St. Alban's Constructed

By 1900, members of the Glen Burnie church had outgrown their small frame building, and while they needed a new church, old Marley Chapel was falling to ruins. Bishop Paret suggested that they ask St. Margaret's for permission to restore the old chapel. Instead of restoring the chapel, however, they decided to rebuild it in Glen Burnie.

Like many colonial churches, old Marley Chapel was nearly square. The structure was brick, with plastered walls and an arched, plastered ceiling. A brick aisle was set four inches lower than the floor level of the pews, which were of plain pine with doors. In the center of the chancel wall, a tablet was inserted bearing an inscription of the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments..

In reconstructing Marley Chapel, the basic design and proportions were retained. The old handmade English bricks were carefully removed and laid in the new chapel, and they are easily identified in that structure today. The plastered interior and arched ceiling were also copied. One major addition, however, was an open belltower over the entrance to the new chapel. Today this is enclosed and forms the vestibule, but the bell is still tolled by hand for services the same as it was more than 60 years ago.

sa1913

St. Alban's Church in 1913-14
In the original plans for St. Alban's, the church was supposed to face A Street and extend back parallel with Second Avenue, and the entrance was to have been where Dr. Brayshaw's memorial window is now. After the foundation had been laid, however, the congregation was shocked to discover that the church was too wide and short. Delay after delay ensued until finally in 1904 the first service, a very special one, was held in the still unfinished church. It was Dr. Brayshaw's wedding.

The first small frame chapel built in the early 1890's had been known as Glenburnie Chapel. For the second chapel, however, the congregation chose the name, St. Alban's because according to the Julian calendar, that was the nearest feast day to the date of June 16th on which the chapel was consecrated.

By 1905, a year after St. Alban's was completed, Glen Burnie had acquired Gassinger's Turning Factory and Wagner's Barrel Factory, and in 1908 the town had its first summer carnival, sponsored by the Glen Burnie Improvement Association. This bit of tongue-in-check publicity was printed on the 1910 carnival program: "Glen Burnie is one of the most unique towns in Maryland and is made up of men of every vocation among whom may be mentioned; H. S. Mancha, Attorney-at-law; Thomas Brayshaw, M.D.; William F. Kuethe, Capitalist; R. D. Phelps, Planter; Edward Woodfall, Contractor; Thomas Woodfall, Florist; W. Craig Lord, Electrical Engineer; Gustav Lotze, Chrysanthemum Grower and Captain of the Baseball Team; G.W. Taylor and J.L. Reigel, members of the Grand Army of the Republic; J. H. Tilling, Blacksmith; J. W. Solley, Jr., Merchant; Thomas W. Solley, Merchant; Frank Mewshaw, Merchant; . . . Adam Wengert, the most obliging man in the state . . . AND WE WANT YOU!"

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