Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wayside Going by the Wayside?

The history of Ellicott City's Wayside Inn predates the creation of Howard County. When the granite stone house on Old Columbia Pike began hosting overnight guests back in 1780, HoCo was still part of Anne Arundel County.

The roadside inn has seen many travelers passing through HoCo over those years, including rumored visits of George Washington and John Adams.

I know for certain that it was at least visited by Jim Robey. According to the Inn’s website, in 2004, to celebrate the latest “reopening” following an extensive renovation, then county exec Jim Robey cut the ceremonial ribbon.

The inn is now listed with rock-star HoCo realtor, Creig Northrop. The asking price is $1.2 million and the listing says it “May also be purchased for single-family or multi-family use.”

In other words you don’t have to run the property as bed and breakfast anymore if you buy it. After 232 years, it's days of hosting HoCo visitors may now be coming to an end.

In a way, it really isn’t much of roadside inn anymore. Before they built the hulking sound barrier right across the street, the inn with its candles in the windows was a HoCo loco landmark, visible to all travelers passing by on the county’s main artery.

Nowadays, the only traffic that passes its door are the members of the Forest Hill Swim Club and HoCo locos taking the back way to Dorsey’s Search. Folks passing through HoCo on their way from Point A to Point B wouldn't even know it was there.
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