She is very involved in the women's ministry and missions teams at her church in suburban Baltimore. Elizabeth has worked at Open Door America since Each client and each interaction has helped Open Door America become the amazing organization it is today.
I have never felt more fulfilled, more at peace, and more energized by a job. Now in year thirteen, our story has greater meaning and urgency than ever before. The main portion of the town faced the Turnpike and became a convenient stopping point for teamster's wagons and stagecoaches after making the long uphill climb out of the Patapsco Valley from Ellicott City on their way to Baltimore. By the s the community had a well developed business district along the Turnpike. At the same time, the high ridge provided cool breezes during the summer which was a large attraction to wealthy Baltimoreans.
Large country estates soon surrounded the business district. Many of these mansions can still be seen today although housing developments are now common on the old estate grounds.
In , the Catonsville Short Line Railroad was completed to carry passengers from the City to their summer homes. Just a few years later, in , the Frederick Road Horse Car Line Number 8 , was electrified and the new trolley transportation system put the Catonsville Short Line out of passenger service. The Railroad stayed operational hauling freight until Hurricane Agnes wiped out parts of its trackbed in In the early s, horses were replaced by the first steam engines.
By the Civil War, Relay had become a key railroad location for east - west train passengers to transfer to north - south trains. Sabotage of the nearby Thomas Viaduct was a very real concern. Relay was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War to help protect the Viaduct which was a vital link between our nation's capital and the rest of the Union.
The Hotel was demolished in the late s. Relay was a popular railroad excursion destination for day trips to the Patapsco Valley State Park in the early s. Heavily laden freight trains still pass through picturesque Relay on a daily basis.
The falls prevented further navigation up the Patapsco River when the Valley was first settled. Soil erosion from cultivation, mining and logging operations upstream buried the falls. The railroad line also ran parallel to the Patapsco from Ellicott's Mills upstream to its headwaters, fostering industrialization and new settlements in an age of expansion to the Ohio River Valley and beyond by rail.
Much of the impact of that expansion is still evident today. Patterson Viaduct The Patterson Viaduct was one of the three original bridges needed to travel from Baltimore to Ellicott City on the first commercial railroad in the United States. The Viaduct was completed in Click link above for further information.
Thomas Viaduct The Thomas Viaduct was the largest bridge in the Nation when it was completed in Today it is still the world's oldest multi-arched stone railroad bridge. Construction on it began on July 4th, and was completed two years later to the day. It has been in continuous operation ever since then. The bridge was built from granite quarried further upstream in the Patapsco Valley. Originally designed to carry relatively lightweight steam engines and a few cars, the bridge now carries the much heavier modern day diesel engines with long lines of heavily loaded freight cars.
The Thomas Viaduct is one of the few structures which survived the devastating flood of , which virtually destroyed all of the mills and dams in the Patapsco Valley, and the flood from Hurricane Agnes, which again ravaged the few remaining towns in the Valley. See the Civil War section for the role that the Thomas Viaduct played in our Nation's struggle during that conflict.
See National Historic Landmark listing. See Recent and historic photographs as well as the history of the Thomas Viaduct railroad bridge and the surrounding area of Relay, Maryland. Dams From the s to there were numerous dams built on the Patapsco River to provide water power for the many mills along the River. The deadly flood of ravaged the valley and many of its dams, destroying houses, bridges, and mills and drowning 36 people trapped in their homes. There are currently only four dams on the Patapsco River.
Fish ladders were built on three of these dams, but sediment and debris has prevented them from functioning as designed; the ladders were intended to restore anadromous fish runs of American shad and river herring but these fish have not yet returned to the Patapsco River for unknown reasons. Union Dam was originally built to lessen the fledgling states; need for importing manufactured goods. The initial dam and its associated mill race was envisioned to power several mills which would allow the states to manufacture their own commodities. The rebuilt dam with the original mill race is still largely in place and its levee provides a scenic hiking-only trail.
The original purpose for the dam was never fully realized although the completed mill race provided power to the Dickey Mill in Oella for some time. The remaining two dams are found along the River at Daniels and Ilchester. National Road The Historic National Road is the name now given to one of America's most historically significant highways, constructed during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and ultimately linking Baltimore, Maryland and Vandalia, Illinois.