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Oella in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Up This Winding Road Lies the Village of Oella

... in the Patapsco Heritage Area

 
 
Up This Winding Road Lies the Village of Oella Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 19, 2020
1. Up This Winding Road Lies the Village of Oella Marker
Inscription.  A world apart, Oella is a time capsule of vanishing Americana. Here rose the first manufacturing company ever chartered by the State of Maryland. The year was 1808. For a brief period the Union Manufacturing Company was the largest cotton mill in America, capitalizing on the immense power of the Patapsco River with the longest millrace serving a single mill. Workers lived, worked, played, worshipped, shopped and socialized with one another, within the confines of the village entirely owned by the mill company.

In 1887, the company was sold at auction to William J. Dickey. Production for the Great War—WWI—was in full swing when a devastating fire destroyed the mill complex. The Dickeys promptly rebuilt an enlarged mill of brick that went on to become America's foremost producer of fancy menswear woollens. A decline in the demand of such fabric forced W.J. Dickey and Sons to close the mill in 1972, just before tropical storm Agnes wreaked its havoc upon the area. The mill then passed through a succession of owners, while the great grandson of W.J. Dickey, Charles L. Wagandt II, bought the surrounding
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village. In the 1980s, public water and sewer service came to Oella and restoration of the historic houses could commence. Today Oella, the master-planned village envisioned by Wagandt, is a mixture of revitalized historic houses and new homes designed to blend with the historic structures.

[Caption:]
The mill village's 100-plus historic homes, tucked into steep slopes offer a visual timeline of architecture from log cabins and stone homes of the early 1800s, to brick semi-detached and row houses that appeared up to about 1850. Frame houses with bracketed cornices appeared later in the 19th century. Around World War I, cottage style kit homes manufactured by the Aladdin Company added to the diversity, which continues today as new homes are added to this charming village.
 
Erected by Howard County Historical Commission; Oella Historical Society; Patapsco Valley Heritage Greenway; Maryland Heritage Area Authority; Baltimore County, Maryland.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, World IWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1808.
 
Location. 39° 16.074′ N, 76° 47.623′ W. Marker is in Oella, Maryland,
Up This Winding Road Lies the Village of Oella Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 19, 2020
2. Up This Winding Road Lies the Village of Oella Marker
in Baltimore County. Marker is on Oella Avenue just north of Frederick Road (Maryland Route 144), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6 Oella Avenue, Ellicott City MD 21043, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oella (a few steps from this marker); Ellicott’s Mills (a few steps from this marker); "Just One Nickel and I Could Ride" (within shouting distance of this marker); The George Ellicott House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Baltimore and Frederick Turnpike Milestone (about 300 feet away); Roads versus Rails (about 400 feet away); The Patapsco Hotel (about 400 feet away); Turntable & Track (about 400 feet away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 229 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 19, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 21, 2024