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Once Upon A Haus: The Brumbaugh House, Elkridge, MD

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

The Brumbaugh House, ca. 1870, is in historic Elkridge, MD - Howard County's first settlement. Thanks to the efforts of the Elkridge Heritage Society, this Victorian with its characteristic turret and front porch has been well preserved. 

It was the home and workplace of Dr. Benjamin Bruce Brumbaugh who took up residence in 1919 and operated a medical practice on the main floor for six decades. Dr. B., as he was known, was quite the local legend. I have a neighbor who remembers him making house calls in the Elkridge community, even after he retired. Dr. B. only charged his patients $2 per visit which he didn't increase until 1969 and only by $1. 

"I'd rather treat them for free of charge than have them think I'm overcharging. I work just to keep alive, not for what I can get out of it."

What a great man! 

In 1986, a year after Dr. Brumbaugh's death, the Victorian was bought by the Elkridge Heritage Society and the local Rotary Club which worked to preserve the doctor's office, waiting room, and Dr. B.'s legacy. The upstairs was converted into an apartment to help fund the preservation efforts.

*Alan Gibson and Eli Pousson, “The Brumbaugh House,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, https://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/669 

Elkridge Heritage: The Brumbaugh House

Sadly, the Main Street it sits on, is not much of a Main Street, unlike neighboring Ellicott City with its thriving boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Elkridge's Main Street was cut in half by railroad tracks that once had a pedestrian tunnel to connect the two parts but it's long been blocked off, allowing no foot traffic to "the other side". There sits Elkridge's Main Street saving grace, The Rathskeller, a German restaurant. The only one of its kind in Howard County that is as authentic as it gets. You can take my word for it.. I am German.

The Brumbaugh House and The Rathskeller prove how preservation efforts can pay off. Let's hope Howard County will direct more resources into this part of the county.. it is its oldest settlement after all. 

♥ It's always been the vintage, the old house charm, and the original details that I adore the most, that draw me in, make my [REALTOR®] heart flutter, and prompt me to pause, to listen, and then to retell their stories. I specialize in finding and marketing charming homes that are unique and rich in character, history, or both. I believe in preservation, second chances, saving the pink bathrooms, and front porch living. In this series, I highlight charming homes that I am listing to find just the right buyer for or that I am admiring with my special clients; or that have simply caught my eye while exploring the [historic] communities of Maryland and [far] beyond. Adore charming homes as much as I do? Then I'd love it if you'd follow me on Instagram, @onceuponahaus is where I grow my curated collection. ♥

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

Fluent in Real Estate and German.
Old house lover.
Accredited Buyer's Agent.
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Dennis Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 21 Days or We Sell It For Free

Thanks for sharing this touching story of a man so dedicated to the people he served. The history of a home and an area is something I have always found interesting about real estate. Have a fantastic week.

May 07, 2024 11:42 AM
Andrea Bedard

Old houses have so many stories to tell. I like to uncover a bit of its history and retell a few stories. Thanks, Dennis, and you, too!

May 07, 2024 03:02 PM
Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Andrea, this looks like a beautiful home with an inspiring story, very nice.  

May 07, 2024 11:45 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

What a beautiful house, and it belonged to such a wonderful man. I love his work ethic. Hopefully your wish will come true and some funds will be poured into this town to give it a lift. I will have to see how far away you are and persuade my wife to make a visit to the Rathskeller. It sounds wonderful.

May 07, 2024 12:36 PM
Andrea Bedard

You both would enjoy The Rathskeller, Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, I am sure of it. Do let me know if you make it down here! I will meet you there! 

May 07, 2024 03:04 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

A very interesting story on the Brumbaugh House and the efforts to preserve it. It's a shame the railroad tracks cut it off from it's neighbors.

May 07, 2024 12:53 PM
Andrea Bedard

It truly is a shame, Ed Silva, 203-206-0754. You have to drive to go from The Brumbaugh House to The Rathskeller, but it could be a 5-minute walk if the tunnel were to reopen.  

May 07, 2024 03:05 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Andrea,

Thank you for introducing us to the Brumbaugh House, its history and how the efforts of the Elkridge Heritage Society, has been instrumental in its preservation. 

May 07, 2024 02:20 PM
Andrea Bedard

You are welcome, Dorie. Thanks for stopping by! 

May 07, 2024 03:05 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Andrea - I enjoyed learning about Dr B, his home/medical practice and the Elkridge neighborhood where it happened.  You wove together a story that continues to speak volumes about your Howard County Maryland real estate business.  

May 08, 2024 04:08 AM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Michael Jacobs! I've called Howard County home since 2005. It's continuously ranked as one of the top 10 counties to live in in the country! Elkridge, MD has seen some positive developments over the last decade, a new library and senior center, the addition of Ducketts Lane Elementary School, and a new fire department. What's missing is a charming Main Street! 

May 08, 2024 09:04 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

The history behind older homes is always intriguing and I like the way you present it for homes in your area!

May 08, 2024 05:08 AM
Andrea Bedard

I always wonder what stories old houses hold, Brian England. There's no doubt in my mind that The Brumbaugh House has lots of happy stories to tell. Dr. B. was a local legend, so much so that not only his home and medical office were preserved, but there's a street named after him. 

May 08, 2024 09:06 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Andrea... loved this story. And I'm all about historical home preservation, where ever it might be.

May 08, 2024 05:17 AM
Andrea Bedard

You and me both, Nina! Thank you!

May 08, 2024 09:06 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What an interesting story of the Brumbaugh house. I also enjoyed your review of The Rathskeller. If I were in the area, I'd want to check it out. I pulled up the menu and laughed at the "not your Oma's sauerbraten!"

May 08, 2024 05:42 AM
Andrea Bedard

The Rathskeller had a tough start, opening just before the pandemic. But I am happy to report that they are thriving. Reservations on weeknights and weekends are a must! 

May 08, 2024 09:08 AM