Have you ever wondered how Severna Park roads got their names? Many of them have a historical significance.
Named for the Boone family
This Olde Severna Park road is named after Elizabeth and Thomas Boone’s family. The Boones initially owned the most land in Severna Park, which was previously called Boone. Another landowner, George Linstid divided his property to give to his three children. Part of it became the community of Linstead and another part, combined with the Boone land, became Olde Severna Park.
Named for the Dill family
Edward and Anna Dill and their three children moved from Baltimore to Cypress Creek Road in 1915. In 1916, Edward opened his own company in Severna Park: E.O. Dill Plumbing and Heating.
His son, Erman “Mike” Dill Sr., worked with his father on the private water systems owned by Severna Park developer Oscar Hatton for the Severna Company and Norvell Chapman for the Round Bay system. The county took over the water systems in the early 1940s. Anna put her culinary talents to use at church suppers at Woods Memorial Church.
Edward and Anna died in 1940 and 1957, respectively. Mike, a charter member of the Severna Park Rotary and Severna Park Elks, was also active with the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company, where he served as chief for 16 years.
Arthur and Lydia Giddings arrived in Severna Park in 1932. The couple lived on Beach Road and were instrumental in the development of Cape Arthur.
“They were an active part of the community and loved every minute of being in such a wonderful area,” said their daughter, Kathie Giddings Hankins, who worked as the associate editor on a book called “Severna Park Reflections – An Album of Memories.” Kathie passed away in 2011.
“It was said that Arthur Giddings would slip money to sick people during a handshake, and it is also believed Arthur and Lydia sent surprise coal deliveries to the needy,” Kathie said.
As former Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce CEO Linda Zahn previously explained in a story for the Severna Park Voice, Arthur and Lydia arrived in the U.S. from Wiltshire, England, and began farming property near Gibson Island. Arthur sold produce around the county including along Old Annapolis Boulevard (now Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard) in Severna Park. In May 1933, the family started a small grocery store with a Sunoco gas station. Giddings Grocery continued to expand, soon adding a meat department.
Soon after the former Brockmeyer’s store burned down in the early 1940s, the Giddings family bought the property, as well as the land across the street on Riggs Avenue and Old Annapolis Boulevard. They then built and opened the first self-service grocery store in the community on the second parcel, which is now the Carr Building.
Some Cape Arthur roads are named after members of the Giddings family.
Named for Oscar Hatton
A developer, Oscar Hatton played an integral role in Severna Park’s history. Not only did he build some of the neighborhoods, but he also is partially responsible for the town name, according to various books about Anne Arundel County history. Reports say that Oscar Hatton held a contest in 1906 to rename the town, formerly known as Boone.
Also bearing the developer’s name is another Severna Park site: Hatton Memorial Beach in Olde Severna Park.
Named for Lionel Manuel Hendler
A shrewd businessman and community advocate, Lionel Manuel Hendler started an ice cream company called Hendler’s. Its frozen treats were known as “the velvet kind.” At the height of its success, Hendler’s had 120 delivery trucks supplying ice cream to more than 400 stores.
The business offered vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, along with many other flavors. Peach was a summertime staple. Peppermint, licorice and spiced apple were among the other offerings.
In the 1920s, he also became involved in the growth of Severna Park. Because he was Jewish, Hendler was barred from playing golf at facilities in Baltimore, where he lived and worked.
“So he went to Oscar Hatton, who was the developer of Severna Park, and there was a nine-hole golf course there,” Severna Park historian F. Scott Jay recalled in a video produced by Charles Germain of Chesapeake Clear Videos and Films. “He volunteered to put in another nine holes and to build a clubhouse.”
Located in the Harlequin community, the clubhouse had a card room upstairs, a bar, a lady’s room and a men’s room, along with a kitchen. Hendler invited guests for swimming, golfing, singalongs and crab feasts while making his guests feel at home.
“A lot of the women or the druggist’s wives didn’t want to come down to the county and have to ride on the train, so Mr. Hendler tried to make this look like the city as much as he could,” Jay said of the clubhouse area. “So he put in a brick sidewalk and he had cobblestone streets here for them, along with gas lights that were put in.”
As for his business, it remained locally owned until it was bought by Borden’s in 1929. The Hendler family continued to manage the company until the 1960s. Hendler died in 1961 after a short illness.
Named for the Jennings family
William and Thomas Jennings were part of a group that purchased a parcel of land that was later used for Asbury Town Neck United Methodist Church. Many descendants of the family still reside in the area today.
Jones Station Road
Named for the Jones family
When the Jones community began around 1871, Peter Jones and his family owned and operated a store near the Jones Station train stop. The area was mostly farmland navigated by farm wagons and horse and buggy.
At one time, Jones consisted of stores, restaurants, a gas station, a barbershop, an ice house, bars, dairies, schools and churches. It had many homes, which were owned by Black families.
Named for Folger McKinsey
A poet and a Baltimore Sun columnist for 42 years, Folger McKinsey was honored with both an elementary school and a street in Severna Park.
In a Baltimore Sun column penned in 1997, Baltimore historian Gilbert Sandler recapped McKinsey’s illustrious career. Known as the Bentztown Bard, McKinsey befriended fellow poet Walt Whitman while McKinsey was the editor of a New Jersey publication called the Shore Gazette. The writer then worked at the Frederick Daily News and got his nickname from the neighborhood of Bentztown.
From 1906 to 1948, McKinsey’s “Good Morning” column was a hit with readers as it mixed poetry, prose and Bible excerpts. He became ill in 1948 and died in 1950 at the age of 83.
Named for Francis and Harry Riggs
Wealthy twins from Baltimore, Francis and Harry Riggs used their house to entertain members of the upper class. Governor Albert Ritchie was a frequent guest at the siblings’ social events. The brothers also allowed the Boys Scouts of Baltimore to use about 30 acres of their land as a summer camp, which the Boys Scouts referred to as Camp Linstead.
Named for the Robinson family
The Robinson family, or Robosson according to some documents, remained in Severna Park for four generations.
Dr. Stephen Hittle shared the Robinson family history in “The Old Stone House,” a YouTube video produced by Charles Germain as part of the Magothy River Living History Project.
Thomas Robinson purchased land in 1702 that his son, Oneal, used to build a house sometime between 1745 and 1750. That house was inherited by Oneal’s son, Elijah, in 1768. Elijah was a lieutenant colonel in the Severn Battalion of Militia during the American Revolution, and he later earned the rank of colonel before transitioning to a new role as justice of the peace.
“To go from Baltimore to Annapolis, you went either by boat or you went around the Severn (River), stopping at Rising Sun Tavern, or you came across the Severn ferry and came up B&A Boulevard and stayed at the Robinson House,” Hittle said.
The family operated a mill, tavern and an agricultural business. In 1837, 500 acres were sold to the Tydings family for $2,000. The Tydings family is also recognized with a road in Severna Park.
The Robinson House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hittle and his wife now own the home on Evon Court.
According to the Evergreen Estates community page, other members of the family, Thomas and Althea Robinson, were deeded land in 1845 that later became Evergreen Estates.
Named for the White family
One of the earliest Black community leaders was the Rev. George Asbury White. Born on March 5, 1896, White grew up on a farm by what is now the intersection of Whites Road and Ritchie Highway. His family picked fruits and vegetables from the fields and sold them in Annapolis, and as a 10-year-old boy, White helped Oscar Hatton.
As he got older, White bought a septic truck and ran his own business. He also cut the knee-high grass at the corner of Riggs Avenue and Evergreen Road, planted corn by Benfield Road and was a bus contractor.
While he maintained a close relationship with God, it wasn’t until 1960, at the age of 64, that he became a pastor of Mount Tabor United Methodist Church in Crownsville. He had previously attended services at Wayman Good Hope A.M.E. Church and Asbury Town Neck United Methodist Church – two churches that have served as staples of the Black community in Severna Park for more than a century.
White lived to be 101 years old after having two marriages, seven children, 16 grandchildren and more than 40 great-grandchildren.
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