Black History Month provides the opportunity for both reflections on the past and the discovery of the future. Learn something new and explore Howard County.

As we celebrate Black History Month, here are just a few places in or near Howard County that serve as either landmarks of or showplaces for that history.


The Ellicott City Colored School, Restored
Explore the one-room schoolhouse museum showcasing the history of African Americans in Howard County. 

Museum of Howard County History and Library 
Learn about The Underground Railroad and the path through Howard County, discover unknown passages through Ellicott City and Columbia (Freetown Road). 

The 1843 Howard County Courthouse
A location for judicial proceedings for cases of those charged with encouraging slaves to run away. The most famous case involved the transfer of known Underground Railroad agent William L. Chaplin of New York from Montgomery County to Howard County in 1850. An interpretive marker describes these events.  

Civil War Trail Sites
Civil War Trails® has been working with communities since 1994 to share their stories and connect visitors with small towns and big stories across a network that now spans six states. Travelers look to Trails to put them in the footsteps of the generals, soldiers, citizens, and the enslaved who found themselves in the midst of this Civil War. 

  • Ellicott City Colored School – After the war, African American veterans built this school. 

  • B&O Railroad Station  – The oldest railroad terminus in the U.S. (1831) was guarded by Union troops throughout the war. Is a free museum today. 

  • Patapsco Female Institute – This is the site of an important school that influenced young ladies of the North and South. Is a park and event venue today. 

  • Oakland Manor –  Brothers Moses, William, and Joseph Shipley were slaves who labored here and on neighboring farms. Is an event venue today.

  • Savage Mill – This cotton-weaving mill was used for Federal service. Is a complex of specialty shops and restaurants today surrounded by a park and river trail. 

  • Thomas Viaduct - The strategic B&O Railroad bridge to Washington placed two towns in the theater of war. Is located in the Orange Grove Area of Patapsco Valley State Park. 

Art & Culture:

African Art Museum of Maryland
The Museum offers tours, exhibits, and treasure objects reflecting the fifty-five countries of Africa.

Busboys and Poets
Named after poet Langston Hughes, Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bar, bookstore, and community gathering place.

The Howard County Center of African American Culture
Stroll through history and learn about the rich and proud African American history of Howard County, Maryland.  

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum

The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum honors the land and legacy of  Benjamin Banneker who lived during the 1700s. Located on 142 acres in the Patapsco River Valley, the Park & Museum offers public and private programs focused on Banneker’s life and his relationship to the land he inhabited.Looking to explore more or want to make this a weekend getaway. Book a room in one of Howard County's affordable hotels here.