About Us

Come create memories! Have your perfect event at Belmont Manor and Historic Park. The site hosts an array of events (wedding, business retreat, baby shower, bat mitzvah & Bar mitzvah, quinceañera, tea, and meeting).

The county welcomes all into their facilities and wants to honor and remember those that had unjust hardships.  We are currently doing historic research about this location and will provide a more well-rounded history in the future.

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.