Glen Burnie, which lies within Anne Arundel County is in the vicinity of downtown Baltimore and also just a few miles away from the Baltimore Washington International Airport.
Why Glen Burnie was named so
Its history dates back to 1812 when a district attorney, Elias Glenn established a county seat near Brooklyn Park and called it Glennsburne. As the property changed hands and was passed through Glenn’s descendants, the name also evolved—it was changed to Glennsbourne Farm and then ultimately became Glenburnie. Some records show that in between the initial and final name, the county was rechristened many times —Tracey’s Station and Myrtle being some of its other nomenclatures. It wasn’t until 1930 that it underwent a final name change from Glenburnie to Glen Burnie as the town’s postmaster Louis J. DeAlba felt that two words were better than one.
Glen Burnie thrives
In 1854, William Wilkins Glenn, the grandson of Elias Glenn brought the Curtis Creek Mining furnace and Manufacturing company under the purview of his family’s property. Not only did the business thrive but the Anne Arundel County had acquired several thousand acres of land in the northern part. When he died, the family’ business affairs were managed by Glenn’s son, brother and nephew. With employment opportunities increasing, many families settled down and developed residential communities. In 1888, Glenburnie became an official state subdivision.
A growing Glen Burnie
The Glenn family employed George T. Melvin and Henry S. Mancha to lay out and promote the town. Growth was rampant in the 1920-1930’s. Two highways—Crain Highway and Ritchie Highway were opened in 1927 and 1939 respectively. In 1958, the first shopping mall on the East coast of the United States was built in Glen Burnie. In 1962, another mall was opened and both these malls were on the Ritchie Highway. Slowly Glen Burnie began expanding its activities and in the following years, schools and churches emerged. The North Arundel Hospital opened in 1965 and a prominent shopping center surfaced in the mid-1980.
Glenburnie was also serviced by the Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad service but it didn’t survive the competition. The freight service that had been commissioned previously was also abandoned.
Slowly housing improved and apartment complexes, retirement communities and single-family homes emerge, amenities for kids and adults afforded enjoyment and relaxation and Glen Burnie was growing in every way. Even today one can see a family-friendly community living peacefully in an area that hasn’t quite lost its small-town charm.