "Race Road". The Hockley Forge and Mill were created upstream in 1760. In 1781, Lafayette camped light infantry at Elkridge Landing en route to Virginia during the Revolutionary war. In 1825, Jansen Town burned, taking out all of the oldest buildings at the Landing and 9 out of 10 houses in the village. The same year, on October 12, 1825, the Elkridge Landing postal stop was created.

Elkridge has historic churches, including Melville Church on Furnace Avenue. Its original building was the first Methodist church built (1772) and was visited on the circuit rides of Francis Asbury. Saint Augustine Church, on Old Washington Road, was built in 1845 and opened its parochial school in 1870.

Elkridge had a rich history of industries, including pig-iron forging, basket weaving, paper, cotton and grist milling, as well as employment from the B&O Railroad. The Thomas Viaduct, located over Levering Avenue at the entrance to the Patapsco Valley State Park, is the oldest multiple-arched curved stone railroad bridge in the world. Built in 1833, its architect was Benjamin Latrobe, Jr. The B&O first used horse-drawn coaches in relays, hence Relay Station was added. The viaduct also carried the Tom Thumb, and the first telegraph message from Washington, D.C., stating "What hath God wrought?" was wired across.

Elkridge did not escape the Civil War. Union troops guarded the Thomas Viaduct and the thoroughfare to Baltimore with a captured Winans Steam Gun while camping on Lawyers Hill, a community of summer estates built over the years by residents such as Caleb Dorsey ("Belmont"), Baltimore City Supreme Bench Judge George Washington Dobbin ("the Lawn"), Thomas Donaldson ("Edgewood"), John Latrobe ("Fairy-Knowe"), and the Penniman family home ("Wyndhurst"). Some of these families had slaves.

Lawyers Hill House Sept 09
A Lawyers Hill Estate.

Their estate cottages were built along the top of the Lawyers Hill, including along Old Lawyers Hill Road, on which at one corner stands the Elkridge Assembly Rooms. This community hall, built in 1871, was a neutral meeting place for entertainments for Northern and Southern sympathizers of the neighborhood and owned by them as stockholders. Neighbors did not betray neighbors and each protected others' property from advancing troops. Many homes remain, while others burned and have not been rebuilt, such Fairie Knowe in 1850 and 1900. The Lawyers Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

The Washington Turnpike Road Company built what is now Washington Boulevard between 1796 and 1812, creating a major north–south land route that is now U.S. Route 1. As automobiles became a popular alternative to rail, the corridor became the key road and commercial corridor between Baltimore and Washington. With increased travel speeds, Elkridge was the location of "Dead Man's Curve" near Ducketts Lane. In 1915, bus service was started between Elkridge and the terminal adjacent to the Montgomery Ward Warehouse and Retail Store in Baltimore.

In 1939, the Andrews Brothers opened the first mobile home park in Elkridge. In 1987, Howard County commissioned studies to develop commercial properties that were not detailed in the 1980 general plan.

Geography

Elkridge, MD Map
Map of Central Elkridge.

Elkridge is located in the eastern corner of Howard County at 39°12′7″N 76°45′1″W / 39.20194°N 76.75028°W / 39.20194; -76.75028 (39.202057, −76.750157). It is bordered to the north by Ilchester, to the northwest by Columbia, to the southwest by Jessup, to the southeast by Anne Arundel County, and to the northeast, across the Patapsco River, by Halethorpe (part of the Arbutus CDP) in Baltimore County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.4 square miles (21.8 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.12%, is water.

Neighborhoods

The following neighborhoods and communities are within the Elkridge census-designated place:

Northern Elkridge (Historic Elkridge Landing): north of Bonnie View Lane and Hanover Road to the county line.

  • Augustine, surrounds Saint Augustine's Church and School
  • Elkridge Heights, a historic neighborhood off of Main Street
  • Lawyers Hill, a historic resort neighborhood from the 1800s
  • Rockburn Hill, located off River Road near the Patapsco River.

Western Elkridge: west of I-95 and north of Maryland Route 100.

  • Elibank, a remnant of Lawyers Hill that was bisected by the construction of Interstate 95. The area features estates like Belmont, Tutbury and Rockburn, along with other homes built during the 1940s along Montgomery Road.
  • Landing Road, a once-farming community that is now mostly residential.
  • Lyndwood, a major planned community on the site of Marshalee Estate. The community features a shopping center, business park, and the Timbers at Troy Golf Course.
  • Norris Lane, another resort community settled along the B&O Railroad by Elizabeth Cromwell Norris.
  • West Elkridge, an area of west Montgomery Road home to a mix of dwellings as well as Rockburn Elementary School and Rockburn Park.
  • Timberview, a mid-century neighborhood with Ranch-style architecture.

Central Elkridge: east of I-95, south of Bonnie View Ln, north of Howard Ln.

  • Elkridge Crossings, a Mixed-use development on the site of the former Elkridge Drive-In.
  • Hunt Club, an established neighborhood where the Elkridge Hunt Club first kenneled their hounds.
  • Montgomery Woods, a townhouse community along Montgomery Road adjacent to historic Gaines African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • Rowanberry, a major planned community that includes the Elkridge Library.

Southern Elkridge: south of Maryland Route 100, north of Montevideo Road, east of Waterloo Road to the county line.

  • Anderson, village named after Civil War Col. Ephraim Foster Anderson
  • Ducketts Lane, residential neighborhood including Ducketts Lane Elementary School
  • Harwood Park, Howard County's fist planned community established in 1893 by the Boston Land Improvement Company.
  • Mayfield, a residential area connecting Elkridge to Columbia.
  • Troy Hill, a business and industry center, as well as Troy Park.
  • Wesley Grove, area that includes Route 1 industrial parks and newer developments.

Adjacent communities

  • Dorsey (overlaps with Anne Arundel County)
  • Hanover (overlaps with Anne Arundel County)
  • Ilchester (includes portions of Ellicott City and Elkridge)
  • Relay (located in Baltimore County to the north)
  • Saint Denis (located in Baltimore County to the north)
  • Waterloo (includes portions of Elkridge and Jessup)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 7,262
1970 9,613 32.4%
1980 8,008 −16.7%
1990 12,953 61.8%
2000 11,643 −10.1%
2010 15,593 33.9%
source:
Elkridge Assembly Rooms
The Elkridge Assembly Rooms in Lawyers Hill was used as a "neighborhood parlor" since the 1870s.

As of the census of 2000, there were 22,042 people, 8,324 households, and 5,793 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,799.9 people per square mile (1,081.4/km²). There were 8,719 housing units at an average density of 1,107.5 per square mile (427.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 80.58% White, 9.59% African American, 0.21% Native American, 6.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.22% of the population.

There were 8,324 households out of which 42.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 44.4% from 25 to 44, 15.3% from 45 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $65,835, and the median income for a family was $71,923. Males had a median income of $47,329 versus $35,802 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $27,629. About 2.0% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

Library

In 1984, Howard County Public Library opened the Elkridge Community Branch Library in a storefront on U.S. Route 1.

The Elkridge Branch opened in August 1993. The library is set to be replaced with a new building on the same site in 2017, and will be approximately double the current size.

Recreation

Elkridge includes a range of recreational areas throughout the town. Patapsco Valley State Park runs along the Patapsco River in North Elkridge, with entrances on Landing Road, River Road, and South Street in nearby Relay. Rockburn Branch Park in West Elkridge provides athletic fields, playgrounds, and nature trails. Also in West Elkridge, Belmont Manor and Historic Park hosts private events as well as nature programs with the Howard County Conservancy and surrounding schools.

Troy Park is under construction surrounding Troy Hill Manor.

Waterways

Elkridge is home to a number of small tributaries of the main waterway, the Patapsco River, that are used for recreation. They include:

  • Bascom Creek
  • Belmear Branch
  • Budds Run
  • Cascade Falls
  • Deep Run
  • Dorsey Run (Patuxent River)
  • Rockburn Branch

Historic sites

Belmont Estate Lawn
Belmont Estate in West Elkridge
  • Belmont Estate, home of Dr. Mordecai Moore and Caleb Dorsey
  • Elkridge Furnace Complex, an historic iron works along the banks of the Patapsco River
  • Lawyers Hill Historic District, one of Howard County's two historic districts.
  • Marshalee Plantation, home of Confederate Colonel Charles Marshall, the land was named for Marshall and General Robert E. Lee, hence the name "Marshalee". The home was demolished to make way for the Timbers at Troy Golf Course and Lyndwood development.
  • Rosa Bonheur Memorial Park, one of the earliest pet cemeteries in the United States, home to the Baltimore Zoo's first elephant
  • The Lawn, home of Baltimore judge George Washington Dobbin
  • Thomas Viaduct, the world's oldest multiple arched stone railroad bridge
  • Trinity Church, a historical Episcopal church built in 1856
  • Troy, historic farmhouse built in 1696 and home of John Dorsey

Transportation

Engines on the Thomas Viaduct (Elkridge, MD)
Engines on the Thomas Viaduct

Elkridge's main corridor is defined by Washington Boulevard, a historical road traveled by George Washington and known for "Dead Man's Curve" during early automotive travel. Interstate 95 forms the northwestern edge of the Elkridge census-designated place, and Interstate 895 crosses the northern corner of the community. Interstate 195 passes just east of Elkridge, with access from its Exit 3 with Washington Boulevard. Maryland Route 100 runs through the southern part of Elkridge, providing access to Ellicott City and Glen Burnie. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway travels just to the east of Elkridge, and will eventually include an interchange with Hanover Road, providing another method of travel to Elkridge from the south.

The historic B&O rail line owned by CSX provides the eastern border for most of Elkridge. The combination freight and passenger corridor overrides the water supply for Elkridge and Howard County, which is electronically monitored to detect precursors of explosive failures in the aging system. Water transportation has ceased since decreasing water levels on the Patapsco have made it unnavigable.

Public transit

Dorsey MARC Station
Dorsey Station provides Camden Line service to the Elkridge area.

The Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland Line 409 (Purple) travels from Laurel Town Center to Elkridge. The line follows Washington Boulevard, and circles Rowanberry Drive and Montgomery Road, terminating at Elkridge Corners Shopping Center. Also, Maryland Transit Administration has commuter bus service on Line 320 along Washington Boulevard.

Dorsey Station, located in southern Elkridge, provides MARC Camden Line service. Saint Denis Station in nearby Baltimore County also provides MARC service. The Baltimore Light Rail can be accessed by the BWI Business District Station 6 miles (10 km) away in Linthicum.

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