Dr. Brayshaw: St. Alban's Founder

In 1890, more than a hundred and fifty years after Marley Chapel was built, young Dr. Thomas Brayshaw was looking for a place to practice, and he came to a new little town called Glenburnie. It could hardly be called a town, however, for Glenburnie, as it was spelled then, was a part of a 3,000-acre tract of land that was owned by John Glenn and was being developed by his company, the Curtis Creek Furnace Mining and Manufacturing Company. Before this development, the area that is now the heart of Glen Burnie area called "Myrtle" and was also known as "Tracy's Station";, for Sewell Tracy owned the only house and operated a store that served as a post office and station for the Baltimore and Annapolis Shortline, which had started operating 1887. Dr. Brayshaw bought the Tracy home, and it still stands back among large shade trees on Drum Point Road, now Padfield Blvd.


Dr. Brayshaw, our beloved founder
Not one church was in Glen Burnie when Dr. Brayshaw came, and he soon did something about it. On a Sunday in August, 1890, a flock of eager children gathered for services on Dr. Brayshaw's porch. And that was the beginning of St. Alban's of Glen Burnie.


Dr. Brayshaw's front porch where first Sunday School was held. This photo of the first annual medical seminar or "Doctors' Day"; was taken in 1910.
From then on for 50 years, the Sunday School was under the guidance of the doctor's sister, Miss Anna Brayshaw. A stained glass window in the church and a room in the parish hall are dedicated to her memory.


Miss Anna Brayshaw, Mr. Franklin Maddox, and Mr. Percy Le Marquand.
After that first Sunday School service, the children's enthusiasm aroused the parents. Immediately they arranged for cottage services to be held in their homes. Henry Mancha on First Avenue offered to have the first service in his home. The Mancha home is next to the Bank of Glen Burnie. The Rev. DeWitt C. Loop, a retired missionary, conducted this service and later alternated with the Rev. Charles Spencer, rector of St. Margaret's.

Glen Burnie was growing fast in the early 1890's. During the first two years, a community hall, two stores, a smith and wheelwright shop, and a tile and terra cotta factory were built. As the community grew, so did the group of Episcopal families, and they were encouraged by Dr. Spencer to build a church of their own.


This plaque hangs in the vestry of St. Alban's
When Mr. Glenn learned of the group's desire for a church, he offered them two lots of their choice and promised to help furnish the church. Under Dr. Brayshaw's leadership, four men built the first church in Glen Burnie, a small wooden chapel on the site where the rectory of St. Alban's now stands. Edward Woodfall designed the chapel, and he and his brother, Thomas, and a Mr. Franklin and a Mr. Stevenson built it. Mr. Glenn gave 18 pews The Rev. William Brayshaw, brother of Thomas, furnished the altar, which is used today in the children's Sunday School. Dr. Southgate sent the old walnut lecturn from St. Anne's in Annapolis.


Ed Woodfall, Designer and Builder of first chapel
Meanwhile, better transportation in other parts of the county drew trade and families away from Marley where the old Chapel of Ease had been built. Finally, in 1861, the Registrar of St. Margaret's was ordered "to take the lock of the chapel doore and have a key made to it that the doore may be kept lockt to keepe horses and cattle from going into the house and damaging it". The chapel was damaged not by horses and cattle, however, but by people. Vandals took the bricks for charcoal ovens and the wood for charcoal and kindling. Some people say that the chapel was used as a refuge and even as a stable during the Civil War.

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