Ellicott City was founded in 1772 by three Quaker brothers—John, Andrew, and Joseph Ellicott. By the 1860s Ellicott City had become one of the most prominent milling and manufacturing towns in the east. Today the town retains its historical flavor and is a pleasant place to stroll and browse the many stores and antiques shops. The Howard County Office of Tourism offers walking tours of the town. It's easy to spend a day browsing shops and stopping for meals on the town's main drag. There's a large free parking lot that's well marked and within walking distance from all the stores.