Elkridge, Maryland

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Elkridge is a census-designated place (CDP) in Howard County, Maryland, United States. The population was 22,042 at the 2000 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. It is bordered on the north by Catonsville, on the east by Linthicum and Baltimore-Washington International Airport, on the south by Dorsey, and on the west by Ellicott City and various small communities between it and Columbia.



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 settlement existed even before the Maryland General Assembly elected a law to erect a 30-acre (120,000 m2), forty-lot town at Elkridge Landing to be called "Jansen Town" in 1733. Initially, the settlement was developed 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 1825, Jansen Town burned, taking out all of the oldest buildings at the Landing and 9 out of 10 houses in the village. The Elkridge Furnace Complex is a historic iron works located on approximately 16 acres (65,000 m2) and including six remaining buildings of an iron furnace which operated from the 18th century into the 1860s.[1]

Elkridge has historic churches, including Melville Church on Furnace Ave. 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 Blvd., was originally built in 1845.

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 stone curved 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 has God wrought?" was wired across.

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