Founded in 1958, the Howard County Historical Society is the primary private repository of historical records and artifacts related to Howard County’s rich history, the Howard County Historical Society provides access to materials that aid in historical exploration, research, and discovery for all ages and cultural groups.
Throughout the year, the Howard County Historical Society presents a wide variety of engaging public programs, concerts, lectures, and other activities. The Society also welcomes school groups, scouts, homeschoolers, adult groups, and the public to participate through field trips and outreach programs.
The Museum of Howard County (8328 Court Avenue) is housed in the former First Presbyterian Church which was generously donated to the Society in 1959 by Mrs. Alda Hopkins Clark in memory of her late husband, Judge James Clark, Sr. The Clark Family was instrumental in founding the Historical Society.
Located next to the Court House in Ellicott City, the original church was a modest building constructed in 1837 that collapsed during renovations in 1894. Rebuilt later that same year, the current Gothic-style structure with its soaring 100-foot bell tower, steeply pitched roof and stained and leaded glass windows was designed by George Archer and constructed by Frederick A. Wayland. Along with an extensive collection of fascinating artifacts, textiles, furniture and memorabilia, the Museum is home to a refurbished 1855 organ built by the A.B Felgemacher Organ Company of Erie, PA.
The Howard County Historical Society Archives and Research Library were originally kept in the Museum and then moved to the Ellicott’s Mills Quaker School, now known as the Weir Building, in 1988. In the fall of 2011, the Society moved its treasure trove of historical maps, deeds and property records, marriage licenses, voter records, slave manumission records and oral histories as well as over 4,000 historical photographs, local 4-H documents, business receipts, and many rare and one-of-a-kind private documents to the Charles E. Miller Branch Library and Historical Center on Frederick Road in Ellicott City.