Maryland City

My next Laurel History Boys presentation will be on October 13th at the Maryland City Library, where Kevin Leonard and I will be discussing Maryland City. While Kevin covers the history of the residential community, my portion of the talk will focus on the area’s retail history.

Presentation promo-MD-CITYPresentation promo-MD-CITY-RETAIL

While I’ve found quite a few vintage photos and ads from various businesses, I have to admit—pinpointing exactly where some of them were in the two ever-changing Maryland City shopping centers is proving to be a chore.

Following are two site maps for the shopping centers. I’ve removed the current tenant list and simply numbered the units, and I’m hoping some of you can help fill in a few blanks—literally.

Please take a look and let me know in the comments if you can identify the locations of any particular businesses from either Brockbridge Shopping Center (198 & Old Line Avenue) or Maryland City Plaza (198 & Red Clay Road). Whether you recall them from the 1960s or the 1990s, let’s try to compile a list of historical tenants.

Starting with Brockbridge Shopping Center, I know that the large anchor stores were originally Drug Fair (#1) and A & P (#2). The A & P later became E.J. Roberts—a clothing store. In the strip mall section, I remember going to Tracy Crabtree’s barbershop in the early 90s, but I can’t recall exactly which of the storefronts was his.



Likewise, Maryland City Plaza was originally home to the likes of Sears Surplus, Dart Drug, and Acme. The library branch was also located here before Russett was built.


Part of the challenge in identifying shopping center locations (aside from fading memory) is that contemporary advertisements and phone directory listings rarely included a specific address—only that the business was located in said shopping center. Like this one, from 1968:

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Another obstacle is that the shopping centers themselves have changed over the years. Not only cosmetically, but large units have been split up, new sections added, etc. It can be surprisingly disorienting to visit an old shopping center again if you haven’t seen it in 20 years or so!

Despite having technically lived in Maryland City for a few years, (my parents bought a townhouse on Whiskey Bottom Road just behind the Starting Gate in 1987) I didn’t spend a lot of time at those shopping centers. Going back even further, my first youth football team was also in Maryland City. I still have my Mustangs jersey.


I’d wear it to my presentation in October, but, um, it probably hasn’t fit me since I was about 12 years old. 🙂

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21 thoughts on “Maryland City

  1. Marisa says:

    I remember a jeweley store there near Dart Drug Store. Not sure what is was called. Maybe Thomas Jewelers.

  2. ray says:

    md city plaza site 1 sears surplus was the clothing, 5 and 6 were sear surplus the appliance and home good section, the next stores to move into the 5/6 space were dart drug, drug emporium, total craft, joann fabrics, and now tjmax. also there use to be a walk through opening between 6 & 7. i believe 6 was expanded. now the library was up next to dart drug maybe sites 7&8. Bambinos Pizza was in one of the spots between 9 & 13, along with Thompson jewelers, chung king, sterling optical, crabtree barber. there was a cleaners in 17. now bb shopping center thompson jewelers and crabtree barber were there also. golden skillet was where dunkin donuts is now. 16 was beauty school, mrs mack had a dance school between 5&10. there was also a vetenarian in this same section. lots of info nothing to specific, but maybe with other info you get the picture will become clearer. good luck.

  3. Catherine Bidmer says:

    The original grocery store in Maryland City (#16) was a Giant Food. The Acme was in the side of the strip where Pier 1 is now, but in the middle of the strip. There was a store up towards the corner (#7 or #8) on the Giant side called Mindy Grace, which later moved to Georgetown Alley. They sold home-y stuff and I remember it smelling like bayberry candles.

  4. krisknubel says:

    i think #16 in brock bridge plaza was le maison dance in the 80s.

  5. Rick Marshall says:

    tracy crabtree was near the end and near where dunkin dounuts is. he is still in business. he brought a md city house on 198 and old line. the old dentist (dr eli chyatte) housr.

  6. Steve Wilkinson says:

    Toy Store was next to Drug Fair location. Back corner.

  7. Allen Weaver says:

    I grew up in MD city from 1967-1991, here is what I remember

    Brock Bridge Shopping Center- 17 was a barber shop and a hair salon. 2 separate businesses. 1 – was Drug Fair not sure what after that 2 -was A&P then EJ Roberts then Rugged Wearhouse 3 thru 16 all I remember is some type of Beauty School, maybe a tax prep service Dunkin donuts used to be different reaturants one was The Golden Skillet, then a seafood place maybe

    MD City Plaza- 1 and 2 may have been Acme? 3 and 4 were combined as Daneman Fabrics. 5 was sears surplus, may have been part of 6 also. The shape of 6 is different now. Used to be an opening to a back parking lot, buildings did not touch. 6 was a Library
    7 thru 15 all I remember was Bambinos pizza and a Stereo/ Electronics store, and a Chinese food place 16 was Dart Drug 17 I think was a womens clothing store then a Trak Auto auto parts store Don’t think 18 existed before 1990 19 thru 28 did not exist before 1991 The building to the right of 28 used to be a 7-11. Original location of 7-11 was on other side of Old Annapolis Road

    Also on Brock Bridge Road in md city there was a place we called “the little store” next to the mobile home park And next to that was a small brick building that was Cochran Printing and a small arcade there in the early 80’s

    • Terri (Merlo) Bettinger says:

      I remember what you do here. Great Job!!
      I lived in the town and country apartments 1968-1979 when we moved to Contee road on the other side of Laurel. Went to Md City Elementary. MacArthur jr high and the first year Meade Sr high was open (my brother went to Arundle). I loved living in Md City!

  8. Kerry Major says:

    Danamen’s (sp?) Fabrics was next to Sear’s Surplus for most of the 80’s. That place was huge and I remember playing in the racks of fabrics and on the stools where you could look through the patterns. Fantle’s (sp?) Drug Store was one of the earliest stores to occupy the space that was created next to the MC Library after the walk through was closed off in the late 80’s/early 90’s. There was a craft store in the middle somewhere. There was a great greeting card and gift shop near Chung King in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Wasn’t the original location for Cakes Plus in there somewhere too?

    In the Brock Bridge center, there was a toys store where the gym in now and I remember EJ Robert’s clothing store was next store to it. Got a lot of school clothes there. This would have been the very end of the 80’s. There was a small Asian food market at the end next to the Cosmetology School.

  9. Chris Weber says:

    I believe he was in spot 5. He also was in the Maryland City shopping center. I believe were the Little Ceasers is now.

  10. Jerilyn S. Thorne says:

    Joann’s Fabrics was in Maryland City Plaza. Acme was also in the Brockbridge Shopping Center.

  11. Jerilyn S. Thorne says:

    Video Store was also in Brockbridge Shopping Center – I think it was Channel 3. Then moved into the building across the street where the used car lot was.

  12. Debra Fitzgerald says:

    Oh how fun! My family owned Thomsen Jewelers in Maryland City Plaza. We opened when the shopping center opened in August or September 1968. The address was 3435 Ft. Meade Rd which looks like #12 on the site map. The store was there until 1990 or 91 (?) when they moved to Brock Bridge Plaza – #3.

    I’m going to need to think a bit more about this, but right off hand here’s what I remember. Originally there was a cut through to the back parking lot where #6 is shown.

    #3 & #4 combined stores (?) was Danneman’s (fabric store), before that a grocery store (Acme or A&P?). And then also it was Sears Surplus for awhile (thanks Ray – good memory!)
    #5 – Sears Surplus – appliances and toys

    #7 – was Mindy Grace (gift shop originally) – I had forgotten that until I saw it in another post here. . It was named after the young daughter or granddaughter…
    #8 – Hair Salon (name?)
    #9 – Bambinos
    #10 – Finance Company (name?)
    #11 – can’t remember what it was originally. Was a laundromat by mid/late 80’s
    #12 – Thomsen Jewelers
    #13 – Belmont TV
    #14 – Chinese restaurant
    #15 – Can’t remember an extra merchant there – could 14 & 15 have been the Chinese restaurant?
    #16 – Dart Drug (the Haft family owned this as well as the shopping center – company name was Combined Properties)

    #17 or 18 was a cleaners at one point…

    I don’t know if I have much in the line of pictures, I’ll look around. Also, I’ll be seeing a bunch of Maryland City folks this weekend. I’ll see what they remember. This brings back good memories.

  13. Virginia says:

    Hi Richard- I lived at 997 10 th Street in Laurel from 1961 till the mid 70s. We were there before 198 came thru! I will try to find some old photos if I can, back then it was a huge field of blackberries. I live in PA now, but I remember Laurel well and I love your site. Thanks for so many great memories!

  14. Debbie Scheller says:

    Hi Richard, I worked at Sears Surplus in the late 70s early 80s. It was #1 and #5 with #4 as the Sears Catalog Store and pick up. There was no #6 at that time, it was open to the back parking lot. Danneman Fabric was #2&3 combined. #7-15 had the following but I’m not sure in what order: Bambinos Pizza, A great Chinese Restaurant Chung King, Thompson’s Jewelers, Belmont TV & Repair shop, A dry Cleaners. #16 was Shoppers Food Warehouse (not sure what was before). #17 was Trek Auto. #18 and the whole separate string of stores were added in late 80s early 90s.

    In the BB Plaza #1 and #2 were A&P and Drug Fair, We lived on Brock Bridge Road and that is where my mom shopped in the 60s and 70s. When A&P closed, it was some clothing store.

  15. patricia jennings says:

    I grew up in Md.City. my parents bought a house there one of the first families in 1963 until 1982.I remember all the stores like it was yesterday. I went to Md.CityElementary having friends living in Fountain Green Apartments walking to Bambinos pizza going to Crystals Beauty salon to get my haircut going to Dart Drug to get my school supplies. walking to A&P to pick up coffee for my mom.

  16. Bob says:

    Belmont TV had a store in the MD City shopping center by Red Clay Road in the 70’s. They then opened the store by the bowling alley and closed the MD City store. I worked there around 1971.

  17. Melody Carnell says:

    When did you play for the Mustangs? I played football for the mustangs from elementary school up to high school. First girl to play for them, very fond memories!!!

    • Richard Friend says:

      That’s awesome! I believe my first season with the Mustangs was 1980-81.

      • Melody Carnell says:

        I think I started when I was in 3rd or 4th grade at Brock Bridge so maybe 8yrs old, around 79 or 80 and I started on the 75lb team.
        That’s pretty cool!
        I was reading through the comments and I remember some of the stores the others mentioned. “Spacey Tracey had the barber shop, nice guy, not sure why they called him that. Sears was where my dad took me to get clothes lol. I got teased at school horribly for Sears clothes lol.
        I remember Chung King restaurant, we ate there a few times until they got closed down for serving dog meat. Read they found 2 frozen Rottweilers in their freezer. That was horrible. We moved to MD City in 78-79.

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