A group of 17 World War I veterans from the communities of Overlea and Perry Hall joined together in early 1936 and submitted an application to start an American Legion Post. A temporary charter, naming the Post as Overlea Post 130, was issued on December 16, 1936. The first meetings were held in the then Fullerton Post Office located on Belair Road near what is now the Beltway with James H. (Babe) Dunty, the Postmaster, serving as Commander. A permanent charter was issued on May 20, 1940 and the Post closed their charter membership roll with exactly 50 members.
Not to be outdone, the wives banded together and submitted an application to start an Auxiliary Unit of Post 130. Their charter was issued on April 22, 1940 and they closed their charter roll with 16 members.
After the Post Office was moved to a smaller location, the Post met at various members' homes and finally settled in a classroom at Fullerton Elementary School. In September of 1947, the Post purchased it's first "home" at 7523 Belair Road. It might be noted here the home was purchased under the Administration of James A. (Jim) Cloman, who at 22 years of age was the youngest Commander of an American Legion Post elected to that office.
As membership increased and because of limited parking facilities, the Post decided to sell their property and purchase ground which would allow for expansion. In August 1962, 10.5 acres of ground, at our present location, was purchased from the Hora Brothers Florist. As a note of nostalgia, a special general meeting was called on the property, under the trees, by Commander "Uncle" Lew Walter, where it was voted to purchase the property. At that meeting, World War I member John (Snuffy) Volmert actually donated a sock with 25 one dollar bills in it, toward the purchase of the property.
To regress slightly, due to a $6,000.00 loan with the Kingsville Bank, we were notified that the Post must file Incorporation papers. This was accomplished and we became formally incorporated on March 18, 1948. At the Post's request, the National Organization, on March 15, 1961 issued a supplemental Charter naming our Post as Overlea-Perry Hall Post 130. Subsequently new Incorporation papers were issued on July 10, 1964 re-electing the name.
In early 1963 a building permit was issued and what we now know as our small hall was completed. This construction was under the first administration of Walter R. Frank Jr., with Joe Lubner as our first Building Committee Chairman.
The Post made application to start a Sons of the American Legion Squadron and a charter was issued on May 25, 1961. Roll closed with 28 members and rose to 97 members in 1969 making it the largest Squadron in the Department of Maryland at that time.
In 1960, under the administration of George (Buzz) Cloman, we were able to burn our mortgage on the Belair Road property. In 1970, under the third administration of Robert C. Burton, Jr., we were able to redeem the last bond on our first building at our present location.
On December 8, 1974, under Commander Walt Frank, Jr., and Building Committee Chairman Ronald Pillar, ground breaking ceremonies were held for our present facility. After a monumental struggle and mainly through the efforts of Past Commander James (Jim) Amick, the lounge and kitchen facility was completed and a occupancy permit was issued in September 1980. In 1981, upon Jim's unfortunate death, the Post voted unanimously to name our lounge as "The James Amick Lounge".
The fruition of our efforts were finally realized and in 1983, under the administration of Eugene (Kelly) McKenna, our present facility was completed. After nearly 10 years in the making it was "a dream come true" to all of us.
The small hall was completely refurburished in 2010. Also, the patio roof outback was completely rebuilt due to the collapse of the old roof during the back-to-back blizzards of February 2010.
The lounge was refurbished in November 2015. The cost was raised by a fund raiser Golf Tournament. The tournament was run by Legionnaires Don Burks, Al Leikum, Tom McMahan and SAL members Barry White and Gene Ruby plus Ladies Auxiliary members Rena Martinek, Darlene Canon and Mary Long. Volunteers from the Post family enabled the tournament to run smoothly.
These were accomplishments under the administration of Robert (Bob) Watson Sr., who served as Commander from 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2012-2013 and 2015-2016.
New floor tiles were installed in the small and large halls in November 2016. The cost was raised by a fund raiser Golf Tournament held in May 2016. As before, the tournament was run by the same legion family members who presided over the 2015 tournament.
The Bingo Board was replaced in May 2017. A portion of the parking lot that was in bad shape was repaired and new asphalt applied in May 2017.
A new heating and air conditioning unit was installed in the lounge in July 2017.
A block window was installed in the lounge replacing the old air conditioning unit in October 2017.
Long time employee James McCann passed away suddenly on Father's Day, 17 June 2018. A Celebration of his Life was held on 1 July 2018 in the post main hall. Over 160 people attended. James was remembered fondly and will be sorely missed.
A new tile floor was installed in the post lounge and ladies room on 26 February 2019. Home Depot donated the cost, materials and labor.
A new countertop was installed behind the bar in the lounge on 14 August 2019.
These were accomplishments under the administration of Charles A. (Chuck) Poehler who served as Commander from 2011-2012, 2014-2015, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.
Commander Poehler resigned on 31 July 2019. 1st Vice Commander William S. (Steve) Mattes became the new Commander as of that date.
The installation of a new ceiling in the large hall was completed on 22 September 2019. New ceiling tiles, an all-new lighting system and new fans were installed. The cost was raised by fund raiser Golf Tournaments held in May 2018 and May 2019. As before, the tournament was run by the same legion family members who presided over the previous tournaments.
A new flagpole was installed on 26 September 2019. The old flagpole was damaged beyond repair during a macro burst storm at the end of May 2019.
The Bofors 40 millimeter anti-aircraft autocannon was refurbished on 15 October 2019. The gun was sandblasted and painted. The sandblasting was arranged by legionnaire Jim Spivey. The painting was done by volunteer legionnaires Joe Lee, Adam Kaminski, Steve Payne and Darrell Taylor.
Our Sons of the American Legion Squadron 130 donated the cost of replacing the flagpole and sandblasting the autocannon.
The post was closed at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, 16 March 2020 due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. An executive order was issued by Govenor Hogan. All activities and events were canceled beginning 17 March 2020.
The mirrored wall in the large hall was removed and replaced with drywall. New sconces were installed. ALA Unit 130 paid for the sconces.
The foyer and ramp opening to the large hall were refurbished. The work was done by legionnaire volunteers Don Burks, Joe Lee, Adam Kaminski. Monies from the Post Golf Tournament were used to pay for the materials and the rental of a dumpster.
A new Heating and Air Conditioning unit was installed in the large hall. New thermostats were installed replacing old ones. USB ports and electrical outlets were installed under the bar in the lounge by Legionnaire Steve Payne.
The above work was accomplished during the post closure beginning in March 2020.
The post reopened on Friday 5 June 2020 for outdoor service only. We reopened our post for full service beginning 20 June 2020.
Two gazebos were delivered to the post on 3 September 2020. Through the efforts of Legionnaire Don Burks we were able to purchase them from General Motors for $1.00. Many thanks to GM and Don for their efforts in securing the gazebos.
The post was closed on Sundays and Mondays beginning 6 December 2020. A spike of the COVID-19 virus and lack of business on those days forced the closure. We reopened the post on Sundays and Mondays from 12:00 noon until 6:00 pm on 7 February 2021.
A new lounge entrance door was installed on 22 March 2021. It replaced the original door that was installed in September 1980. The cost and installation of the door was paid by the Golf Committee from funds raised during the 2020 golf tournament.
Bingo resumed on Thursday, 1 April 2021. We canceled Bingo after the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in 2020 and early 2021.
A New Heating and Air Conditioning unit was installed in the rear of the small hall replacing the very old one that finally broke down.
Indoor and outdoor venues resumed normal operations and have full capacity, and the indoor mask mandate was lifted on 15 May 2021. Restaurants and bars resumed normal operations, including people to stand in bar areas. Tables and bar stools no longer needed to be spaced 6 feet apart.
William "Bill" Macleod was honored for 70 consecutive years as a member of Overlea-Perry Hall American Legion Post 130. Bill is a Past Commander and Past Finance Officer. The ceremony took place at the monthly general membership meeting held on 21 July 2021. Commander Mattes presented Bill with a certificate from the American Legion for his 70 consecutive years membership and a certificate from Maryland Senator Kathy Klausmeier congratulating him for his American Legion service.
A new addition to the outback deck was completed on 30 September 2021. Special thanks go out to Don Burks (Golf Committee Chairman), Bob McGough (Home Operating Committee Chairman), and Legionnaires Jim Spivey and Adam Kaminski for volunteering to install the cover.
Proceeds from the most recent golf tournament were used to purchase the cover.
A new fire pit was purchased and installed in the rear of the post during the 1st week of October 2021. The cost was shared by the Legion, the SAL and the Ladies Auxiliary.
The old wooden sheds were removed on 1 November 2021. A new fence was installed near the fire pit in January 2022.
Covid-19 Omicron variant outbreak January 2022. Face coverings again required while in the post unless sitting and actively eating and or drinking. Face covering mandate lifted as of 1 February 2022.
The furnace in the main hall was replaced on 24 February 2022.
It has been a long struggle but we now see the fruits of our labors. To those members, both past and present, who have given time and effort, we give our undying gratitude.
To our Past Commanders, for their guidance, we offer a Legion right hand salute! To our Auxiliary Unit, loyally by our side throughout the years, we give a big hug and to our S.A.L. Squadron, who will continue what we have started, our right hand of thanks.
The past 86 years have been a myriad of hard work, disappointments and heartaches but through it all we are so proud of our accomplishments. We never lost track of our duty to Community, State and Nation. We hope for the future that we have laid a solid foundation for our followers.