History of the "Beach"

Here is a link to a book on the History of Pasadena:

The Pasadena Business Association published a book about the Pasadena Peninsula. It is still available in hard copy.
Here's a link to get the book https://pasadenabusinessassociation.com/Sys/Store/Products/259073

Available at Sandy Spring Bank and BB&T on Mountain Road, and The Bank of Glen Burnie, Ft. Smallwood Road. For mail order call the PBA office at 410-360-4PBA.

Our School
Grade 5
1955 - 1956
Mrs. Alice Tyson
& Mr. A. J. Reed
Riviera Beach School
Pasadena, Maryland

Riviera Beach is located in the third district of Anne Arundel County. The school area includes
several small waterfront communities.
School busses bring pupils from Orchard Beach, Stoney Beach, Rockview Beach, Carvel Beach,
Greenland Beach and Clearwater Beach. These communities are between Coxe’s Creek and
Stoney Creek and from the Patapsco River, on the north, to Nabb’s Creek on the south.
In the other direction busses come from Rock Hill Beach and pick up children at Cottage Grove
Beach on the way to School. Rock Hill is on the west side of Rock Creek at it’s source. Cottage
Grove is on the same side of Rock Creek, north of Rock Hill.
The majority of our pupils walk to school from Sunset Beach, Bar Harbor and Riviera Beach.
Sunset Beach is on the east bank of Stoney Creek. Bar Harbor reaches from Sunset to Rock
Creek. Riviera Beach is the largest of these communities. It stretches from the east bank of
Stoney Creek to the west bank of Rock Creek. It is bordered on the north by the Patapsco River
and on the south by Fort Smallwood Road.
The total distance from Coxe’s Creek to Rock Creek is about two miles, and from Patapsco
River to the end of Rock Hill Beach is about three miles. We are about 15 miles from downtown
Baltimore and 16 miles from Annapolis.
Our community is located just a little above the famous White Rocks of the Patapsco. These
formations of sandstone may be seen clearly from any spot on the river front of Riviera Beach.
Rock Creek, the southern border of Riviera Beach, Bar Harbor, and Rock Hill Beach, was named
for these rocks, because its mouth is directly opposite them.
At the north of Stoney Creek, on the other side of Riviera Beach are some rocks like the White
Rocks. They jut from the water in the same way as White Rocks but are brownish-gray in color.
They are called the Brown Rocks. Stoney Creek was named for these and the large pile of rocks
at Smith’s Point (or Stoney Point), which is the most northern corner of Riviera Beach at the
mouth of Stoney Creek. It is very shallow. Two boats are known to have been beaten to pieces
on these rocks during bad storms. One of these boats may still be seen submerged just below the
surface of the water in the channel around the rocks.
Stoney Creek is dangerous for swimmers. Several lives have been lost in Stoney Creek - mostly
visitors in our community who did not know what the bottom is like. The bottom of Stoney
Creek looks sandy near shore. But there is a sharp drop a little ways out from shore making a
deep channel for boats. The water in this drop is very cold and a severe shock to anyone diving
too deep into it. There are also beds of rocks hidden in the depths that are a hazard to the diver.
Rock Creek has a similar drop, but here the bottom is mud and sand near the shore, and the drop
is more natural.
Both streams are like long coves regulated by the tides. They are not estuaries of the Patapsco
At the heart of the River front in Riviera Beach is a small inlet. It changes in width according to
the tides. Sometimes it is only a little more that a foot wide. At other times it is over six feet
wide. It runs for about fifty feet through a small tidal marsh to a “L” shaped inland lake. The
bottom of the lake is pure sand, but the center part of the lake is a deep drop covered with a
matting of thick seaweed, bordered with black mud. The depth of the lake has not been sounded,
so far as we know, but it is believed to be “bottomless”. The tidal marsh extends from a mound
of white sand and seaweed on the river front on either side of the lake until it tapers down to
nothing at the back bank. The widest part of the marsh is probably forty feet when the tide is out.
At other times it is nearly submerged in water.
Above and around the marsh is a patch of woods several hundred feet wide. This woods is thick
and grown over with vines, all kinds of small trees and bushes, and larger oaks, etc. Other
patches of woods like this one line the creek cliffs on both sides, broken only by clusters of
houses in the different communities, and extends along the river front up to Fort Smallwood
Road north of Orchard Beach. These woods are dotted with tidal marshes and swamps.
This whole area is just a little above tide level and almost entirely flat, although it is somewhat
rolling in places. There is a sea cliff nearly all around our shores on river and creeks. Erosion of
these cliffs was at one time very bad. The Riviera Beach Development Company saw the danger
and had stone groins and bulkheads put up on Stoney Creek and the Patapsco River front. This
was done in 1928-1931. There has been no important erosion since then, except in 1933, when
several houses sank in Bar Harbor from water that had washed back underneath the land.
Our community has the pleasant, mild, healthful climate year round that is found in most parts of
the middle Atlantic coastal states. Although we have so many quick and surprising changes in
the weather, summer and winter, that folks often say,
“If you don’t like the weather in Riviera Beach,
Just wait a few minutes; it’ll change.”
There are hardly ever any extremes in weather conditions around here. Still it is not unusual to
shiver a few days in June or to find it so warm once or twice in January that a coat is
As a rule, winters are not so cold as they are in even Carroll County. In fact, the average
temperature for the last fifty years or so in winter here is 36 degrees F. Only twice has the
thermometer dropped much below zero for any length of time. But on January 9, 1934 and
January 10, 1899 it shrunk clear down to 7 degrees below zero. That is the lowest temperature
ever recorded here.
Just as you might expect, we don’t get much snow. Some old person here may remember the
winter of 1892 when sixty inches of snow fell during one storm, but this is very unusual; as is the
year, 1913, when only 2.4 inches fell all winter long. We expect to see the snowy blanket two or
three times a year, and it usually lasts a couple days at a time.
In the last week of March fruit trees begin to bud, our heaviest rains begin to fall, and spring is
here to stay. Our growing season is from 207 to 214 days long, and already farmers are preparing
their planting and housewives are carefully resetting their rosebushes and planting their packets
of radish and lettuce seeds March 15th.
The average temperature reading in spring is 54 degrees F. and the average rainfall is 12.7
inches, ideal conditions for the tobacco and truck crops grown on neighboring farms.
Summer in our community seems to come suddenly. Usually the first two weeks in June are cool
and breezy. All at once, the wind dies down, and we find ourselves in the heart of our warm, wet
summer, whose average temperature is only 75.6 degrees F. Only once did the temperature rise
as high as 107 degrees F.; that was July 10, 1936. But now, due to the humidity, our summer
seems very hot to us.
We think the humidity here has a great effect on the way we feel about the weather. Since we are
surrounded on three sides by rivers and are so near the bay, the humidity is high the year round.
There is so much moisture in the air that many people say that they can feel it and that it clings to
their skin and clothes in tiny dew-droplets on certain days. Of course, such dampness makes the
hottest and the coldest days more uncomfortable than more extreme temperatures in other places.
Even though the humidity in the air makes the weather seem very unpleasant, there is another
feature of our climate which offers much relief on hot days. That is the cool breeze that blows
almost continually from the Chesapeake Bay. It is welcomed by everyone in the summertime,
unless there is a “North-easter” behind it. This happens once in a while and always brings a
strong rain storm.
Most of our storms, winds or rain, occur in the spring and summer. Some of them are exciting in
the freak pranks they play. Such are the electric storms that occasionally wander down from the
north. Most of these, however, never reach past Baltimore. In fact, Baltimore often has winds
and rain that we don’t get, although the city is only 4 miles away. The strongest wind we ever
recorded happened on June 12, 1948 when it reached 61 miles per hour.
Autumn is a quiet, warm season around here, and heavy with the fragrance of late-blooming
flowers. Days are hot and dry; nights are cool and heavy with dew. An average of only 9.37
inches of rain falls in autumn, and most of it falls during the nights. Fall seems long and winter
seems to come more gradually than spring and summer. Maybe this is because people are busily
preparing for winter early, ordering oil, hanging storm-sash, digging up flowers bulbs and
flowering bushes; while vacationers, who are going late in the hope that they will avoid the
mobs, are still crowding the beaches and resorts near here.
Most of us seem to do a great deal of complaining about the weather here and declare that it is
the worst heat in the east. But we discovered in our survey that five families moved here solely
because they liked the climate and about eighty-five families coming here partly because of their
liking the climate of our community.
There was once a time when this part of Anne Arundel County was a thick, woody place and the
home of many kinds of animals and game birds. But gone are the days of the wolf, deer, red and
gray fox, and wild turkey. Today only two or three animals and birds are hunted for sport or
food. The small Eastern Cotton-Tail rabbit is still seen in great numbers in all of the low, rough
places, where there is tall grease weed or thorn bushes to hide him. Boys who are just old enough
to get their first hunting license get a lot of fun in “bagging” them although their small size and
great numbers do not offer much sport to the older man.
Once in a while an opossum or raccoon wanders into someone’s back yard. They live in all the
wooded places in the southern apart of Rock Hill Beach and Tickneck Road. Colored folks hunt
them often and say they are “very good eating” when they are well cooked. We have one game
bird which is served in the finest restaurants at a large price. That is the quail. There are many of
them nesting in our fields and woodlands.
Much of our land is swampy and low, and ideal home for the muskrat and otter. Although we do
not see many of them, sometimes one strays into a farmer’s barn and is caught in his rat trap. Our
rats are called “rice rats” and are a problem in several parts of our community. They aren’t large,
as rats grow, but there are hundreds of them. Some people think that this is because we live so
near the port of Baltimore. Others of our little problem-makers are the common ground mole, in
his soft, brown coat, the field mouse, with his cute little “Mickey Mouse” ears, and the small, red
chipmunks, who greet our amateur farmers in the morning with a cherry “Hello” from the feed
box. Probably the most hated by children is the ugly black bat, who swoops from the trees up by
the graveyard and scares little boys who forget to go home when their mothers call them.
There is a place in Rock Hill Beach and another on Tickneck Road where a strange little creature
lives that is often mistaken for a bat. He flits from limb to limb and tree to tree in a playful sort
of way. He is the furry flying-squirrel, the most talked about animal in groups of children here.
Many tall tales are told about the length of our black snakes and water moccasins. Some may be
possible. As least, most of us have been very scared seeing one, and it looks pretty big at the
time. Although there are not supposed to be any poisonous water snakes in our community, four
out of five adults we have talked to declare that they have seen water moccasins here and that
they are the real, poisonous ones. They also say that these snakes are very large. At any rate,
there are water snakes near the heads of Stoney Creek and Rock Creek and some of them are
three and four feet long. Several tavern-keepers and individuals have proudly displayed then in
their houses and places of business.
The Pilot Blacksnake is common and the Black Racer is seen almost anyplace without warning,
even crossing lawns and gardens. Once in a long while, a copperhead is spotted and reported
near Orchard Beach. But there are more reports of the Queen snake by residents here than any
other except the garter snake.
After the spring rains and the weather grows warmer, so many terrapin, lizards and snails appear
that it seems like an army invasion. All three are collected by boys and girls, but the terrapin is
best liked. A good sport here is to paint a name on the back of a terrapin and let him go at the end
of the season. Then the fun is to wait and see whether or not he will show up the next year.
The mud-eel comes to us about the same time as the terrapins do and stay around all summer,
stealing fishermen’s bait and making a nuisance of himself. Few eels caught here are old enough
to be good to eat. Fishing, say the old-timers, used to be good in Rock Creek; but now most of
the good fish are gone. The fisherman must be satisfied with yellow and white perch, sunfish,
and cat fish, or go down to Seven Foot Knoll by boat for trout, hardheads, shad, croakers, and
There is an inland lake in Riviera Beach which is one of nature’s hatching places for little
shrimp. Of course, they are thick everywhere that there is a lot of seaweed in Rock Creek and
Stoney Creek, but there are millions of them in this lake, and many fishermen go there to get
them for bait. Others get bait by setting traps for minnows which come to our water in droves
every year.
Whether he fishes or not, nearly everyone in our community goes out for the blue crab. The soft
crab is especially popular. Men, women, and children spend hours wading shallow water, or
sitting in small boats or on piers, gathering a “mess” of crabs for Sunday supper.
One of our most interesting water animals is the “night-shiner.” In late summer and early autumn
swimmers are thrilled by these tiny noctilucas, which are so many they cannot be seen; but
whenever the water is disturbed, millions of them give off a weird bluish light Often on a dark
night a swimmer can see his whole body bathed in the soft glow from these tiny creatures. Not so
well liked are the jelly-fish that swim up the bay in July and August. Although most of them are
too small to have much sting (In fact, most have none at all), a sea nettle sometime gets this far
and makes swimmers suspicious of all kinds of “Jellies”.
Our animals are few; the fishes seem to be getting less all the time; snakes are much talked about
but seldom seen. On the other hand, we have many different types of birds. One of the best loved
and most seen is the cardinal. He lives in all the woodsy places and fields that are not yet cleared
of bushes. Another, the red bird, seen in fewer numbers, but living much as the cardinal does is
believed to be the summer tanager. He looks like the cardinal without his top-knot, except that he
is a little brighter in color. Another tanager, the scarlet tanager, visits us every summer. The redwinged
black bird, the cardinal, quail, blue-jay, woodpecker, and flicker are with us all year
round. Other colorful birds that we see in great numbers are the ruby-throated humming bird,
robin, bluebird, wild canary, mockingbird, thrushes, finches, wrens, warblers and sparrows are
without number. The Baltimore oriole, Maryland’s state bird, is a hard bird to spot, but he lives
here in the thicket undergrowth on Tickneck Road. Seldom seen, but often heard, is the
whippoorwill, who lives deep in the woods where the trees are thick and larger.
The owl, a large bird, is heard often at night. Turkey buzzards are seen circling overhead day
after day. They are among our ugliest birds, but most useful, because they keep the woods and
fields clean of carrion. Some ducks are hunted near here. Goose and swan are seen flying
overhead. Of course, cranes, sea gulls, and sand pipers and herons are constant visitors.
Although our community is not the dense, wooded place it was at one time there are patches of
woodland all around Orchard Beach, Greenland Beach, and Rock Hill Beach; and Tickneck
Road is bordered with a thick woods of trees of many kinds.
One of the best loved trees, perhaps, is the Tulip tree. It blossoms very early in spring and grows
well in high, well-drained places. Many people here like them so well they transplant them to
their own yards. In these high woods grows the dogwood, which is also seemingly a favorite.
Our dogwood is not so plentiful as it is in other areas of the county and is guarded jealously by
everyone who has it on his property.
The wild plum, another flowering tree that blooms early in the spring, has pure white, fragrant
flowers. But it is not like our dogwood and tulip tree in the way it grows. It is hardly bigger than
a large bush and is found mostly in the thickets and at the edge of briary fields. Some people
gather the fruit of the wild plum for jelly and preserves.
Most of the persimmon trees in our area are the Ruby kind and very good to eat, but there are a
few Hicks. Some housewives make preserves of them, as they do the wild cherry, blackberry,
and raspberry, which grow nearby. But probably they are the most popular with the children,
who just pick them off the ground and eat them. Up near the graveyard in Riviera Beach grow a
dozen or more Osage Orange trees. Boys and girls gather their yellow blossoms in May and
throw the mock oranges at each other in the fall. The fruit is strange looking and children declare
that if you eat them, you will die a terrible death.
The papaw is another favorite tree with boys and girls. Often in the late autumn they come to
school with their pockets filled with papaws or with hickory nuts and black walnuts which grow
in all the fertile swamps near the water.
The silver maple, sycamore, cypress, and red cedar are usually found here near these nut trees in
low, moist places. The honey locust, beech, oak, pine and spruce, on the other hand, seem to
prefer the high, sandy slopes.
The Norway spruce did not always live here. So many people imported them to landscape with,
they are now everywhere. There are many originally cultivated trees growing wild here now. The
most important ones are fruit trees - cherry, apple, and pear.
The holly, which is only a small bush in some places, grows to be a tall tree here. Some of them
are twenty feet high, with berries. The holly grows taller near the water and in swamps, but the
bushes are seen in every wooded spot from Tickneck Road to Carvel Beach.
None of our trees have been used in industry of any kind, so far as we know; but those few we
have are healthy looking and strong, in spite of the fact that there have been so many forest fires
on our woods in the last twenty years. Several years ago a terrible fire stripped a whole section of
woods north of Orchard Beach. But now it has grown up with fine saplings and promises to be
good forest someday.
The soil in Riviera Beach and the surrounding communities ranges from sand to a sandy-loam
mostly. It is ideal for growing truck crops and tobacco. Along the shore of Rock Creek and
Stoney Creek are large and small rocks, gravel and yellow mud. Where the water has washed
away, leaving a steep bank, on Stoney Creek and Rock Creek, the soil is very dark and loamy; on
the flatter areas there is just loose sand. White sand and yellow sand is found on the Patapsco
river front of Orchard Beach and Riviera Beach. It covers (except in two or three places) several
feet of hardened red and gray clay. All the deep coves of Stoney Creek and Rock Creek have a
deep, fine, black, rich mud on the creek bottom and in some places on the shore.
None of the clays of our community would be of any commercial value, so far as we know. This
is because they do not occur in large amounts and are mostly coated and mixed with an iron
In our soil are both brown iron ores and white iron ores. On the main beach there is a deposit of
paint ore. Several pieces of slag are found on the southern end of Rock Hill Beach by one of the
children. We wondered whether or not there had ever been an iron furnace there, but there is no
record of one.
Although there is believed to be no natural gas or petroleum in our community, often we hear
rumors that someone struck gas while drilling a well near the creek front. It has been suggested
that this may be only swamp gas; it is well known that the creek washes underground on the
Rock Creek side even where there is no swamp on the surface.
Two natural springs are used in our community. One is in the county right-of-way to the water in
Rock Hill Beach. One is near the inland lake in Riviera Beach. The water of both is clear and
cool and pure enough to drink. Other springs pop up now and then, but those two seem to be
always “with us.”
The value of our community is not so much in its resources and minerals, but its closeness to
Baltimore and the water, a very good location for family living, and especially fine for growing
What is now Riviera Beach was at one time two large farms. The east side of the Beach was a
farm known as “Part of Brown’s Adventure,” bounded by Rock Creek, Patapsco River and the
Thomas Farm. The first owner we have found record of was Leonard Forman who at his death
willed the land to Ellen Stansbury. In 1862 there was a legal battle concerning this ownership
between Emma Stansbury and Samuel Lynch. The court appointed Alexander B. Hagner as
trustee and he sold the entire farm to Oliver H. Williams on October 16, 1862. This farm, now
known as just “Brown’s Adventure” was sold at public auction on October 27, 1899 and bought
by Arthur L. Shreve. There is a record of this entire land changing hands in 1882 for the price of
$2,000. On April 30, 1903, August G. Schmidt obtained the land from Shreve. At this time the
farm included 166 acres. Mr. George Schmidt of Mountain Road spent several of his boyhood
years at this farm of his father and told us many interesting things. They had a loading pier (the
remains of which may be seen today). They took their crops to this pier in a two horse wagon.
They raised the crops found mostly in this area, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes,
beans, potatoes. They sold the first summer place to the former Mayor Broening of Baltimore.
Mr. Schmidt sold his farm to Dockman in 1914. While in Dockman’s possession the main farm
house burned down. The foundation of this house may still be seen at the corner of Wanda and
Main Roads, in Riviera Beach. In 1921 Dockman sold his land to T. W. Pumphrey who, with his
brothers formed the Riviera Beach Development Company in 1924.
On the west side of the beach, bounded by Stoney Creek, Patapsco River and other farms, was
the Thomas farm. We found in the records in Annapolis that on December 22nd, 1838 a Wm.
Stewart sold to W. John Thomas at public sale the “Greenock Farm” at $40 per acre. We are not
sure this is the same farm because previous dates were found on the tombstones in the Thomas
graveyard. In 1845 due to bankruptcy of John Thomas, Joseph Thomas gained control of the
Thomas Farm. This land remained with the Thomas family until purchased by Louis Grebb. The
Thomas farm house still stands and with many additions to the original structure is serving as a
hotel, known as Locust Lodge. It is possibly the oldest house in this area. About a block from the
house was the family graveyard.
Today we can find the headstone of eight graves, bearing these names and dates:
Elizabeth Thomas 1833 - 38 years
Benjamin Thomas 1833 - 53 years
Henry Clay Wheeler Feb. 11, 1843
Elizabeth B. McComas Feb.15, 1887 - 67 years of age
Mary E. Dunn, wife of George W. Dunn July14, 1835 - June 5, 1877
George H. Dunn, husband of Mary E. Dunn June 4, 1836 - Feb. 28, 1902
Joseph E. Thomas Sep. 19, 1821 - August 29, 1898
Sarah A. Thomas June 28, 1837 - Jan. 1, 1906
The graves of Joseph and Sarah Thomas are still enclosed in an iron fence. Several years ago this
graveyard was overgrown and honeysuckle covered most of the graves. Now the land is used as
a pasture and horses have knocked over most of the tombstones.
The old loading wharf used by the Thomas’s to load their products for shipping to the city may
still be seen. Through the years it has been broken up and parts washed away by the tides. Only
pilings still remain.
The manager of the Thomas farm for many years was Mr. Osborne. It is believed that he lived in
the only other house on the Thomas farm which is now owned by Mr. C. C. Legal.
In 1925 Louis Grebb sold the Thomas Farm to Mr. Pumphrey.
Mr. Schmidt really began the Summer Colony which was formed when he sold a small piece of
land to Mayor Broening about 1914 for a summer home. Following that date a few other pieces
of property were sold for summer homes but not until the Pumphrey’s took over did this area
become valued as “Shore” property instead of farming land.
Using our own class as a representative of the whole community we have determined the
ancestry of people living in this area. The greatest majority of our citizens are descendants of
immigrants from Germany, England, and Ireland. Many other countries are represented by a
smaller number of descendants, including the original American, the Indian. Here is a list with
the percentage of representation as found in our class.
Germany 25% Czechoslovakia 3%
England 20% Italy 3%
Ireland 18% Sweden 3%
Indian 6% Norway 3%
France 4% Holland 3%
Scotland 4% Russia 1 %
Austria/ Hungary 3% Denmark 1%
We have only the white race of people living in this area because until the recent federal law
concerning non-segregation was enacted each of the beaches had clauses in their deeds
restricting the sale of land to white gentiles only.
Most people have moved to their recent homes from other places in this county or from
Baltimore City. Some came from West Virginia, Virginia or Pennsylvania. A fewer number
came from states further away. Some of our neighbors came from foreign countries. We have
three families from Norway, two families from Germany and one each from France, Hungary,
Scotland, Russia and England.
Until World War II this whole area was chiefly a summer resort area with very few people living
here in the winter but several hundred moving down for the summer months. With the great
influx of defense workers to Baltimore from 1941 on, the summer homes were converted to year
round dwelling and now permanent homes were built.
Today, in these beaches, there are very few summer “Shore” homes left and the house-building
boom has never been equaled.
In the near future we expect an even greater growth in population because the Western Electric is
planning to build a plant on the northern side of Coxe’s Creek and that will bring more workers
to our community.
IV. Transportation and Communication
Can you imagine a community without electricity? Before 1927 no one living in this area had
electricity in their homes. Light was from candles and oil lamps and lanterns. Cooking was
usually done on wood- burning stoves. Most people did not have much heat in the wintertime.
They had to depend on fireplaces or stoves to heat each room of the house.
When, in 1927, the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company, of Baltimore finally
erected poles and strung wires to Greenland Beach, Carvel Beach, Orchard Beach, and Riviera
Beach, many people were prepared to receive electricity into their homes. Two of the first
families to get electricity service and who are still using it in the same houses today are Mr.
George E. Rowley and Dr. Smith, both of Riviera Beach.
In April 1928 the lines were extended to Cottage Grove Beach. Sunset Beach was not electrified
until June 1931. Everyone in our community does not use electricity but it is available to all who
want it. The power for this area is supplied from the generating station at Westport.
Today we use electricity for water pumps, phones, radio, television, refrigeration, lights, stoves,
irons, washing machines, sewing machines, heat, electric trains and other toys and appliances.
We also use street lights, advertising signs, store freezers, and an electric motor to operate the
draw bridge.
What do you think! 22 years before this community had electricity we had telephones! Before
that if you wanted to talk to your neighbor you would have to ride or walk to their home to talk
to them. In 1905, the Rock Creek and Marley Co. started the beginning of telephones in our
community by putting in two lines and twenty-two telephones.
Later on, in 1914, the Chesapeake and Potomac Co. bought this area and took over the
responsibility of stringing up lines and installing phones. They strung up nine lines, making a
total of 11 lines raising the amount of phones to 112 phones. When this company bought this
area, telephones were just beginning their long line of styles. They were all phones with long
stems to the mouthpiece and the receiver hung in a cradle on the side. The modern phone is in
most homes now.
The exchange was named and called the Armiger exchange. Later the company divided the
exchange to Armiger and Sunset exchanges. Mrs. Schramm was the first switchboard operator.
Mrs. Schramm and her sister operated the switchboard for a period of 19 years, from 1914 to
In 1933 a new and better office was built. It was the Armiger office on Tickneck Road. This took
the place of Mrs. Schramm’s home operated switchboard. In 1936 there were 345 phones and
they were converted from magnetic to common battery operation. In 1938 a new and still better
office was built to replace that of the old building. It was still on Tickneck and Mountain Roads,
next door to the first one.
Since 1914 when the first 22 phones were installed there has been a lot of changes. Today there
are 2,500 telephones in all the communities served by this branch of the telephone company.
Mrs. Schramm is still alive, but today there are 24 telephone operators to take the calls that she
and her sister used to take care of.
In the early days of our community it was not easy to get from one place to another. There were
only farm roads here. The roads were all very sandy and so bad in spring and winter that a horse
couldn’t pull a wagon through there. One or two farmers were lucky enough to have hard, dirt
roads. But these, too, were often very muddy and difficult to drive on. After a hard rain or
snowfall ruts became so deep that wagons lost or broke wheels in them. Even when Fort
Smallwood Road was being built, trucks had to line up to push one another through the sand and
mud in some places.
Going to Baltimore in those days was a long, tiring job. Not only were the roads bad, but forty
years ago there wasn’t even a bridge over Stoney Creek. To get into the city, people had to go
clear around to Lipton’s Corner on Mountain Road. The only other way to get there was to take a
boat to Pratt Street.
For several years before Riviera Beach was developed, the Kitty Night used to bring people from
Baltimore to Fairview Beach. After farms grew up in Riviera Beach and the nearby countryside
this boat also stopped at the three piers on Rock Creek. It hauled the crops farmers grew, the
supplies they need and sometimes the farmers themselves.
There were other boats that came to Riviera Beach and Rock Hill Beach. One of these belonged
to Mr. Jenkins.
The only way that people could get from place to place, then, was by boat or by horse and
wagon. There is a story here that an old colored man drove folks around in a cart and that after
electricity came to this area there was a cable car across Stoney Creek. We have not found any
evidence to prove this statement, but one or two “old-timers” declare it is true.
Because it was so hard to get to the stores years ago all the people living here were farmers. The
trip to Baltimore by wagon was long and impossible in bad weather; the boat ran only from
March first to December twenty-fourth. All winter supplies had to be bought at one time and
many things they needed made by hand. Not only that, but at one time vegetables, fruits and
other produce was brought into Baltimore by wagons and boats from counties nearby. Then it
had to be hauled down here by boat. Such a long trip would spoil most things before they
reached us. Besides, produce could only be had in the summertime, since there was no quick way
to bring it from the south - as we do now in planes and refrigerator trains and trucks. These early
settlers had to depend on the land for fruits and vegetables, and can and preserve them for the
winter. Also, for a long time their products were in demand in Baltimore who got all its produce
from local farmers.
But two transportation changes made a great difference in the sort of people who came here to
live. The first was, of course the invention and finally use of the refrigerator car and air freight.
Farmers crops were no longer in demand in Baltimore because they had to compete with the
southern farmer who had established a year-round market there. Farmers began to sell out; a few
stayed but raised tobacco instead of peas and carrots and so on. Then the second thing happened
that speeded up the change.
A road was cut through which is now Fort Smallwood Road, and in 1914 a wooden bridge was
built across Stoney Creek. This opened up a shorter way to come by wagon or car from
Baltimore. Right away people in the city who were tired of its crowds, noise and limited space
began to think of this area as a wonderful summer vacation ground. First there were camps, then
summer homes scattered here and there. The Pumphrey brothers saw the possibility of a good
investment, bought Riviera Beach, and formed the Riviera Beach Development Company in
1924. The company built good roads in Riviera Beach for people who would want to come here
to live - in permanent homes - they hoped. Starting Riviera Beach was an ideal; it was to be a
perfect town and community. The first project for this community - roads - was done well. They
were laid out carefully according to plan except the Thomas' farm road and the Jenkins farm
road; these remained the same. All the roads were graded and graveled.
More and more people began to come here to buy; and in 1925 Stoney Bridge was rebuilt. In
those days a Negro, Mr. Locklear, started a bus service to Brooklyn. But still Fort Smallwood
Road and Riviera Beach roads couldn’t be traveled at all in winter. So only “summer” people
continued to buy lots here. These people were interested only in lots very near the water. Sunset
Beach, just across the road from Riviera Beach, was still a big farm.
At that time another man who could see the trend, bought Mr. Locklear’s franchise. This was Mr.
Charles L. Cook, who had been driving a bus from Gibson Island to the city since 1912. He
brought his bus, which was a converted truck, with him, and ran it and the other bus to the
carline in Curtis Bay and back. Mr. Cook started his business in Riviera Beach on January 1,
Then several improvements were made in the roads which made Mr. Cook’s and Mr.
Pumphrey’s hopes a reality. In 1930 the Anne Arundel County Commissioners took over the
maintenance of all Riviera Beach Roads. In 1932 the State Roads Commission paved Fort
Smallwood Road to make it easier to get to Fort Smallwood and the waterfront lots and beaches
along the way. Later, in 1937, the county paved all the important roads in Riviera Beach and
those of other beaches later. Now more and more people who were tired of city life moved to our
community to live permanently.
The improved bus service, the cars most people now owned, and good roads made it easy for
people to get back and forth to work in the city or go shopping wherever they wanted to. Owning
shore property, living in the country, having room to spread out in were things that now brought
folks pouring into the beaches for permanent year round homes.
Meanwhile, Cook’s Motor Coach Line, as our bus company was named, continued to grow in
spite of the lean years of the depression. In fact, during the war, Cook’s buses were the only
means of transportation to and from work for a large part of our residents. He added busses from
time to time; and finally his office in the ESSO station across from Matuskey’s was too small.
He needed a station of his own. In the fall of 1943 the station, as it is today, was finished. On
December 3, 1945 he began running his busses to Howard and Lombard Streets in Baltimore for
the convenience of his passengers. Today Mr. Cook has five busses that he is very proud of.
They carry passengers to and from Baltimore every hour. He estimates that he transports twenty
times as many people every year more than he did when he first began running his busses in
Riviera Beach.
After the second world war was ended weekend traffic to the public beaches between here and
Fort Smallwood was even greater than before the war. Special busses were used to haul all the
extra people that wanted to come here for a day’s outing. Stoney Creek Bridge became a serious
bottleneck to Fort Smallwood Road. It had a one way draw, and cars were often lined for over a
mile waiting for it to close after a yacht had passed. This happened several times a day on a
People were delighted when a new bridge was built over Stoney Creek by the State Roads
Commission. It was opened to traffic on Christmas Eve, 1948. This concrete and steel bridge
cost $963,194.47 altogether, including the approach roads.
The following is a copy of an article which appeared in the Southern Maryland Times during the
war. We thought it interesting:
It was way back in 1912 when roads in Anne Arundel were no more than trails, that
Charles L. Cook established his Riviera Beach, Brooklyn, Gibson Island - to Baltimore
bus lines. Passengers in those days were few and far between, but need for such a service
was eminent; and all through the depression with aging equipment Charles L. Cook stuck
doggedly to his dreams of the future. For he saw the possibilities in the growth of
Northern Anne Arundel county. In 1928 Mr. Cook sold part of his operations in the
Gibson Island Line to his former business associate, Mr. Wm. B. Chairs, who still carries
on this service.
Today, with newly built offices and waiting rooms, and added employees and new busses,
the Cook’s Motor Coach Lines’ success was a great help to Uncle Sam’s war effort. The
Cook’s Motor coach Lines now operates in twenty different communities along three
great rivers, and it is estimated that more than a thousand war-workers are transported
three times daily from their homes to the various industrial plants in northern Anne
Arundel county and Baltimore City. Mr. Cook’s son, Charles F. Cook, serves as the lines
We have made a list of businesses located in our community. This may not be a complete list but
it has surprised many people to see how many businesses are supported by our relatively small
A. Carvel Beach
Pete’s Barber Shop
Thomas’s Shipyard
Brown’s Rooming House
Tucker’s Farm
B. Greenland Beach
County Motors
Jeff’s Auto Supply Store
Sea Girst Inn
Eddie’s Super Market
Jimmy Knott’s Boat Yard
Mock’s Filling Station
Jack’s Seafood Store
Reinhardt’s Tavern
Empire Lumber Co.
Cross Country Garage
Bud’s Sign Shop
Shue’s Restaurant & Tavern
Captain Buck’s Tavern
LaRue’s Store
Voit’s Store
Arundel Ice Cream Parlor
County Motor’s Taxi Service
C. Orchard Beach - Stoney Beach
Walker’s Store Lark Inn
D. Riviera Beach - Bar Harbor
Matuskey’s Store
Max’s Grocery Store
Rachuba’s Drug Store
United Hardware & Supply
J.B. Smith M. D.
Hubbard’s Grocery Store
Herman’s Grocery Store
Knoblock’s Dept. Store
Pumphrey Real Estate Office
Seipe Electric Co
Frank’s Ice Cream Parlor
Treasure Chest
Jerry’s Beauty Shop
Cleckner Bros.
Geary Store & Garage
J.W. Fox, Contractor
Beatty Well Drilling
Roy’s Barber Shop
L. Walker, Contractor
Keene, Contractor
U.S. Post Office (Branch)
Riviera Barber Shop
Johnson’s Contracting Co.
Hamilton Egg Route
Smitty’s Bar
Minter’s Amoco Station
Clatchey Electric Co.
Roloff’s Betholine-Sinclare Station
E. Sunset Beach
Cook’s Motor Coach Co.
Texaco Station
O’Roark’s Restaurant
Julia’s Beauty Shop
Hick’s ESSO Station
Dr. Mallow, Dentist
Stadiger’s Justice of the Peace
F. Rock Hill Beach
Simmon’s Store
Brookwood Farms
Anthony’s Store
County Electric
Cottage Grove Amusement Park
Lester Johnson, Contractor
The most common type of house in our community is the bungalow or cottage. Although several
of the large farm homes are still being used, only a half-dozen or so large, two story homes have
been built since this settlement has been developed. Some smaller, two story houses are found,
but the most popular house has one floor and sometimes finished attic bedrooms.
There are two or three duplex homes in our community and one row house. This row house is on
Smith’s Point and was built originally by a man for his children and their families.
The old Thomas farmhouse is now a hotel. There are several apartment houses but only one is
constructed on the apartment house design. Others are in private homes or over places of
Although our community has never had any housing projects - that is, no company has ever
undertaken reclaiming property or building on a large scale - individuals have been building new
homes for themselves constantly since the beaches were first laid out in the late twenties. With
the exception of the war years, when materials weren’t available, there was never a year that did
not see the building of several new homes. In fact, this year, alone, there are over a dozen being
built in Riviera Beach and neighboring beaches.
This is a community where nearly all homes are built by the owner or if they are contracted the
owner is seen on the grounds working with the men. We believe this is mostly because of the
interest people here take in their homes. Many are self-designed.
With the exception of a few areas where there are yet a great number of summer homes, all
houses have plumbing, electricity, running water, gas, telephone, and furnaces.
Our telephone office is the Armiger-Sunset exchange on Mountain Road. Electricity is furnished
by the Consolidated Gas and Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore. Bottle gas is
hauled in by trucks from different oil companies. Houses without a central heating unit are few
indeed. The type of furnace most used is the oil burner using oil also brought in by truck.
Everyone has a well. Most of them are shallow-dug wells; some deep-dug; some drilled. All
homes, except a very few, have plumbing and an electric water pump. Even the summer homes
have this utility.
In the older sections of Orchard and Carvel Beach and Bar Harbor there are some homes without
basements. These are either summer homes or former summer homes not yet converted
In our survey we found no rented homes except for those few families living in apartments.
Although there is no doubt that there are some renting north of Stoney Creek and in Bar Harbor.
Home ownership seems to be the rule.
When we asked people why they came here to live, most folks said that we had one convenience
or another that they desired.
Twenty-five percent of those we interviewed came to live here because it was near their work.
Our community is only four miles from the city line and the Coast Guard Yard, only nine miles
from Glen Burnie and abut sixteen miles from Annapolis. Workers can leave home and arrive at
their work in minutes and miss the main lines of the heavy Baltimore going-to-work traffic.
Twenty percent liked the fact that they could “spread-out” and have a yard large enough to
enjoy. Still they are near enough to Baltimore shopping districts and places of amusement, it is
only a twenty minute drive to the city; yet ours has all the advantages of a rural community.
One of the chief attractions to the people living here is the beach. We enjoy the privacy of a
restricted beach which is not more than a ten minute walk from any home in our community.
There are many places to tie yachts and a boat repair yard and fueling stations are nearby. Fifty
percent of our residents live here because of our shore.
Other conveniences might be given such as our business district. It includes all sorts of small
businesses: hardware store, gift shop, dentist and doctor offices, two self-service markets, post
office, filling stations, clothing store, first aid station, dry cleaners, supper clubs, five and dime
store, drug store, restaurants and others. We also have two fire companies, five churches,
playgrounds, lodges, clubs, two schools, and active improvement associations and civic groups
in our community.
Nearly all of us live here for more or less the same reasons - the conveniences we feel our
community has to offer adequate space to enjoy our homes; nearness to shopping centers, our
work, the water, and recreational places; protection of our good fire departments and county
police; having our own schools and churches.
Our beaches are young and far from crowded. Most of the homes were built by people who are
family-oriented. We know of no noteworthy inadequacy on our housing at the present time.
Dr. J. Brady Smith, general practitioner, has his office in Riviera Beach, on Fort Smallwood
Road. He is the only physician in this immediate community. Dr. Mallow, a dentist, also
practices in Riviera Beach. We have no clinics or hospitals in this area but there is a clinic at
Magothy Health Center open to our citizens and we are not too far from the hospitals of
Baltimore. Each fire department has ambulance service ready in case of any emergency.
There is no central water supply in any of our beaches. Each homeowner has dug or drilled a
well for his own use. The county supplies a garbage collection and disposal for the entire area
twice a week in summer time and for some beaches once a week in the winter while the larger
beaches continue their semi-weekly schedule.
All of our beaches are patrolled by officers from Ferndale Police Station which is the closest
Anne Arundel County police station to our community. In addition to the county part the Fort
Smallwood Highway is patrolled by state troopers. Many beaches have a special officer, to keep
peace and order in that particular area. These officers were appointed by the county but paid by
the development company. The officers are residents of the community and their chief job is to
keep the public from bathing at the private beaches.
The third district Magistrate Court on Mountain Road serves this community. They take care of
civil suits up to $300, theft cases up to $100, and motor vehicles cases involving anyone sixteen
years or older.
More serious crimes than those are handled by the Circuit Court in Annapolis. Any criminal
cases under eighteen years of age go to the juvenile court in Annapolis.
Our Riviera Beach Fire Company was begun in 1930 by Mac Eshenbach. He organized a group
of volunteers and became the first fire chief.
The following September, 1931, they bought a new fire truck from the United States Fire
Apparatus Company of Wilmington, Delaware. This truck had many new features for that time
and was brought by the factory man here for demonstration.
This truck had:
500 gal. pump 2 1/2 in. hose 1 1/2 in. hose
3/4 in. booster line 24 ft. ladder 12 ft. ladder
4 in. suction hose coats, boots, helmets
The firemen were thrilled with the engine. The factory man wanted to demonstrate it, so he and
Ellsworth Barton, then chief of the company, climbed aboard and started down Fort Smallwood
Road. But at that time Fort Smallwood Road was being graded up for pavement. A road machine
that took up over half of the road loomed suddenly ahead of the truck. The demonstrator slowed
down and cut over to keep from hitting the machine. The slope was too great for the heavy
engine and it turned over, killing chief Barton.
Nevertheless, the truck was bought and put in Mac’s garage, because there was no engine house
at that time.
In 1934 a new building was completed on Tickneck Road in Sunset Beach. It was one story high
and only half as long or wide as the building there today. The engine was then proudly moved to
its new home.
At this time our company answered calls from Stoney Creek to Gibson Island, and as far over as
old Annapolis Road.
In 1937 the company bought its first ambulance, which we still have. It was a Buick bought from
the Flexible Body Company. This purchase made it necessary to enlarge the building again. So
in 1938 the building was made longer and a second floor added.
The company grew as the community grew and the need was greater. In the next year, 1939,
firemen began to train for fire-fighting at the University of Maryland. Guess work was gone.
Since that time our men have kept in training all the time with these courses in basic and
advanced fire-fighting.
The men must have been glad for this training, when in 1941 our company helped fight the worst
fire in its history, Thirty-two hundred acres of woods and fields, nine houses and several garages
and sheds burned. The fire is believed to have started at Millersville and was finally stopped at
Brandon Shores.
In 1914 it was decided that in case of another fire like that, there should always be an extra
engine to call. So funds were raised and a second engine was purchased in 1942. Both of these
trucks are still serving our needs.
Another purchase was made in 1947 - a second ambulance was bought. Again, the next year it
was necessary to add to the fire house. This time they enlarged it to twice its former size.
As the company received better support, another ambulance was bought in 1950, and the second
one sold. This gave the company two ambulances and two fire trucks, which we still have today.
This was good for in 1951 we had to answer three hundred and twenty five fire calls and four
hundred ambulance calls. Our present fire chief believes that the greatest cause of this large
number of fires was careless burning of trash on windy days.
It is said that the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company Inc. is one of the best in the country. In
1951, when they had so many calls they received a cup from G. Henry Knoblock for having the
snappiest firemen in the Memorial Day Parade here.
The company has a paid chauffeur, who must be on duty at all times; but all the other firemen are
volunteers. The fire chief is chosen by majority vote at the general business meeting of the
firemen. These meetings are held once a month, as is also the meeting of the Board of Directors.
The company answers calls anywhere in the third district. There are about three hundred fire
calls a year and about four hundred ambulance calls.
Funds for equipment and the operation of this community service is gotten from the functions the
Ladies auxiliary sponsors, bingos, carnivals, solicitations, and a small appropriation from the
county each year.
Our fire chiefs were:
Mac Eshenbach Ellsworth Barton Lawrence Walker
Ray Zittle Calvin Bayne William Mahle
Years before Riviera Beach was developed Father Leonard Ripple of Saint Rose of Lima Parrish
in Brooklyn started a mission down here. Mass had to be held in a tent.
The church now standing on Church and Tickneck Road was completed in 1924. It continued as
a mission, associated with St. Rose of Lima for twenty-two years. In 1946 on November 22,
Father Raymond Kelly came to Riviera Beach as St. Jane Frances’ first pastor, and the church
became a Parrish. That year, besides the priest’s daily mass, two masses were said on Sundays.
Now the Parrish had grown so that five masses are necessary on Sunday, except in summer when
there are six. These are said in the school hall because it is larger and will seat one thousand
The first May procession in our Parrish was held in 1947. The present Mrs. Joseph Stewart was
the Queen of that year.
Associated with the church is the Sanctuary Society, whose president is Mr. Charles Wholy.
Another society of the Parrish is the Sodality, whose president is Miss Margaret Mooney. The
Holy Name Society’s president is Paul Klatt. William Omeara is organist; his wife is choir
The Lutheran church was built on Fort Smallwood Road in Orchard Beach in 1945 and named
by its pastor, who is remembered as the Rev. Mr. Fink.
Its earliest member families were:
Bracks Fahmallers Smelsers
Squires Taymans Wilbes
The first baptism recorded was Linda Tayman. Early members met in the Improvement
Association Hall. The superintendent of the Sunday School is Mr. Harry Zeller. The present
pastor is the Reverend Mr. Valde Mezezers.
The councilmen are:
Mr. Alfred Squires Gustan Kurtz Emil Quasney
Edwin Schaken Howard C. Graf Harry Zeller
The cornerstone of the Community Methodist Church of Riviera Beach was laid on September
12, 1925. Previous to this a group of people held church meetings first on Mrs. Anna Riley’s
front porch, then in Mrs. Stadiger’s garage and then in a tent at the corner of Carvel and Main
Roads. At this time Riviera Beach was only a summer colony and the church was open about ten
Sundays a year.
Today the original building plus a recent addition known as “Fellowship” Hall houses 24 Sunday
School Classes, an active church membership, a junior and intermediate Methodist Youth
Fellowship, Women’s Society of Christian Service, two Girl Scout troops, a Brownie Scout
troop, a Boy Scout troop and Sea Scout troop, a daily kindergarten class, and special meetings of
various other organizations.
Rev. Charles S. Harrison was the very first minister in the church. Since 1947 the pulpit has been
occupied by Rev. Wm. Cook.
Due to the fact that there were no “All the Year” Protestant Churches in the community, the
Jenkins Memorial Church was organized on the front porch of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Benway
of Carroll Road, Riviera Beach on the 2nd Sunday of June, 1931, with 6 children and 3 adults
and $3.68 in cash. Mr. James Jenkins, a farmer, offered a plot of ground and gave a check for a
reasonable amount toward building the church.
Rev. Charles S. Harrison who had just returned from Walfordburg, Pennsylvania and moved to
Bar Harbor, was called and urged to undertake the building of an “All the Year” church. The
Reverend and his committee whom he had gotten together really got busy. The membership
increased weekly, both Sunday School and Church, and on Sunday, December 13, of the same
year, 1931, the Jenkins Memorial Church was dedicated to God and to the community.
In November 1951, a building committee was formed with the pastor as leader to erect an
addition to the church for the Sunday School, two new rooms, a new hot water heating system, a
larger kitchen and dining room. This will be dedicated on Sunday, June 8, 1952. For three years
a school bus has been bringing about 55 persons to Sunday School each Sunday. Rev. C. S.
Harrison has served as pastor since 1931. He is both founder and pastor.
In Carvel Beach there is a small, picturesque church which is run by the people of the
community. It is non sectarian and there a Sunday School for the children of the beach is held
every Sunday.
Mr. Schaefer is Superintendent and has been since the beginning of the church in 1940. There is
church for adults, only on special Sundays when a visiting minister is secured to conduct their
Many, many years ago a small school was built near Tickneck Road at the junction of the
Neidert and Stinchcomb farms. This was known as the Rock Point School. It had only one room
with an average attendance of 19 children. The property was deeded on September 18, 1869, but
we do not know exactly what year the building was constructed. This school was used by the
residents in our community until 1926 when it was closed and the children were transported to
Jacobsville School.
In 1943 a new school was built in Riviera Beach and this one continues to serve the children in
this area. The first year Mrs. Virginia D. Moore was principal of the six-room school. Since that
time four more classrooms have been added to the school and Miss Nancy P. Hopkins has
become Principal.
When the Jacobsville School served this area the children completed 7 grades there and then
rode the school bus to Glen Burnie for 4 years of secondary education. Now the children attend
six grades of elementary school at Riviera Beach, then 3 grades of Junior High School at the new
George Fox School in Green Haven. From there, they go to Glen Burnie for 3 years of senior
high schooling.
In 1948 three sisters of Notre Dame, with Sister Emmanuel as Superior, came to this Parrish to
open school for Catholic children.
The first was an all brown, wooden building, having only three grades. Each year made more
plain the need for a larger school. This was built on the lot adjoining the one belonging to the
public school. It was of modern design with eight classrooms, a large auditorium, and kitchen for
serving hot lunches to the children.
There are now six sisters teaching here, and a new convent is planned for next year to house the
additional sisters that are needed to take care of the increased enrollment. The first grade alone is
to have sixty-five youngsters in it next year.
There are now six grades in the school, and every one is filled as full as the size of the
classrooms will allow.
There are certain annual affairs that everyone looks forward to and the whole community attends
with enthusiasm. Every year the Lions Club sponsors a parade on Memorial Day. Many
organizations and businesses present marching units or floats for this parade.
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Riviera Beach Fire Dept. have a minstrel show each year as also
does the Catholic Church. Both of these shows are very popular. There is always a big turnout
for the musical review given by the Catholic School, the May Day Festival of the Public School,
the May Day Exercises of the Catholic Church and the Christmas Play of the Public School. The
two dancing schools have recitals every year, Knoblock’s Department Store has a fashion show
each spring and perhaps the gayest time of all is the summer carnival time. Riviera Beach Fire
Department open their week of carnival with a noisy parade of Fire engines, ambulances, bands
and auxiliaries of many neighboring Fire Departments. Many churches and other organizations
hold carnivals each year. Throughout the year all organizations (Ladies Aux. of the Churches
especially) serve dinners, have bake sales, plays, etc., which we all enjoy as we meet with our
neighbors and friends.
When the Riviera Beach Development Co. planned this community, they included a playground.
Part of this land was equipped with swings, see saws, climbing bars, merry-go-round, a jungle
gym and a pavilion. The other section has been made into a football and baseball field. For many
years the community had a football team which played teams from surrounding communities. At
the present time the field is used only by the children of the area in their play.
Within our community there is an amusement park and a community bathing beach open to the
public, known as “Cottage Grove Beach.” Large crowds from Baltimore come to this beach each
summer. They have bath houses, many tables and benches in a picnic grove, baseball fields,
ferris wheels, carousel, miniature railroad, pony rides, several pavilions, refreshment stands,
cocktail lounge and dining room.
The first Girl Scout Troop in this area was organized in Riviera Beach by Mrs. Elsie Heer and
Mrs. Louise Robinson in 1941. Sine that year Girl Scouting in our community has grown to the
extent that today there is an Intermediate and a Brownie Troop in Orchard Beach, three
Intermediate, two Brownie Troops and a Senior Troop in Riviera Beach. The troops are filled to
capacity with waiting lines in nearly every case and the need of additional troops next September
seems definite. The present leaders are Mrs. Schaarf and Mrs. Bowler in Orchard Beach, Mrs.
Beatty, Mrs. Krickler, Mrs. Gleim, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Frank and Mrs. Craig in Riviera Beach.
Mrs. Stasch is neighborhood chairman of scouting in this community and Mrs. Heer conducts
leadership training courses.
The first Boy Scout Troop was begun in Riviera Beach in 1942 by Mr. Frank Neat. Today there
is an intermediate troop led by Mr. Gosnell and a Sea Scout Troop led by Mr. Phillips. At the
present time the cub scouts are being reorganized. There is a Boy Scout Troop in Orchard Beach
led by Mr. Hall.
The Riviera Beach Yacht Club was begun about 1940. It was the outgrowth of a small “Men’s
Club” that met at various members’ homes. There are 20 charter members. Today the club owns
its waterfront property, clubhouse, and is incorporated. There are approximately 60 members.
Mr. Charles Stevens is the present Commander.
About 3 years after formation of the yacht club the wives of members formed an organization
known as “the Anchors”. They meet at the clubhouse and strive to aid the Yacht Club. There are
about 25 members and the president is Mrs. Arthur Heise.
The Lions Club is a world wide organization. The club was started in Riviera Beach in 1949 by
Mr. Edward Smith, Jr. and Dr. J. Brady Smith, Mrs. Lewis Bookhultz, and Mr. Justin Buick and
others. The first president was Mr. Bookhultz and Mr. Jack Derr is president at the present time.
The club dues are sixteen dollars per year. One dollar per person goes to the national
headquarters. Meetings are twice a month. The purpose is to provide community services, with
special attention paid to sight conservation.
A general meeting of parents and teachers of the Riviera Beach School was held in the school on
Wednesday, September 22, 1943. Mr. Heer asked to act as chairman for this meeting, the main
purpose of which was to organize a Parents-Teachers Association.
The faculty of the school was introduced by Mr. A. P. Van Metre, coordinating principal of
Riviera Beach, Jacobsville and Pasadena schools.
October 14, 1943 Election of officers for P.T.S. was as follows:
President Watson Heer
1st Vice President Mrs. Virginia Moore
2nd Vice President Mrs. Norris Erb
Secretary Mrs. John Beatty
Treasurer Mrs. Josephine Pugh
Mr. Pumphrey donated a piano and radio.
Meetings were held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 8 pm
Recently our class made a survey of our community to get an idea of what families in this area
felt were our greatest problems. This is what we found out:
Transportation 3.9%
Water Supply 41.38%
Sewage 28.1 4%
Dope .66%
Entertainment for children 1.65%
Recreation 1.55%
Schools .66%
Roads 11.92%
Mail Service .33%
Delinquency .33%
Litter on the beach .66%
The bad water supply and poor means of sewage disposal have been talked about for several
years. A petition has even been sent to the Baltimore City Council requesting that city water be
brought to our community. We have had no results as yet. Our Improvement Association, the
Parent Teachers Association, and other civic groups are working on this problem.
It is hoped that the Baltimore Transit Company will extend its lines this far because city water
may follow it. It is also hoped that the new industrial plant going in between us and Foreman’s
Corner will hasten its installation.
In the last two months the county and state have been working on the roads in Riviera Beach and
on Tickneck Road widening the berm. It is hoped that the many holes that are so hard on our
automobiles will be repaired in all the beaches.
Since so much beach traffic passes our community day after day in the summer and more and
more people are making their permanent homes here, there has been a rapid growth in the places
of business along Fort Smallwood Road. It is believed that within a very few years the whole
length of this road will be business from the Coast Guard to Rock Hill Beach.
There are many rumors of industries going in between Baltimore and Annapolis. Also, there are
indications that Baltimore Transit will extend its operations to Orchard Beach, at least, after
industry that is started north of Orchard Beach is completed. Furthermore, our people have been
relentless in their demands for city water and sewage and continued, improved roads. If and
when all these things come about, it seems reasonable that the next step will be annexation to
Baltimore itself, with the other benefits such action would bring.
Boat racing on Rock Creek and Stoney Creek has made swimming and fishing alike
disagreeable, difficult and at some times almost impossible. Will there be some sort of
compromise made, or isn’t it that important to the swimmers and fishermen who are complaining
Properties are increasing in value all the time because of the businesses growing up and
movement of the city people even farther from the center of Baltimore city. Will this plus the
new industries create a housing problem in our community, whose appeal is now spaciousness?
There is a definite trend now to a greater amount of social life in our community, and a greater
variety of social organizations. There is noticeably a greater spirit of cooperation now than ever
The Riviera Beach Development Co. donated the land for the Trinity Episcopal Methodist
Church in 1925. Rev. Charles Harrison was the first pastor of the summer only church. The
building was built for $8,000. In 1940, the church became a year round church with Rev.
Thomas Baker as pastor. The Fellowship Hall was added in 1949 at a cost of $9,000 and the
name of the church became The Community Methodist Church, better known as “The Pink