About the Odenton Heritage Society
The mission of the Odenton Heritage Society is to preserve, promote and protect the history and traditions of Odenton, Maryland.
Where is Odenton?
Odenton, Maryland is located in Anne Arundel County, 20 miles south of Baltimore, 30 miles north of Washington, D.C., and 15 miles northwest of Annapolis.
What does the Odenton Heritage Society do?
The society educates the public about the history of Odenton by developing programs and materials about the town’s history, publishing a newsletter about Odenton history, and by operating a free museum and reading room.
The OHS advocates for the history of Odenton and encourages others to preserve and protect the town’s historic character.
The society undertakes preservation projects and owns three historic buildings located in the Odenton’s original town center.
What’s Special About Odenton and it’s History?
Nestled near two major cities and Maryland’s state capital, Odenton is a town filled with history dating back more than 170 years.
The town grew out of the development of local railroads that connected the three cities and other cities to the north and south, and it blossomed into a busy place for people to live and work.
Odenton stands as a prime example of the role that railroads played in creating vibrant communities in the United States. Today, evidence of that rich history remains in older homes, churches, and businesses in Odenton’s historic district. It is the desire of the Odenton Heritage Society to preserve this history, even as the town grows as a hub for new development and population growth.
Timeline of Odenton Heritage Society Activities:
1989 – The Odenton Heritage Society is formed by a small group of residents with a desire to preserve the town’s unique social, cultural, and architectural history.
1990 – 1994 – OHS buys and restores Odenton’s first bank (Citizens State Bank) with a 20-year loan from Arundel Community Development Services under the Community Development Grant Program. The loan is repaid within seven years. The former Bank now services as a small museum and coffee shop, primarily serving MARC train commuters.
During the same time frame, the OHS obtained the Old Masonic Hall located at 1367 Odenton Road from the Odenton Masons with funds from Anne Arundel Scattered Sites fund and Historical Odenton Enhancements Capital Project. A private loan was acquired with the County National Bank for furnishings and other restoration needs.
2001-2005 – Obtained state bond money to begin restoration work o the Masonic Hall and Old Bethel Church. Obtained a grant from Maryland Historical Trust to install a new roof after wind storms revealed rapidly deteriorating roof. An easement with the Maryland Historical Trust was executed for both the Masonic Hall and Old Bethel Church.
2005-2011 – The Old Masonic Hall and Bethel Church undergo major renovations.. The Old Masonic Hall has an upgraded electric system and a new HVAC system installed in 2009. A new roof is installed in 2010 and much needed repairs to the exterior are completed in the spring of 2011. New ADA-compliant restrooms are constructed in the spring of 2011. Old Bethel Church has new HVAC system and upgraded electrical service installed.
2013– Odenton’s first bank (Citizen’s State Bank) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2014-2015 – An access door entrance and ADA-compliant ramp was installed at the Old Masonic Hall making the hall totally handicap accessible.
All OHS loans were paid and the Society has become debt-free.