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Determining the Facts

Reading 2: Ellicott’s Mills: “A Flourishing Borough”

Ellicott’s Mills has been identified with the Railroad from the day of its commencement, and for a long time constituted its western terminus. It is a very flourishing borough, containing a population of some five thousand, and situated in the midst of an extensive, productive, and populous agricultural district. The stately edifice situated on the summit of the hill, and too far off to be distinctly represented in the engraving is the well-known Boarding School for Young Ladies, conducted under the auspices of Mrs. Pearce. The situation, it may be inferred, is delightful and healthy. Lower down is an equally handsome structure, which is occupied as a private residence. Nearer the street, the Court-house may be observed; while directly above the Railroad is the Patapsco Bank. The Frederick turnpike, which traverses the centre of the town, constitutes the principal street. It passes between the range of buildings in the foreground, crosses the covered wooden bridge over the Patapsco and passes under the Railroad at the stone arches in front of Brown’s Hotel, and thence ascends a ravine, on both sides of which are situated the main buildings of the place. The town, thus nestled between high rolling hills, cannot be seen very distinctly from any one point, and it is much larger than might be inferred from the sketch which we present.
This reading was excerpted from Rambles in the Path of the Steam-Horse, by Ele Bowen, 1855.
Questions for Reading 2:
  1. What is it about this description that makes Ellicott’s Mills a good location for a railroad station?   
  2. Does the description of Ellicott’s Mills change much between Charles Varles 1833 account and Ele Bowen’s account of 1855? If so describe how.
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