This excerpt is taken from The Furnace Inn's website:
The Elkridge Furnace Inn holds a unique niche in Maryland history. Nestled on the Patapsco River, the Inn was first established as a tavern in 1744. An iron smelting furnace was added around 1750.
Image from http://www.elkridgefurnaceinn.com/
The complex itself comprises approximately 16 acres in the eastern corner of Howard County. It is graced by beautiful Linden, Holly, and Magnolia trees. The dramatic height of the main structure offers vistas of the Patapsco River from the second and third floors. A feeling of peacefulness exudes from the spacious patio and tent as well as the river overlook. The entrance to the main house features fine transitional Federal/Greek Revival detailing and consists of double leaf doors with five panes each flanked by narrow sidelights within a broad architrave.
In 1810, the Inn was purchased by James and Andrew Ellicott. They modernized the iron smelting furnace and constructed an elegant home for their family, attached to the existing tavern. The Inn complex as it stands today is comprised of the owner’s house, company store, and tavern.
The internal architecture also provides a glimpse of Maryland history. The woodwork, mantelpieces, and stairway showcase the craftsmanship of the 18th and 19th centuries. The stairway is graced with tiger maple spindles and walnut cap rails. The floors are the originals and are constructed with longleaf pine, a very slow growing pine which gives the character of hardwood. Dogwood motifs in the moldings can be viewed throughout the house and reflect a popular post colonial style seen also in the U.S. Capital. The interior rooms have been lovingly restored from colonial days, each by an individual designer, thereby giving The Elkridge Furnace Inn both a uniqueness and richness to the main structure.
The pictures on the website and this brief history don't do the place justice. As we walked the old brick walkway up to the Inn when first visiting, it was as if we were transported back in time. We met the Operation's Director for the place, the Chef, and some of the staff. Which is the other great part - the staff is family and couldn't be more helpful and not acting like they're trying to sell you something. We felt so relaxed as he took us around the place showing us the outdoor tent area where the reception will take place, the ceremony site that overlooks the river, the dining rooms where the cocktail hour will take place, and the many different rooms where the wedding party will get ready.
Not only did we learn about which places would act as what for the wedding but also what they used to be. The Bridal suite is where the children's' room used to be (the house served as the home for the Furnace Owners), the kitchen has a staircase that leads up to the servants quarters when the Groom's suite is, and so on. It was an amazing experience to learn all this history and know that my wedding would now be part of the history of this place. This place truly felt like it was made for us; Grant even got to hear little tidbits about the old wiring and engineering of the place which really peeked his interest.
All in all we both fell so in love with this place that all the other places we went to didn't even compare. At the other more "standard" places and even some of the historical ones we felt like we were picking Wedding A, B, or C. This places makes us feel that it is really our wedding and we are not simply another number to them. (Oh and did I mention it's haunted?)
If you want to learn more about The Furnace Inn take a look at their website and facebook page: