Arden History

Arden's history started with the Sunrise Beach organization advertising 1/4 acre cottage sites for sale during 1951 and 1952 in local Baltimore newspapers for as low at $495 per lot, specifically highlighting, "Your own summer cottage where you can swim, sail, fish, and spend every summer evening with your family enjoying life as it was meant to be lived - and all within 14 miles of the Baltimore City line." 


Arden On The Severn came to be during the romantic period of the early 1900s in the days when people were delighting in a light opera which depicted the adventures of Robin Hood and his men in Sherwood Forest. The name "Arden" is the name of an ancient forest in England which may have been the inspiration for the naming of the proposed settlement. Arden was surveyed in 1911 by J. Spence Howard, whose family was one of the early families of Anne Arundel County. As a result of the survey all roads were laid out to follow the contour of gullies.

The settlement of Arden contained about 600 acres and extended from Whitneys Landing Drive following the Severn to Plum Creek. The original Arden did not include Sections 4 and 5, and Mr. Henry Keidel owned most of Section 2. One of the four men who planned the settlement, a man named Strauss, lived in a home located at the end of what is now Evergreen Road. (Records show around 1940, Mr. Strauss sold the home to Mr. Taylor, president of the Friendly Insurance Company of Baltimore.)

The original deeds as set out in 1913 had two restrictive covenants: (1) No one occupying land in Arden On The Severn might purchase, convey, possess, manufacture, distribute or consume spirituous beverages and (2) whoever bought a piece of land covenanted not to sell it to "a celestial". In those days, China was called the Celestial Kingdom, so the covenant attempted to keep Asian people from buying. After an influx of Chinese immigrants and workers in the late 1800s, America had taken restrictive measures as racism spread.

For many years only two lots in this anti-liquorous, anti-celestial area had houses on them. These homes are located on the Severn at the end of Omar Drive. These houses were built by two doctors from the University of Maryland, who were very close friends and who decided to live as neighbors in Arden. Each was so enthusiastic about his home that he had the builder take a picture every afternoon and send it up to him in Baltimore. When the houses were almost completed, however, the two doctors became so infuriated with each other during a poker game that they refused to live in the same neighborhood. Each man decided to sell his dream house, and neither informed the other of his decision. The two houses were sold almost simultaneously and each man regretted the sale.

Original Sunrise Beach Sales Office


(Some data was gathered independently, and some was taken from the Arden On The Severn Directory, 1995.)

Before the 1920s, the Crownsville area was mostly farmland, but over time four large communities were developed: Epping Forest, Sherwood Forest, Herald Harbor, and Arden on the Severn.

Beach Shores, Incorporated bought the surrounding land around the two developed lots that existed, cut roads, surveyed lots, and started an advertising campaign for a new beach community called Sunrise Beach. They envisioned a community of summer cottages, with perhaps a few year-round residents. Many early residents built summer cottages (most of which were later converted for full-time occupancy) but a handful built year-round homes to begin with.

By 1955, approximately 30 families were living in the five sections of Sunrise Beach. All of the streets were gravel topped, and to go from one house to another, you needed a flashlight to see the way.

Earliest Dated Sales Advertisement

In Summary

The Sunrise Beach, Arden Civic Association was formed in 1955 and was intended to create an informal organization of associated interest groups through which residents and/or property owners could meet to improve and protect Arden while maintaining and encouraging a strong sense of community. With that goal in mind, much has been done since to enhance our community.

Charter members of the association included almost all of the families living here at the time. One of the first accomplishments of the organization was securing a few street lights on corners where they were most needed.

Knowing that the area was formerly known as "Arden," the members of the first civic association worked to change the name of the community from Sunrise Beach to Arden On The Severn. Interestingly, this effort was undertaken because several lot owners wanted to build homes and were unable to secure mortgages due to the lenders' claim that the name "Sunrise Beach" carried the connotation of a beach community; they assumed the proposed homes would not retain their value if surrounded by beach cottages. The name "Arden On The Severn" was voted upon and approved by the majority of lot owners. The community's new name was accepted by the Post Office, but no legal action was ever taken through the Anne Arundel County Government because of the cost involved; hence all property deeds still read "Sunrise Beach."  Amazingly, over the course of more than fifty years, maps, government projects, development documents, etc., all refer to "Arden On The Severn" because of the common name. 

"There's No Place Like Home"

Delving Into The Archives

While working through the scanning of 50-plus years of the NewsBuoy, a brief history of the Arden Civic Association's first year of existence has been compiled. The document was produced in 1956 by resident Isabel Maiatico, and the manual typewriter version that was recovered on 8.5 x 11" paper and was amazingly in pristine condition!

A Simple Directory

The idea for a civic association originated when Mrs. Charles M. Brown gathered some of the early residents together to compile a directory. Out of these directory meetings grew early plans for a civic group under the guidance of Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Anthony Maiatico.

After a preliminary meeting, it was decided to invite all lot owners to a meeting to be held on the Maiatico lawn on May 21, 1955. At this meeting, by unanimous vote, the association was formed, and a "Nominating and Constitution-Bylaws" committee was appointed. That year, meetings from July through September were held on Beach 1. Officers for the year were elected at the next meeting. Sections elected delegates to the Executive Committee and standing committees were formed.

More Recently

In the year 2007, the Arden Civic Association, now called the Arden Community Association, became incorporated, and in 2020 recognized as Non-Profit. The ACA serves as the governing body that organizes the community into activity groups through establishing committees and supporting clubs, meets to determine the focus of community interests, and oversees the publication of the NewsBuoy (the official community newsletter of the ACA). ACA collects voluntary membership contributions and donations from community members, and maintains independent financial and operating records reported to the membership through monthly meetings.

All residents in Arden, both full and part-time, lot owners, renters, and property owners within the footprint of Arden on the Severn, age 18 and over are eligible for ACA membership. The volunteer members of the ACA Executive Board are elected to their positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each of the five sections within Arden are represented on the ACA board by a Section Delegate. It is the responsibility of the board to oversee the organization. All Sunrise Beach lot owner members in good standing with ACA are eligible to run for a position.

Arden on the Severn Plan 1911

1911 (the beginning of the now Section 1)


Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Section 4

Section 5



The ACA created a Beach Buying Committee in the early 1970s to negotiate the purchase of and acquire the beaches and beach park area from Beach Shores, Inc. Check out the details here: The Birth of Arden Beaches


Arden was the location of a ferry between Arden on the Severn and Severna Park. Learn more here:  Arden Ferry


Arden was the site of extensive mining for the what was said to be the finest glass sand in the country. Look here: Arden's Mining History 


The ACA was the platform used to create the Arden Recreation Association. Look here: Arden Recreation Association