Historic Glyndon, Inc.
Glyndon, Maryland, located northwest of the City of Baltimore, still maintains much of the charm it had as a Victorian summer village over 100 years ago. It might be said that the arrival of the Western Maryland Railroad in 1860 promoted the early location and growth of the town of Glyndon. The area itself was beautiful with green expanses and tall trees; an elevation above sea level of almost 700 feet provided delightful summers and mild winters.
Around 1871, Dr. Charles A. Leas, the first health officer of Baltimore City and a former American consul, made several purchases of land. When he discovered that farming was not his metier, he decided to found a small town. He employed the Baltimore surveyor Augustus Bouldin to lay out the lots and streets, planting rows of maples along the avenues. Baltimore County businessman Samuel P. Townsend also promoted the growth of the town with his purchase and development of a substantial number of acres. He assumed an active role in the community as a merchant, a railroad agent, and a postmaster.
Some affluent people desiring a summer home in easy reach of Baltimore chose to settle in early Glyndon. Two- and three-storey Victorian homes, with large airy rooms, wide halls from front to rear, and spacious porches, was the type of architecture chosen by the majority of the builders. Additionally, several boarding houses invited city folks to live in the country during the summer months.
A small business district grew up around the railroad station; the townspeople usually came here some time during the day to catch the train to Baltimore, to get their mail, or to lay in supplies at the general store. In addition to the railroad station, there were a post office, a general store, and a town hall. A few other businesses grew up along Railroad and Chatsworth avenues, including a blacksmith shop, a livery, a wheelwright shop, a butcher store, a bakery, and an ice cream parlor.
The Western Maryland Railroad and the streetcar line also brought summer people to another section of Glyndon – Emory Grove. Founded as a Methodist religious campground in 1868, Emory Grove housed people in tents erected on wooden platforms (later converted to wooden cottages) or in the spacious 40-room hotel, or guest house as it was known. The Grove was famous for its numerous Sunday services as well as the guest house’s delicious chicken suppers. Today, Emory Grove still remains a summer residence, with Sunday evening services and Wednesday evening sings.
Across Dover Road (now Butler Road), the first temperance camp south of Mason and Dixon's LIne was established in 1887. Its visitors also stayed in tents and later in cottages. Distinguished speakers from all over the East Coast participated in the meetings. In 1906 the residents were chartered as the Glyndon Park Chautauqua Association. Today there are 13 original cottages and one new cottage in the Park, all winterized for year-round living.
There are several other noteworthy institutions in Glyndon. The Glyndon United Methodist Church on Butler Road was built in 1879. The original brown-shingled chapel was destroyed by fire in 1929. The present stone structure was dedicated in 1931. Prior to 1870, there was no Catholic church between Westminster and Baltimore. In 1873 the cornerstone was laid for Sacred Heart Church, a handsome Gothic structure built with stone from the Worthington quarry at the foot of “Dark Hollow Hill.”
The two-room Glyndon School on Butler Road, built in 1887, was abandoned in 1931 after consolidation with the newly constructed school in Reisterstown. In 1932 it became the home of the Woman’s Club of Glyndon. The Club was originally established in 1898 by some ladies who were “summering” in Glyndon and who gathered on a regular basis on a neighbor’s porch to read together. They called themselves the Glyndon Porch Class. Today the Woman’s Club of Glyndon promotes literary and social activities as well as interest in local civic problems and in national and world affairs.
The Glyndon Volunteer Fire Department has been active since 1904. Over the years its members have worked hard to provide the most modern and effective fire protection possible for the residents of the Glyndon community and of the surrounding area. The Ladies Auxiliary, organized in 1953, helps with this mission by raising funds for the work of the company.
The Glyndon Community Association is an organization of local citizens who deal with concerns that affect the neighborhood and its residents. Another organization, Historic Glyndon, Inc., was founded in 1972 after the town’s centennial. This organization is responsible for having had Glyndon declared a historic district. The town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1973) and on the Maryland Register of the Maryland Historic Trust (1973), and in 1981, Glyndon became the first district in the county to be included on the Baltimore County Landmarks list.
Glyndon has been a closely-knit community throughout the years. Some families can boast that four and five generations have resided in Glyndon. Yet newcomers are welcomed and readily accepted into the community. It is hoped that the traditions of this friendly, attractive little town are continued by future generations.