Elk Landing

A modest but significant Historic Site, Elk Landing can be found in the upper-northeast region of the state of Maryland. This is the location where a new nation fought for its freedom, and where citizen warriors fought against invaders who were trying to torch the nearby town. It was the home of a notable merchant family whose companies contributed to the growth of the local economy. Additionally, it served as an important transportation hub for people going between major towns in the middle Atlantic region. A boatyard that operated in the 19th century along the banks of the adjacent Little Elk Creek was responsible for the construction of big vessels that were used along the Atlantic seaboard.

The land on which the home is currently situated was once a part of an early community that was comprised of Swedish and Finnish immigrants. John Hansson Steelman, a Swedish-American trader who lived from 1655 to 1749 and held the site beginning in 1693, used Elk Landing as his house, trading post, and base of operations during his time there.

Small articles of household equipment were traded for animal pelts by the Indians that Steelman dealt with in South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland during his trading endeavors. Before approximately 1739, when the Shawnee moved westward into the Ohio and Allegheny River Valleys, Steelman’s enterprise was a trade post serving the local community. 

In addition to that, it featured a home as well as a bar. The ruins of the first long house built by John Hanson Steelman have been found during archaeological digs. The location is to the north of the stone house and is immediately adjacent to it.

In October 1999, the Town of Elkton, MD purchased Elk Landing from the heirs of the Hollingsworth family, who had owned the site continuously since 1735. This acquisition came about as a result of the efforts of a group of individuals who were interested in history and were determined. Many of the buildings on the property had become derelict as a direct result of the fact that it had been uninhabited for a considerable amount of time. 

In January 2000, a charitable organization that would later be known as The Historic Elk Landing Foundation, Inc. was established. In order to run the location as an informative living history museum, the Foundation has entered into a lease agreement with the Town that is good for 99 years and is renewable.

The Foundation was able to restore the majority of the Hollingsworth House and stabilize the Stone House throughout the course of the subsequent decades by acquiring funding from a variety of governmental and private sources, as well as receiving generous donations from both people and organizations. Even though there is a lot of work left to do, those people who have contributed their time, energy, and resources to this very important undertaking will find that their efforts have been rewarded.

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