The Bee Hive is an 18th century industrial complex located close by the Little Elk Creek in northeastern Cecil County Maryland. The Little Elk Creek was not as small then as it is today. In the six and one half miles between the Pennsylvania state line and the meeting of the Elk River in Elkton there was a fall of one hundred sixty feet. Many mills were located near the banks of the creek to utilize the power of the water.
During colonial times the Bee Hive furnished nearby mills with a store and tavern, workers, and a commercial cooper shop, among other things. It was also on the main route from Philadelphia to Baltimore and would have served as a meeting point and resting place for travelers.
The surrounding farmland was vital during the American Revolution. The amount of grain produced and milled here was impressive. Combined with the proximity to Philadelphia, Brandywine, and Baltimore, the area became a significant source of supply for the Continental Army.
The property was purchased by Elk Creeks Preservation Society in 2016. Our intent is to preserve the buildings and continue to learn and share the history of the area. Over several centuries the Bee Hive has been a place for the community to gather. It is a place embedded in the memory of many, whether their roots began here, they were transplanted like the early Scots-Irish settlers, or they passed through as they journeyed elsewhere. We hope the Bee Hive will continue to provide foundation and friendship for all.