Elkridge Furnace Inn

Furnace Avenue, on the left when traveling south, Elkridge MD 21075

Elkridge Furnace Inn

History: On May 5, 1861, US Gen. Benjamin F. Butler occupied Relay, Maryland with the goal of preventing Confederate sympathizers from sabotaging the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Thomas Viaduct - the most important and vulnerable target for saboteurs in central Maryland. It was the only rail link to Washington D.C. from the north. The 8th New York and 6th Massachusetts Infantry Regiments and Cook's Boston Battery of light artillery fortified the hill above the Thomas Viaduct. Several other regiments and batteries later occupied the area until the end of the war.
After the war, Judge George Dobbin donated land for the Lawyer's Hill Assembly on Elkridge Heights. He envisioned the hall, built in 1870, as a "neighborhood parlor" where the divisions caused by the war might be healed. It soon became a favorite location for social and cultural activities that were previously held in homes on the hill before the war. The Elkridge Furnace Inn was first established as a tavern here in 1744. In 1810, the Ellicott brothers purchased the furnace and tavern, attaching an elegant dwelling to the inn for their families.

More to Explore: The Elkridge Furnace Inn now offers casually elegant fine dining and special events, including afternoon teas, cooking classes, wine tastings and murder mystery dinners. Just up the road inside Patapsco Valley State Park, you can visit the Thomas Viaduct, a bridge that was part of the main railroad between Baltimore and Washington D.C., and transported troops and supplies during the Civil War. While in the park, check out the Grist Mill Trail with wayside exhibits that describe the valley's history as the cradle of the industrial revolution in Maryland. A highlight is crossing the "swinging bridge," formerly used by Patapsco Flour Mill workers in the company-owned town of Orange Grove to commute to work. This area is also conveniently located minutes away from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Photo Credits:

  1. “Cook’s Battery, with viaduct in background, 1861.”