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Spend a Day at the Shops at Savage Mill

As is the case with most places in our historic county, Savage Mill is a contemporary destination with a storied past. (For recommendations on what to see and do in Howard County, download our free area vacation guide!) Now known as a place to shop and dine, Savage Mill was once just that: a mill.

Read on to find out more about this historic site and why you should spend a day there next time you’re in town…

Read on to find out more about this historic site and why you should spend a day there next time you’re in town…

Read on to find out more about this historic site and why you should spend a day there next time you’re in town…

History of Savage Mill

Now, when you stroll around Savage Mill, you’ll see a bookstore, antiques shops, jewelry stores, gift shops, art galleries, and more. But when Savage Mill’s doors first opened in 1820, you would’ve seen a 30-foot water wheel and cloth weaving machines. In fact, this mill functioned as a working textile factory from 1822 to 1947.

The primary product woven in the 1800’s was canvas—which is a fun fact, considering Savage Mill now hosts several art galleries.

The canvas milled there was used to make sails for clipper ships that sailed in and out of Baltimore Harbor; tents, cannon covers and other supplies for Civil War armies; painted backdrops for Hollywood’s first silent movies from 1890 to 1900; and canvas cots, truck covers and transport bags used by U.S. soldiers in Europe during both World Wars I and II.

From 1947 to 1950, the entire Mill was turned into a Christmas Display Village. Christmas tree ornaments were manufactured and a miniature B&O Railroad train transported visitors to and from the Route 1 parking area. There was also a one ring circus in the huge New Weave Room.

Placed on the national historic register in 1974, Savage Mill is now a wonderful destination for shopping and dining.

Special Events at Savage Mill

Small Business Saturday

Shop Small at Savage Mill on November 26th! There will be live entertainment, sales, and a visit from Santa from 5-7pm.

Bridge Lighting & Santa Visit

Though Savage Mill isn’t a Christmas Display Village anymore, you’ll still find plenty of holiday cheer at  the Bollman Bridge from 6 – 7 PM on Saturday, December 3rd, for the annual lighting. And be sure to bring your cameras, Santa arrives at 5:30!!

Savage Mills Ghost Tours

Discover Historic Savage Mill’s paranormal activity that continues to haunt the resident artists in the present day. Tours begin promptly at 7 pm & 8:30 pm (tours are one hour long). Your costumed guide will meet you 15 minutes before the tour begins at the New Weave Eatery Area. Tickets are $12.

Savage Mill Dining

All that shopping and touring is sure to work up your appetite. Never fear! There are loads of excellent places to dine.

Rams Head Rathskeller

The Rams Head Tavern has something for everyone. With pool and darts in the Rathskeller and a large variety of food and drinks, the Rams Head can please the whole gang.

Rams Head Tavern

Since 1989, the Rams Head has served the freshest food possible, preparing each menu item from scratch daily. This excellent restaurant is open 7 days a week, serving appetizers, lunch, dinner and a full bar as well as Sunday brunch.

Sweet Cascades Chocolatier

Sweet Cascades was created by Sue Whary in 2004 as a chocolate fountain catering company. Now, you’ll find a variety of delectable confections! Sue is self-taught, always reading and looking for new trends and flavors. Rick, Sue’s husband, creates weird and wacky chocolates.


Stay with us at the historic Wayside Inn in Ellicott City, and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Howard County. You can find more of our recommendations in our free area vacation guide. We hope to see you soon!