Natty Boh beer clock peeking from behind other items at an antique shop in Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019. Natty Boh is the nickname for National Bohemian Beer, which was originally brewed in Baltimore. The beer's mascot, called Natty Boh, is a one-eyed guy with a handlebar mustache and he can be seen in bars and restaurants all over Baltimore.
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History Gives a Place Distinction

Clock peeking from behind other items at an antique shop in Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019. I had the impression upon seeing this that it could be a Natty Boh clock. Natty Boh is the nickname for National Bohemian Beer, which was originally brewed in Baltimore. The beer's mascot, called Natty Boh, is a one-eyed guy with a handlebar mustache and he can be seen in bars and restaurants all over Baltimore. I'm not sure I'm correct about whether this is a Natty Boh clock because the guy doesn't look quite the same.
Clock peeking from behind other items at an antique shop in Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019. I had the impression upon seeing this that it could be a Natty Boh clock. Natty Boh is the nickname for National Bohemian Beer, which was originally brewed in Baltimore. The beer’s mascot, called Natty Boh, is a one-eyed guy with a handlebar mustache and he can be seen in bars and restaurants all over Baltimore. I’m not sure I’m correct about whether this is a Natty Boh clock because the guy doesn’t look quite the same.

While hubby and I were visiting Maryland, I made an observation about the importance of history to place.

As my brother navigated through suburbs along highways to various destinations, I noticed that the commercial districts of those suburbs could have been in Minnesota. Because they were filled with chain stores found nationwide constructed using nondescript building styles, there was no distinction between Maryland suburbs and Minnesota suburbs. Well, except for the vines running up and down the trees in the wooded sections between suburbs in Maryland. My brother said most of those vines were likely poison ivy. Sheesh. And I thought we had to worry about poison ivy here!

Several of our destinations stood out precisely because of the historic nature of their buildings and landscapes. Because their history has been preserved in some fashion, each place is distinct, which makes it easier to remember them.

We visited Ellicott City, Washington DC, Fell’s Point in Baltimore, and a wonderful residential area filled with impressive mid-century modern homes in a Baltimore suburb. (Suburbs can be distinctive, too!)

This distinction brought about by historic structures is why preservationists work so hard to keep structures standing and in use. Remember that the next time your community is tempted to knock down a historic structure. As these structures are demolished and replaced with nondescript structures or, heaven forbid, parking lots, your community loses part of what makes it special, part of what draws visitors to it.

With today’s lecture out of the way (yes, I know I’m probably preaching to the choir), here are some photos of the distinctive historic places we visited during our trip. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the mid-century modern suburb. Hard to take decent shots from a car and I just wanted to look and enjoy.)

Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.
Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.

 

Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.
Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.

 

A river runs through it. The river and hilly landscape of Ellicott City are an important part of what makes the place distinct. Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.
A river runs through it. The river and hilly landscape of Ellicott City are an important part of what makes the place distinct. Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.

 

When you've got hills, you've got stairs. Here are two sets of stairs on adjoining properties, Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.
When you’ve got hills, you’ve got stairs. Here are two sets of stairs on adjoining properties, Ellicott City, Maryland, 2019.

 

Commerce Department building, Washington DC, 2019.
Commerce Department building, Washington DC, 2019.

 

The National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington DC, 2019. This building is striking and beautiful, designed with the care required to give it the distinction it needs to remain historic long into the future.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington DC, 2019. This building is striking and beautiful, designed with the care required to give it the distinction it needs to remain historic long into the future.

 

Department of Agriculture, Washington DC, 2019. I love that the Dept of Ag is in a building that is just as monumental as the Dept of Commerce and Supreme Court.
Department of Agriculture, Washington DC, 2019. I love that the Dept of Ag is in a building that is just as monumental as the Dept of Commerce and Supreme Court.

 

The Supreme Court, Washington DC, 2019. This building has a message we desperately need to heed in today's world: "Justice the Guardian of Liberty."
The Supreme Court, Washington DC, 2019. This building has a message we desperately need to heed in today’s world: “Justice the Guardian of Liberty.”

 

Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland, 2019.
Fell’s Point, Baltimore, Maryland, 2019.

 

Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland, 2019.
Fell’s Point, Baltimore, Maryland, 2019.

 

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