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About Us

Belmont Manor and Historic Park is located in Elkridge (MD) and operated by the Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks. This elegant Howard County estate is a premier venue for weddings, business meetings, conferences, corporate retreats, special events (baby shower, bat mitzvah & Bar mitzvah, quinceañera, tea parties, etc.) and much more! It features nearly 90 acres of rolling hills, the Belmont Manor House, a carriage house, cottage, large barn, formal gardens, a pond and an aqua garden. 


Belmont's grounds are the perfect backdrop, so we welcome you to come create memories with us! Call TODAY to schedule a tour or book a reservation.

Preserving Belmont Manor's History -
A Journey Through Time

Belmont Manor is currently listed on the Maryland Historic Trust (MHT), Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) and is on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as part of the Lawyers Hill Historic District (Elkridge, MD). While currently owned by Howard County and operated by the Department of Recreation & Parks, its former owners include: the Smithsonian Institution, the American Chemical Society, and Howard Community College.


Prior to colonialization, we recognize and pay special tribute to the Native Americans and Indigenous People who came before us.  From the colony's first founding in 1634 until abolishment in 1864, Maryland has had an unfortunate history of slavery. As captured in the Maryland's Guide to the History of Slavery, we acknowledge and "regret the role Maryland played in instituting and maintaining slavery". The timeline below is meant to capture the general history at the Belmont Manor property. Staff has been thoughtful in our research and we welcome your feedback.


If you have documented history related to Belmont Manor, please contact us so we may independently research and evaluate for inclusion.

1738: Belmont was built as a private, manor house for Caleb and Priscilla Dorsey of Elkridge that was then passed on through generations of the Dorsey, Hanson and Bruce families.  

1860: Federal Slave Census shows Charles Hanson had 10 enslaved people on this property.  (Another record reveals 11 people: Mollie Barnes, age 62; Elizabeth Hall, age 45; Louisa Hall, age 25; Alcinda Hall, age 18; Charlotte Hall, age 16; Howard Hall, age 11; Frank Hall, age 7; Harry Hall, age 4; Achsah Hall, age 3; Rebecca Hall, age 2; and Eliza Hall, age 2.)

1926:  Thoroughbred Billy Barton (owned by Howard Bruce, the resident at Belmont in 1926) became the first (and only) horse to win the four-mile Maryland Hunt Cup and Virginia Gold Cup in the same year. (There is a statue of this famous horse outside of the Laurel Park Track’s entrance - unveiled in 1952.)  Billy Barton was buried wearing full tack, in an upright position, alongside another one of Bruce’s horses near the barn on the Belmont property with a marked grave.

1961: Howard Bruce died. The property was then given to his cousin David Bruce, the former Ambassador to Britain. David Bruce then gave Belmont to the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian converted Belmont into a conference center. U.S. Generals, Vice Presidents, astronauts, and many more notables used Belmont to meet as it was a quiet, controlled setting near Washington, D.C.

1983: The 85-acre estate was sold to the American Chemical Society, which continued the tradition of providing hospitality to world leaders.

2004: The Howard Community College assumed ownership. They offered hospitality classes and hosted retreats and events.

2012: Howard County Recreation and Parks purchased the property on June 21 to ensure the stewardship of the site. The department restored the manor that now sits on 68 acres of rolling hills.  The site now includes The Cottage House, The Carriage House, a caretaker’s house, a barn, an aqua garden, gardens, and a cemetery. The Howard County Conservancy uses The Carriage House as one of their locations.

Today: The site is now a special event venue. Please email us to plan your dream event surrounded by calm, natural beauty.

Leave the overwhelming details to us.

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