Club History

The oldest surviving photograph… Due to a 1951 clubhouse blaze, 90% of the original club records were lost.

The Arch Social Community Network (ASCN) directly evolved from the service tradition of the Arch Social Club, an unique, secular and politically non-sectarian fraternity that casually formed in 1905 and eventually took official status in 1912.

Arch Social Club was the brainchild of Raymond Coates.

Club Founders

  • RAYMOND A. COATES (b.1879-d.1924)
  • JERIMIAH S. HILL (b.1858-d.1929)
  • SAMUEL I. BARNEY (b.1863-d.1938)

Now step back in time to the year 1905.  Three humble Black men gathered around a table at Stokes’ Restaurant, at Arch and Josephine Streets, in Baltimore’s downtown west side, which was home to many influential African Americans. The “Arch” in Arch Social Club was named after a street in the city’s teeming ghetto at the dawn of the 20th century. These men came from diverse backgrounds, but one thing united them: their desire to see Black people prosper and resist the ravages of Baltimore’s racism.

For more than 100 years, the Arch Social Club has, directly and with partners, championed efforts to promote health, education, and cultural development among Baltimore’s under-served Black population.

For a detailed account of the club’s evolution, please visit Arch Social Club “Our HISTORY”.