It started back in 1898, when a few women got together in Glyndon to read together in the summer. Soon, they were known as The Glyndon Porch Class.
This group would later become The Woman’s Club of Glyndon and would help found two community institutions--the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Coordinating Council (ROG) and the .
These days, the club donates its time and money to the betterment of the community and preservation of local history, especially its clubhouse.
“This is our meeting place, but since it was one of the buildings that qualified Glyndon to be in the National Register [of Historic Places], we feel an obligation to maintain it for the community,” said Lynne Maher, the house chairperson and a former club president.
The red brick building at 4627 Butler Road in Glyndon was built in 1887 as a two-room schoolhouse called The Glyndon School. Students in first through fifth grade attended. They were called to school and to recess by the ringing of a bell in the bell tower, which The Woman’s Club of Glyndon rings at noon on meeting days.
As the school operated, The Glyndon Porch Class became The Woman’s Club of Glyndon, which held its first meeting in 1900. Meetings were held at one of the members’ homes every other Wednesday, with 10 cents dues collected each meeting. The money collected was used for public good, as determined by the club.
From the beginning, the woman’s club lobbied for several improvements in the area. The club got books from the Maryland Traveling Library in a private home for community members to read, got a walkway of stones installed from Butler Road to Railroad Avenue and got the county commissioners to install street lights in Glyndon and Reisterstown. The club also donated money and umbrella stands to the Glyndon School’s library.
The building at 4627 Butler Road remained a school until 1930, when Baltimore County school districts were consolidated and Glyndon students were sent to . When it was put up for auction in 1932, the woman’s club acquired it with a winning bid of $1,620.
The club quickly got to renovating, putting $2,600 into removing partitions and blackboards, adding new flooring, a fireplace, a kitchen and a stairway to the basement. Over the years, the building has been a meeting place, a designated civil defense air raid shelter and a Red Cross training station. In 1973, it was one of nine buildings that helped land Glyndon on the National Register of Historic Places.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs has recognized the club twice, awarding two first place “territorial awards.” The first, for 1972-1974, honored its efforts in forming ROG, and the second, for 1980-1982, honored its efforts in helping form the Community Crisis Center.
These days, The Woman’s Club of Glyndon’s approximately 80 members hail from all over, including Reisterstown, Owings Mills, Hampstead, Sykesville and Westminster. About a dozen of its members still live in Glyndon.
In addition to supporting the organizations it helped form, the club gives scholarships to Franklin High graduates, donates to local fire and police departments, contributes to Baltimore County Social Services and performs various other community services.
The club began a $40,000 capital campaign in September, part of which culminated in November when the club opened unveiled a handicap ramp with county and state officials. The next project will be making the clubhouse’s bathroom ADA accessible.
Although the campaign focuses on internal improvements, the club continues to keep its focus on improving the local community, Maher said.
“We try to focus locally as much as we can,” she said.