Located in Howard County, Maryland, United States, Ilchester is an unincorporated village and census-designated place. It is also a neighborhood of the city of Ellicott City. At the time of the 2010 census, the population was 23,476 people. Ilchester is a settlement in the English county of Somerset, and it was chosen as the inspiration for the name.
On the western shore of the Patapsco River, roughly 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Ellicott City, John Cornthwaite established a wood grist mill, which he named the Dismal Mill. The mill was built in 1761 and is still operating today. A family named the Ellicotts established in the area in the late 18th century, purchasing a two-mile portion of the Patapsco River in 1772 that encompassed Ilchester and Ellicott Mills. The Ellicotts were the first to settle in the area.
It wasn’t until 1830 that the Baltimore and Ohio Line (B&O) was built up the Patapsco River valley through Ilchester, and George Ellicott, Jr. (grandson of Andrew Ellicott) established a tavern and cooper shop along the railroad. In 1837, the Thistle Manufacturing Company established a manufacturing facility. Because of the high gradients, Ilchester did not establish itself as an important stopping point for the B&O, and the tavern was a failure. The first mail service was established in 1842, and the station was known as “Illchester Mills.” For more information be sure to check out Dogwood Drive, Baltimore National Pike.
In 1866, Ellicott donated his bar and 110 acres of property to a Redemptorist church order, which became known as the Redemptorist Mission. When Mount Saint Clemens College first opened its doors in 1868, the church made use of the Ellicott estate to establish the institution. Several additions were made to the original structure, as well as the construction of a chapel.. The college was renamed Saint Mary’s College in 1882. The chapel was consecrated to “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” in 1893 and became a parish church in 1903. The church was relocated to a new location in 1958 by the parish. The college’s enrollment began to dwindle, and the college was forced to close in 1972. During the 1987 school year, the state of Maryland purchased a piece of the site and included it in the nearby Patapsco Valley State Park. Click here for some more information on Ellicott City, Maryland.
After purchasing “Camp Ilchester” from the Baltimore Council of the Girls Scouts in 1949, the camp has stayed in existence as an annual girl scout camp to the present day.
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