Mt Ida

Not far from the ruins of The Patapsco Female Institute sits another historic home. It has been remodeled from its original design, but still has a huge pillar front with an oddly placed “widows walk” directly on the roof. The name “Mt. Ida” comes from one of the home’s previous owners who lived there throughout their entire life, and some believe she still does.

A Troubled Beginning
Charles Timanus, who is also the builder for The Patapsco Female Institute, built the home in 1828 for William Ellicott. William was the grandson of Andrew Ellicott, who founded Ellicott Mills. Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to really enjoy the home, in 1838. Shortly after his death the home was purchased by Judge John Snowden Tyson.

The Tyson Family
The Tyson family, including John, his wife Rachel, their son and three daughters, moved into the home in the 1850’s. John was a much respected member of the community and the family lived happily until an unfortunate boating accident claimed the life of their only son. Therefore, the three daughters inherited the house after the passing of their parents.

Ida Tyson
After 2 of the 3 Tyson sisters passed away, Ida took full responsibility of caring for the home. She was a tough old lady who managed her home, despite the fact she was going deaf and needed a cane to help her walk. Ida was known for carrying around a big set of keys throughout the house that could be heard echoing throughout its walls. It’s rumored that Ida lived well into her nineties.

Another Doomed Home?
After Ida’s passing, the home was bought by the Clark family, who spent a lifetime there until the late 1950’s. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that rumors of the house being demolished and replaced were started. Luckily the Miller Land Company purchased the home and turned it into an office building, instead of destroying it. The home is now used as a tourist center for The Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute.

Watching Over Mt. Ida
No one knows exactly when the ghost stories about this house began, but people have been reporting incidents for decades. People claim of hearing keys jingling throughout the home. It is believed that Miss Ida still watches over her home, checking in on every room.

Resources
Holland,C. (2003). Ellicott City, Maryland- Mill Town USA.Ellicott City, MD: Historic Ellicott City Inc.

Kusterer,J. (2006). Then & Now: Ellicott City. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing

Taylor, T. (2001). The Haunting of America: Ghosts & Legends of America’s Haunted Past. Illinois: White Chapel Productions Press

Wise, M. (2006). Images of America: Ellicott City.Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing