Odenton Heritage Society
The Odenton Heritage Society was formed in 1989 by a group of community members distressed by plans to demolish the 103-year-old Citizen State Bank Building to make room for a parking lot.
Their campaign was a success: The building remained standing and is now home to a coffee shop and MARC train station.
The society, meanwhile, remains alive and active and has dedicated itself to protecting and preserving the legacy of all of Odenton.
Known as the town a railroad built and located just east of Fort Meade, Odenton was founded in the mid-1800s when a railroad was built through what was then a sparsely settled farming community.
The society’s historical center is located in Odenton’s Old Masonic Hall, built in 1912 and restored earlier this century by the OHS with help from a grant from Anne Arundel County. The center includes educational displays and artifacts from the town’s history.
Restoration of the Old Masonic Hall was the society’s most important project, according to society President Wylie Donaldson.
Of particular importance, he said, was work on the building’s exterior, which involved removing the plywood covering the windows, restoring the original fan glass window above the entrance doors, repainting the original lighted Masonic emblem above the doors, and more.
“The work completed was based on archival photographs and approval from the Maryland Historic Trust,” said Donaldson, who took over as president four years ago. “The Old Masonic Hall now not only looks open for business but also resembles its original 1912 appearance.”