Ellicott City in Howard County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Patapsco Female Institute
Under Mrs. Phelps' direction, PFI flourished as a leading educational institution for young women. From 1842 through 1856, attendance rose steadily, the curriculum expanded, and the school became financially successful.
Mrs. Phelps and her husband provided significant funds of their own to improve facilities. PFI gained
Mr. Robert Archer assumed the principal position after Mrs. Phelps, and PFI remained successful under his leadership until the start of the Civil War. Unfortunately, matriculation at school dropped quickly during the Civil War and did not recover in its aftermath. One theory for the decline is that students from the south, who prior to the war had enrolled in significant numbers no longer felt safe attending a northern school. The school remained open, however, and, after Mr.Archer's retirement in 1872, his wife Mary Ringgold Archer, took over as principal.
In 1878, Sarah Randolph, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, became principal. PFI was forced to close in 1891, due to the continued decline in enrollment.
Almost 100 years later, in 1955, in recognition of the important role the school played in educating young women, the abandoned ruins of the PFI were stabilized, creating the scenic memorable
The Patapsco Female Institute is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Women's Heritage Trail due to both its historical significance as a leader of 19th century education for women and its historic physical structures.
This sign is sponsored by the Howard County Women's Bar Association to mark a significant location on Maryland Women's Heritage Trail. The Women's Heritage Trail identifies locations throughout the State are important in women's history.
Location. 39° 16.209′ N, 76° 47.784′ W. Marker is in Ellicott City, Maryland, in Howard County. Marker is on Church Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3727 Church Road, Ellicott City MD 21043, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Patapsco Female Institute (a few steps from this marker); Mount Ida (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sunflower Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Stone Tavern House (approx. 0.2 miles away); B&O Railroad Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hunt's General Store & Millinery Shop Road Versus Rails (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Williams House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Ellicott City.
Categories. • Education •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 405 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.