About Highland, MD

Highland is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Howard CountyMaryland, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,034. It uses the 20777 zip code. The Clarksville community is located in southern Howard County at the junction of Highland Road, Maryland Route 216 and Maryland Route 108. The area is still heavily influenced by its agrarian history, with farms and horse fields being common sights. The crossroads itself has a small-town feel, with a few shops that share in the rich history. Clarksville is 2 miles (3 km) to the north on MD 108, Laurel is 9 miles (14 km) to the southeast on MD 216, and Olney is 7 miles (11 km) to the west on MD 108. The center of Columbia is 8 miles (13 km) to the northeast.

History of Highland, MD

The majority of the downtown Highland district is situated within the 418-acre (169 ha) land grant named “Hickory Ridge”. The Rouse Company borrowed the land grant name for one of its nearby villages of Columbia, built in 1974. The historic “White Hall” or “Hickory Ridge” estate (1749) was owned by the Ridgely, Hopkins and Disney families. One of the earliest businesses at the crossroads was Well’s tavern, founded by Richard Wells in 1759. This was replaced with a wheelwright’s shop by Joshua B. Disney in 1842. The same year, William Wall opened a general store and post office, giving the crossroads the short-lived name of “Walls Crossroads” before another name change of the post office on December 2, 1878, to “Highland” to reflect the town’s elevation in Howard County. The County Commissioners added Hall Shop Road on the southern side of the community in 1877. The town did not receive direct rail service, but was only nine miles away from the B&O railroad in Laurel, Maryland using the rolling road now known as Route 216.

The literary club in Highland was formed in the late 19th century, and J.B. Warfield referred to it as the “literary center of the county” in 1904. The club provided a place for people to discuss their shared love of literature, and it helped to foster a love of learning in the community.

Highland served as an important hub in U.S. history, hosting meetings that influenced events like the Boston Tea Party. Well’s Tavern (now the Kitty Bed and Breakfast) was the primary meeting place for a group of Northern sympathizers during the Civil War.