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1742; 1909. South River Clubhouse Rd.
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)

This unassuming one-room frame building is home to the oldest continually operating gentleman’s club in the United States. It was founded by local planters, merchants, and clergymen through a 1690 land agreement from Nicholas Gassaway, whose sons John and Thomas were among its founding members. The club was established to provide a venue in an otherwise isolated location for “fellowship and fulsome discussion.” Organized after similar clubs in London, weekly meetings featured game roasted in the open-hearth fireplace and secret-recipe punch. Membership remains limited to twenty-five, all the one-story-and-loft building can accommodate, and favors descendants of the original gatherers. The building still lacks electricity and indoor plumbing, although a separate kitchen was erected to the rear in 1909.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1742

  • 1909

    Kitchen built

What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "SOUTH RIVER CLUB", [South River, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 80-80.

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