Were you ever curious about the history behind the great stone house that resides on the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum property? Or perhaps you wandered through the Banneker orchard asking yourself how many different variety of fruit trees are grown. Now all of your questions can be answered because the Benjamin Banneker Foundation in partnership with the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum and Patapsco Heritage Greenway have installed two new signs on the Park and Museum property delineating the historical, cultural and natural significance of these two features.
The house, constructed in the 1850s, has withstood the test of time and serves as a beacon of historical significance and identity to the residents of Oella and Ellicott City. As different families assumed ownership over the last 170 years, the home steadily grew from its humble beginnings as a windowless one-room structure to the four story mansion we see today. Today, the house (now called the Bannaky House) serves as a meeting place for community organizations and park volunteers.
The Banneker orchard is a collection of heirloom trees are a conservation site and educational tool used to support onsite beehives, introduce visitors to unknown fruit varieties including Paw Paw, the largest edible fruit native to the eastern United States and demonstrate agrarian living in the Patapsco Valley during the eighteenth century. Located directly off the Park’s hiking trails, the orchard is a relaxing, open space often used by community members seeking to have a family picnics or walk their dog.
Next time you visit the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, read the two interpretive signs in front of the Bannaky House and orchard to learn more about their historical and natural features.