Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mount Ida, Ellicott City, Maryland

On the hill overlooking Ellicott City is a 19th century mansion called Mount Ida. It was built in 1828 for William Ellicott, grandson of Ellicott's Mills founder Andrew. The house has the Greek Revival style that is often found in pre-Civil War southern mansions.

Mount Ida

William died in 1838 and Judge John Snowden Tyson bought the property (it's right near the courthouse, so it is convenient as well as elegant). He died in 1878 and left the house to his three daughter. Ida was the longest surviving daughter--she died at 90 years of age in 1930. The house passed through many owners and uses in subsequent years. Now it is the headquarters for a local historical society and is open for visitors. We visited in the summer of 2014 and saw plenty of interesting items inside.

The downstairs has several rooms for entertaining guests and filled with a variety of period furniture.

Front desk (love the fancy water canteen on the left)

Sitting room


Apple press

Formal dining room

Cozy fireplace

More cozy seating

Upstairs is the master bedroom, a child's bedroom, and a playroom.

Master bedroom

Clothes laid out for dressing (though of course we weren't allowed to)

Girl's bedroom

Girl's dress, some toys, and a washing stand

Model of the house in the toy room

They also have a toilet (also not for visitor's use)

Sprinkled throughout the house are dresses from the 1800s. First is a reproduction of an 1830s day dress.

1830s day dress

This late 1850s dress follows the fashion established by Queen Victoria. She had a fondness for Scottish tartans. Tighter waists and the bell-shaped lower half of the dress were also becoming more fashionable.

1858 day dress

Other dresses didn't have signs explaining them (or, more likely, I missed them).


Arabesque pattern dress

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