Friday Photos: PHW’s “Grand Event,” September 1973

This week for Friday Photos, we look back at some images of one of the first large scale membership and fundraiser events in PHW’s history. The gathering – the forerunner of today’s Memberfest – was held at Glen Burnie on September 14, 1973.

As with most stories, a bit of background is necessary to set the stage. In August of 1971, PHW had started working in earnest on fundraising for what would eventually become known as the Jennings Revolving Fund. The first substantial loan went to the Roberts family, whose front wall of their limestone home on South Braddock Street collapsed prior to their stabilization efforts could begin.

By 1973, PHW was gearing up to increase this corpus of funds to begin purchasing endangered buildings for resale through the Revolving Fund. The “Grand Event” was conceived with a twofold mission to begin the Revolving Fund and increase membership to 300.

The committee, made up of Joe Headley, LouAnne and Ray Jennings, Barbara Laidlaw, Buddy Orndoff, George Robertson, Lee Taylor, and Elanor White, organized the event. There was a puppet show, various musical acts, and a square dancing demonstration. Much like the Open House at the Noakes House this spring, architectural artifacts and other interesting donations were auctioned off to raise funds. The ticket cost to the event – a modest $5 for a single or $7.50 for a couple – served as the membership dues for that year.

While no written report was filed at the end of the event, we can surmise from the happy faces in these photographs and that the Revolving Fund was in negotiations to purchase its first building in 1974 that the “Grand Event” was a grand success.

PHW's "Grand Event," Sept. 14. 1973