Glyndon's birthday bash Celebration: The quaint Victorian town in northwestern Baltimore County is throwing itself a three-day party to commemorate its 125 years.

September 13, 1996|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

In Glyndon, the front porches offer a friendly sit-a-spell charm, the post office is filled with an air of social swirl and families boast of multigenerational loyalty.

The small community in northwest Baltimore County next to Reisterstown has maintained its rustic characteristics since the '70s -- the 1870s, that is.

This weekend, the 750 people who call the town home will rally once again in the name of old-fashioned fun. It's the town's 125th birthday, which will feature celebrations all over with barbershop quartets, lemonade and Victorian tea in the Emory Grove Hotel.

"It's really unusual to have a community this old," said Eleanor Taylor, who was born and raised in Glyndon and fondly recalls going to school in a one-room brick building on Butler Road that today is the Woman's Club.

Taylor's daughter, Nan Kaestner, and Lee Wroe, president of the Glyndon Community Association, planned the birthday bash that begins today with a torch relay along Glyndon's streets by 47 children.

The three-day party will feature huge birthday cakes, $4 train rides to Westminster along the CSX and Maryland Midland Railroad line, a gala Queen Victoria Ball underneath a tent at Glyndon Station and a tennis tournament with wooden rackets on a clay court.

Adding to the charm, most of Glyndon's Victorian homes will be illuminated by small window lights throughout the weekend. And the old Emory Grove Hotel once again will bustle with lively conversation from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday as the Glyndon Quilters club displays its collage of handmade patchwork while tea is served.

The gray hotel, once the location of religious revivals and evangelical crusades, still sits majestically at the end of Waugh Avenue.

The community, which spans 352 acres, was the first area in Baltimore County to be designated a historic district in 1981 by the County Council. Others are Lutherville, Sudbrook Park, Monkton and Corbett.

Glyndon was developed between the 1870s and 1915 as a summer community for wealthy Baltimore residents who sought slightly cooler weather by escaping to homes they built next to the Worthington Valley hillsides.

Their getaways were not bungalows, though. The well-maintained homes feature large, wrap-around porches, Victorian gables and tall, breezy windows.

Today, Glyndonites are fighting to maintain the small-town aura that radiates from the narrow streets and tiny shops. Development from the nearby Owings Mills Town Center is creeping up Interstate 795, and zoning battles may loom in the future.

Three Glyndon housing developments are under construction, which will attract about 100 families to the area. Other attempts by developers to wedge more homesites into the community are being kept at bay.

Glyndon's many amateur historians -- residents who represent generations there -- say that it's worth the fight to keep their hometown pristine.

"The people that live here are concerned about their neighborhood -- it has a lot of history," said Wroe, 35, a lifelong Glyndon resident. The new developments will bring "people and traffic and different architecture that threaten the look" of Glyndon, Wroe said.

Such worries can wait, though. For now, it's time to cut the cake and toast the town.

"The nice thing about Glyndon is the feeling here," Taylor said. "It's so intergenerational and has now attracted families of all ages. It's really nice."

Pub Date: 9/13/96

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