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A somewhat less expensive alternative to Laurel real estate is Glen Burnie. Glen Burnie is located about 15 minutes east of Laurel Maryland.
Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) is located in Glen Burnie. The airport is a hub for Southwest Airlines. BWI employs numerous area residents.
The groundwork for Glen Burnie was laid nearly two centuries ago, when, in 1812, a district attorney by the name of Elias Glenn established a county seat near what is currently known as Brooklyn Park in Baltimore City. He named his property “Glennsburne.”
The name was changed to “Glennsbourne Farm,” and eventually “Glenburnie,” as the property was passed through Glenn’s descendants. Records also show the name as “Tracey’s Station” and “Myrtle,” after local postmaster Samuel Sewell Tracey and one of Tracey’s boarders, before the final decision was made.
In 1854, William Wilkins Glenn, Elias Glenn’s grandson, incorporated the Curtis Creek Mining, Furnace and Manufacturing Company into his family’s property. The business flourished during the 19th century, and with it came several thousand acres of land in northern Anne Arundel County.
Upon the death of William Wilkins Glenn, his son, brother and nephew began to manage the family’s business affairs, and Glenburnie became an official state subdivision in 1888. The Glenn family contracted George T. Melvin and Henry S. Mancha to lay out and promote the town. It would not be until 1930 that postmaster Louis J. DeAlba decided two words were better than one, and gave the town a final name change to the current Glen Burnie.
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Among the earliest Glen Burnie schools was First Avenue Elementary, built in 1899. The oldest area church is St. Alban’s Episcopal, which was built in 1904, with many of its bricks dating back to Marley Chapel, an early Maryland parish from the 1730s. Crain Highway U.S. Route 301, one of Glen Burnie’s main thoroughfares (named after State Senator Robert Crain), opened in 1927 and Ritchie Highway (Maryland Route 2, named for ex-Governor Albert C. Ritchie) followed in 1939. Ritchie Highway carried nearly all Baltimore-area traffic headed for Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge until an alternate bypass road, Interstate 97, opened in the 1980s.
Schools and churches were built in the ensuing decades, and construction was completed on Harundale Mall, the first enclosed shopping center east of the Mississippi River, in 1958; it was one of the first shopping centers to be called a “mall” and was developed by James W. Rouse of the Rouse Company (which also developed nearby Columbia, Maryland). Glen Burnie Mall followed in 1962. Marley Station, Glen Burnie’s most prominent shopping center, opened in the February 1987. The Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles office building employs many people in town.