Our Local History: 1955 to Present
The Davidsonville Ruritan Club was established and chartered in April 1955 by several local farmers and businessmen. The original membership was 46 strong with a leadership of many locally notable names: Watkins, Covington, Carson, Price, Sullivan, Rossback, Lerch, Abend, Gardiner and Adams.
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The club flourished through the 1950s and 1960s and popular fundraisers involved corn, tobacco and soybean crops. In 1969 the Davidsonville Ruritan Foundation was incorporated to manage the charitable activities of the organization. Four years later, in 1973, five acres located at what is now 3358 Davidsonville Road was donated to the club. In 1979, with considerable financial donations from several members, the Davidsonville Ruritan Community Center was constructed.
The building was used by local organizations and was at times rented out to private citizens for parties, weddings, anniversaries, etc. The field was provided to local athletic clubs for their use at no charge. The facility was expanded in 1989 with the addition of a small conference room and storage area. In 1994 the Chapman family liquidated the club's mortgage by providing a sizable donation to the club.
During the late 1980s and 1990s the club's membership ranged from 75 to 80 members. The Ruritan chaired events including bull and oyster roasts, 20/20 banquets, crab feasts, country auctions, senior citizen dinners, dances, Las Vegas nights.
However, the club experienced a significant decline in membership during the 2000s. During that decade the building was rented out as much as possible to meet the growing cost of maintenance since the membership was not growing and the
age of most Ruritan members precluded them from taking on major projects or events.
In November 2012, with the membership at an all time low, a decision was made to sell the building and property. Meetings were held with possible buyers, such as athletic organizations, churches and professional organizations.
In November 2013 the Maryland Farm Bureau, then based in Randellstown, Maryland, signed the intent to purchase the property and building. In December the farm bureau completed settlement on the property with the Davidsonville Ruritan Foundation. At the same time the foundation leased back the athletic field from the Maryland Farm Bureau for an agreed upon yearly sum. The field is now being provided to the Davidsonville Athletic Association for its use free of charge as it has been in the past.
While we were saddened by the sale of our building, we feel the Maryland Farm Bureau is an exceptional addition to our community. The Davidsonville Ruritan remains a viable organization that is committed to the well-being of the Davidsonville-area community.
Davidsonville Ruritan Foundation