Capitalizing on History is Important Cornerstone for Main Street Program

On this Friday in early March the thermometer climbed to nearly 60 degrees in Elkton, solidly suggesting that a new season was only weeks away.  Since such a delightful day was slowly closing, we decided to stroll around town with our camera in hand because centuries old buildings basking in the warm glow of a sitting sun often provide excellent photographic opportunities.

While we strolled, enjoying some distinctive architecture in a town that has seen the full sweep of history, we thought about how one of Elkton’s assets for revitalizing its central business district is its history.  In fact, the program the Elkton Alliance is affiliated with, the National Main Street Program notes that “the underlying premise of the Main Street approach is to encourage economic development within the context of historic preservation.”  We fully agree with the Main Street philosophy and in old business districts that have been revitalized, we find that they’ve applied that approach with success.  Commissioner Jablonski, the director of the Elkton Main Street Program, is returning from the national conference in Chicago so perhaps there are some new ideas related to capitalizing on our past coming out of the workshop.

While we were photographing the 1860s Odd Fellows Hall and the 1890s fire hall a lively crowd in the North Street Hotel called out to us.  It didn’t take much encouragement from the regulars to get us to drift inside for a few minutes of pleasant conversation in this third-generation Elkton business.  By-the-time the evening darkness was causing a chill to settle over Cecil County we walked back out onto the street.   The day was over in the county seat.  Almost everything was locked up on this Friday evening and once we passed the Howard Hotel we walked the quiet street back to our automobile.


The 1890s Council Hall and Fire House



The 1860s Odd Fellows and Opera Hall



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