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Ribbon Cutting & Picnic Celebration for Mary Jerdone Coleman’s Garden at PFI

June 4 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


BRING YOUR PICNIC and A BLANKET and step back in time with Ms. Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps to enjoy a day ON THE HILLSIDE!

The new interpretive feature “Mary Jerdone Coleman’s Garden at Patapsco Female Institute & Historical Park” opens with a ribbon cutting and picnic celebration hosted by Howard County Recreation & Parks, EC250 Inc. and the Howard County Garden Club. Based on flower pressings from former student Mary Jerdone Coleman’s 1844 journal, the new garden feature highlights the teachings of the institute’s former principal and renown botanist, Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps. Perched on the hillside at Ellicott City’s highest point, the Patapsco Female Institute offered a revolutionary curriculum to young women from 1837-1891. The school attracted students from across the U.S. and earned a national reputation for its inclusion of botany, chemistry, and mathematics in a time where it was believed that women could not learn such subjects.

The new interpretive garden project was a joint effort between Howard County Recreation & Parks’ Heritage Division and the Howard County Garden Club in honor of Ellicott City’s Sestercentennial celebration .

Activities will include…

  • ribbon cutting with Howard County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball
  • special premiere performance of the song “Almira” from the upcoming musical “ON NATIONAL ROAD”
  • readings from HoCoPoLitSo’s “See through Poetry” curated collection honoring Ellicott City
  • tours of PFI grounds
  • historic reenactors
  • musical entertainment by Bach to Rock
  • Howard EcoWorks native plant sale
  • complimentary cookies & non-alcoholic “SoBar” beverages
  • informational displays and EC250 commemorative items

READ Washington Post Magazine article about the garden project 

Parking for the event will be at the former Circuit Courthouse lot off Sylvan Lane. Shuttles to the PFI grounds will start at 9 am. Steps are required to access the grounds from the shuttle drop off spot. Limited parking and drop-offs are available for mobility challenged individuals.

Pedestrian access is also available from the parking lot.

Photos of flower pressings from Mary Jerdone Coleman’s album CREDIT: VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF HISTORY & CULTURE
Historic photos of PFI : Howard County Historical Society 


June 4
10:00 am - 1:00 pm


Howard County Recreation & Parks


Patapsco Female Institute
3655 Church Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043 United States
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