In the early 1950’s, founders Kingdon and Mary Gould saw a need for an independent, non-sectarian school in Howard County. The Goulds, along with Mr. and Mrs. John T. Mason, Jr., Judge James McGill, Mr. Albert Gallatin Warfield, and Mr. and Mrs. William Shippen, opened Glenelg Country School on September 23, 1954.
The School’s original building bore little resemblance to the Manor House seen today, and dates back to 1740. It wasn’t until 1845, that the home was remodeled to resemble a Scottish Castle and given the name Glenelg Manor. The land where the home resides was originally part of a much larger, 1,030-acre parcel, belonging to the Dorsey family. In 1735, the land was divided into 600-acre portions, with one portion going to daughter Sarah Dorsey who married Henry Howard, bringing the land into the Howard family. In 1848 the estate was purchased by General Joseph Tyson, Assistant Postmaster General under President Tyler, and it was Mr. and Mrs. Tyson, upon returning from a trip to Glenelg, Scotland, who remodeled the original home into what can be seen today. More than 100 years later, during an excursion through the countryside, Mr. Gould came across an empty Glenelg Manor home and thought it had the potential to be the perfect location for a school. The founders promptly leased the Manor House and Glenelg Country School was born.
By 1963, interest in GCS flourished and the founders were able to purchase the Manor Home and 50 surrounding acres. Students enjoyed a rigorous academic program that included and fostered a respect and love for the environment around them. That same respect has driven the architectural plans of GCS through many years of growth. With the addition of a gymnasium in 1979, a swimming pool in 1983, establishment of an Upper School in 1985, a Middle School and Performing Arts Center in 1997, a Primary School facility opening in 2002, and a state-of-the-art academic and athletic center in 2005, Glenelg Country School boasts one of the best facilities in the Baltimore-Washington area.
During the past 55 years, Glenelg Country School has seen rapid growth and support from its community. The initial enrollment of 35 has grown to over 800 students, with over 180 faculty and staff, and the focus on individual attention is still a hallmark of the School, with the average class size at 16 students and with a teacher to student ratio of 1 to 6.