Savage is an unincorporated community and census-designated place located in Howard County, Maryland, about 18 miles (29 km) south of Baltimore and 21 miles (34 km) north of Washington, D.C. It is situated close to the city of Laurel and to the planned community of Columbia. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,054. The former mill town is a registered historic place, and has many original buildings preserved within and around the Savage Mill Historic District.
The lands of Savage were first settled around 1650. Colonel Henry Ridgley surveyed the land around Savage Mill and nearby Annapolis Junction in 1685, naming the tract "Ridgely's Forrest". Joseph White was the grandson of Peregrine White, the first child born of the Mayflower expedition. In 1734, he opened a gristmill on land patented as "Whites Fortune" and "Mill Land". The parcels were consolidated to become "Whites Contrivance".
A rich vein of American industrial history lies in Savage. When the textile industry was in its heyday, Savage was an important manufacturing center, its mills harnessing the water power on the falls of the Little and Middle Patuxent rivers.
The town was named for John Savage, a Philadelphia merchant with interest in a mill on the falls of the Little Patuxent. In 1822 he and his associates, the Williams brothers, chartered the Savage Manufacturing Company, purchasing 900 acres (360 ha) of the White property for $6,666.67.