Howard County, Maryland’s historic Clark’s Elioak Farm, located along Maryland Route 108 in Howard County, Maryland, is a working farm with 540 acres. It is prohibited from using the land for non-farm development since the entire parcel is protected by county or state farmland protection programs.
The Elioak farm has been in the Clark family since 1927, and the Clarks have a long history of farming in Maryland that dates back seven generations.
A type of silty clay loam common on the slopes and summits of hills in the northern portion of the Piedmont Plateau is referred to as Elioak in the name of the plant. Elioak soil is deep, well-drained, and fairly permeable, making it a good choice for apple orchards because of its favorable characteristics. Elioak was also recognized as a former Howard County postal village from the turn of the twentieth century.
Click here for some more information on Ellicott City, MD.In recent years, the Elioak Farm has been transformed into a petting zoo and the site of the restoration of the former Enchanted Forest, among other things.
The Clark family’s farming legacy in Maryland began on November 1, 1797, when James, John, and David Clark signed a lease with Charles Carroll for two parcels in the county of Frederick. Beginning with Wheatfield Farm in 1850, the family began accumulating land in the western portion of Howard County, eventually acquiring the entire county. James Clark Sr. was born at Fairfield Farm, where he met and married Alda Clark of White Hall before settling at Keewaydin Farm on Columbia Road. James Clark Sr. died at Fairfield Farm. Elioak Farm was purchased by them in 1927.
In 1946, after serving in World War II as a naval officer, James Clark, Jr., returned to Elioak Farm in Maryland to carry on the family farming legacy. Later, he rose to the position of President of the Maryland State Senate. Upon his father’s death in 1946, he was awarded a half part of the farm, which he subsequently bought out and operated completely until his death in 2006 at the age of 87. Clark and his new bride moved into the 18th century stone slave quarters in 1946, first building a kitchen and a bathroom, then two extra bedrooms and hot water in 1950, before selling the property. When a horse drawn drill ran over his head in 1947, he was trapped in the middle of it.
After establishing the Clarkland Farms dairy and beef operations in Elioak in 1951, he expanded operations to the nearby 160-acre Dallas Brown Farm, which he purchased in 1953. Because of his concern about the increasing development of land in Howard County during the 1960s, he went into politics as well as farming. He was a founding member of the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Property Trust Alliance, and he worked on the creation of Program Open Space, which helped to preserve undeveloped land in Maryland. For more information be sure to check out Font Hill Manor.
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