Saturday, September 9, 2023

Hands-On History in Ellicott City


Are you fascinated by local history? Are you the kind of person who craves hands-on experiences? I saw this event announcement when it was shared by the Howard County Historical Society.

Photo credits:  

(1) ©2018 Patricia Bixler Reber Forgotten history of Ellicott City & Howard County MD

(2) ©2018 Patricia Bixler Reber Forgotten history of Ellicott City & Howard County MD

(3)Creator: Photo by Scott Kramer  Credit: Photo by Scott Kramer Copyright: Photo by Scott Kramer


Howard County Recreation and Parks Department - FREE PUBLIC DIG DAY

Saturday, September 9th, 10 am-12 pm

Patapsco Female Institite (PFI), HO-60

Have you ever wondered what is buried below ground at the Patapsco Female Institute? Have you wanted to get your hands dirty doing real archaeology?

Come visit the Patapsco Female Institute at 3655 Church Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21043, this Saturday, September 9th, from 10am-2pm for a FREE Public Dig Day!

Get a tour of the PFl's 19th-century ruins, help uncover the early 19th-century school-era outbuildings, help unearth and clean artifacts recovered from the late 19th-century Burg Alnwick Hotel-era trash pit!

This Public Dig Day is FREE for all ages!


Okay, this sounded fun. But it occurs to me that the ground might be awfully muddy after last night’s rains. So I started digging around (sorry) to find some confirmation - - one way or the other - - as to the status of the event.

I can’t find any. I can’t find an official “Event” page on Facebook. I can’t find a current reference on the Rec and Parks Facebook page. I can’t find it on the official Howard County website, either. Patapsco Female Institute has a separate listing on the hocogov website, and they have some cool upcoming events listed. Today’s event is not one of them.

So I broke down and sent an email to the County archeologist. Did you know we have an archeologist? I didn’t. Her name is Kelly Palich and, bless her heart, she responded to me immediately. At 7:30 in the morning.

Hi Julia! Yes we will still be up there! Looking forward to having you visit!


If there is any lesson to be learned here, I suppose it’s along the lines of how one must be patient and thorough in the pursuit of knowledge. And: when in doubt, ask an archeologist.

If you decide to go, I’d love to know what it was like.

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