Arrived at Ellicott’s Mills, 10 miles by the turnpike from Baltimore, where a relay [Varle traveled on a train pulled by a horse] was waiting for us. We traveled the distance, from the place of our departure [Baltimore] to this spot, in one hour and thirty minutes, nearly 14 miles, which is at the rate of about 9 miles an hour. From the three arch stone Oliver’s Viaduct, built here through an embankment, raised on the site of this place for giving passage to a run [the Tiber River], as well as for the Baltimore and Frederick turnpike [Main Street], we had the pleasure of observing the difference between the slow paced vehicles passing below us on the turnpike, and the easy and rapid movement of our cars. This spot of ground, as containing an academy for classical education, several large stone houses, stores, two splendid hotels, a number of flour, merchant, linseed and other mills, richly deserves the name of town. Indeed, laying aside the immense worth of these useful establishments, the neatness of the handsome group of buildings of different sizes, forms and colours, located at the intersection of the river Patapsco, and of the rail and turnpike roads; the two great thoroughfares of the west of this vast continent, and at the foot of a high and picturesque scenery, attract the attention and admiration of the traveler.
This reading was excerpted from A Complete View of Baltimore, by Charles Varle, 1833.
Questions for Reading 1:
Why, in general, do you think the railroad chose to place a station in Ellicott’s Mills?
How does Ellicott City’s appearance today compare to the above description?
Why do you think the author chose to describe the significant features of the town of Ellicott’s Mills?