“From the time we were children, both Jeffrey and I dreamed of one day living in a historic home,” says his better half Shelley, recalling she and her husband’s early longing.
“We wandered away from our old town Pennsylvania roots to plant new ones in on of the DC suburbs.” add Jeff, “We realized pretty quickly we were not going to be able to afford the kind of home we really wanted so we decided to expand our search to include Howard County.”
Not long after, the couple pulled into the drive of a some-what run-down bed & breakfast known as the ‘White Duck’ along a scenic roadway just outside of a busy little Main Street in a Historic town called Ellicott City.
“The house had definitely seen better days,” adds Jeffrey, “but we immediately saw it had incredible ‘bones’ and the nearly 2-acre property couldn’t have been more picturesque.”
“Don’t let him fool you,” laughs Shelley, “he was secretly thrilled about the condition, especially given he was redesigning his dream kitchen as soon as he set eyes on the place.” “Okay, well, I may have hidden my excitement from the realtor at the time,” says Jeffrey, feigning a bashful grin.
“That was the first of dozens of renovations over the years. We re-did all the baths and expanded the entry level; adding a library/wet bar and the huge light-filled addition where we have spent nearly all our time since.”
“We tried to balance our interests with a reference to the home’s history, too,” adds Shelley of the addition work, “We wanted the fireplace to be rustic but elegant so we sourced a massive 1876 mantle that had been salvaged from a home in Philadelphia to complete a granite-faced masonry fireplace which Jeffrey may or may not have pulled from the Patapsco River,” she adds, eyeing him from across the room.
And they have loved showing off all of the work, hosting many guests and lots of parties and dinners for family and friends and even sharing the home with the public; opening it for two Howard County Historical Society Holiday Home Tours as well as The Maryland Home & Garden Pilgrimage in 2005.
“Living our childhood dream here has been one of the greatest joys of our lives,” says Jeffrey, “and being a part of this historic town has really made it complete.”
Your best life begins with a home and in a place that inspires.
LIVE Historic Ellicott City!
3920 College Avenue, Ellicott City MD 21043
Offered at $950,000
Additional adjacent lot available for combination purchase at $1.2M
Kimberly Kepnes of Monument Sotheby’s International Realty