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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT File Photo, 05/1967
South River Club
Inventory No.: AA-140
Date Listed: 5/15/1969
Location: South River Clubhouse Road , Collisons Corner, Anne Arundel County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1742
Description: The South River Club, an early social club established by English settlers, survives today as one of the oldest, continuously active organizations of its type in America. In 1740 a fire destroyed the original club building and records, but there is evidence that the club itself existed in 1732 and perhaps as early as 1700. Built in 1742, the present structure is a small frame 1 1/2-story one-room clubhouse with a gable roof and a narrow exterior chimney on the east gable end. On the north side, a brick-floored one-bay porch with a gable roof covers the batten door slightly west of the center of the facade. This porch is supported by narrow Doric columns carried on square piers, with a balustrade on either side. The porch roof is relatively elaborate, with a dentiled cornice and raking cornice, and an elliptically arched opening. A 6/9 window to the east has its original single batten shutter. On the west gable end are two smaller windows, each with a single batten shutter, which were installed in 1806. The south elevation has a door and window corresponding to their northern counterparts. In 1909 an awning was extended between this rear door and the detached kitchen building for convenience in bad weather. This innovation is no longer used but sockets for its supporting pipes can still be seen. In 1910 a well was dug, and in 1914 the small neo-classical front porch was added. Inside, the walls are plastered, and the crane and cooking utensils used in the early days of the club stand in the open fireplace. Entry to the loft above is via a ladder which stands in the southeast corner of the room. The rafters are dovetailed together, and there is no ridgepole. Significance: The South River Club can be traced back to English clubs of the same type which held an important place in the social and intellectual life of the mother country. The early members included prominent landowners, merchants, and the local doctor and clergyman, all of whom lived within a 10-mile radius of the clubhouse. The minutes of the club have been kept since 1740, and the present membership of 25 persons includes many descendants of past club members.


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