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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: James W. Smith, 05/1968
Daniels Mill
Inventory No.: HO-27
Other Name(s): Elysville, Gary, Alberton Mill
Date Listed: 4/11/1973
Location: Daniels Road, Ellicott City, Howard County
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: 1846-1960s
Description: The C.R. Daniels Mill is located in a sheltered, wooded valley of the upper Patapsco River. The complex consists of seven early industrial structures, several concrete block and brick structures of 20th century date, and a church on the far side of the hill. An extensive complex of mill-hand houses, formerly numbering around 90 units, and a Catholic church were demolished in 1968. Many of the former houses were located on the north side of the river in Baltimore County, but the only remaining structures are located in Howard County. At least three of the buildings have religious overtones, echoing the prevalent 19th century Christian ethic of the virtuosity of work. The complex appears to have developed on three sides of a courtyard with the south side open and facing the railroad. Most of the courtyard has been engulfed by a low concrete block building. The main mill structure, on the west side of the courtyard, is a three-story granite building with the facade resembling a simple church with Gothic and Romanesque elements. In place of a spire atop the central tower, there is an octagonal domed Federal bell cote on a platform, resembling an English garden pavilion. Flanking the central tower entrance are one-story crenelated additions, and above the central entrance is a two-story arched window and a rose window. The gable roof of the body of the mill is broken on both sides of the ridge by a range of clerestory windows. South of the mill buildings on the north slope of a hill stands Gary Memorial Church, a granite church built in the High Victorian Gothic style with an off-center tower entrance on the west gable. South of the church is a small cemetery. Significance: The Daniels Mill is an important 19th century textile mill that continued to produce cotton a century after its construction. The mill is located on the Patapsco River which, with the Jones Falls, comprised the chief location of mill activity in the Baltimore area. In the 19th century an industrial village existed on the site, including stores, a railroad station, a school, and several mill workers' houses. The large majority of these supportive structures have been demolished in the 1960s leaving only the mill to interpret the importance of the site in the industrial history of Maryland. In 1829 Thomas Ely and four other men incorporated the Elysville Manufacturing Company empowered to manufacture cotton textiles. Under Ely's direction the company acquired almost 200 acres along the Patapsco at a crossing of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks. Between August 1845 and the spring of 1846, the company erected the mill. The mill was acquired by the Alberton Manufacturing Company in 1853, and the mill village took its name from the company and was called Alberton at least through the 1870s. The mill was then acquired by James S. Gary in the 1860s, who created still another firm which operated the mill until the 1940s when the C.R. Daniels Company took control.
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