From 1941 to 1963, Mrs. Margaret Crowner was the first African American female to own and operate the Galesville, Maryland lunchroom that served the Galesville Hot Sox baseball games and the surrounding Black Galesville community.
Margaret Crowner and her husband were natives of Galesville, and throughout their lives were members of the Ebenezer AME Church, where they served as staunch members, at the same time rearing a fine large family. Mrs. Crowner loved children and reared not only her own but also several others and helped them through schools.
In her church, she served as superintendent of the Sunday School, was a member of the Stewardess Board, treasurer of the Missionary Society, and also organized the Ladies Aid Society. She also helped to build and maintain the PTA for the Lula G. Scott School.
She was very active in civic and community affairs. having served as president of the Galesville PTA, as a substitute teacher in the school there, and was the organizer of the Saving Club.
Margaret Crowner is most well known as the owner of the Galesville Maryland, Lunchroom. Mr. Melvin Booze, the Crowner’s foster child, recalled earning spending money at the lunchroom owned by his adopted mother. “We would cook and take the lunches — hot soup, pig feet, and fried chicken — down to the men at Woodfield Fish and Oyster Co.’’ Ms. Crowner said. “At night we all gather and play the jukebox. Everybody knew everybody. I guess we had more black customers. But our door was always open.”
The Galesville Hot Sox was the town’s Negro League farm team that started in 1915. At night and on Sundays, the men played baseball on the large tract of land owned by Henry Wilson. “You couldn’t get a parking spot out here on Sunday. Cars were lined up and down Galesville Road to see our double-headers,” said Nathaniel Crowner, a veteran of the Galesville Hot Sox. The Hot Sox team largely drew oystermen from the nearby Woodfield Fish and Oyster Co. This way of life continued undisturbed for at least six decades — a hard workweek, a lazy weekend.
“It was the place to be and the food was awesome, Larry Foote a Hot Sox baseball player recalls. “We would be watching the food get made. Just a great environment”.
After a long illness, Mrs. Crowner died in May of 1963, with the death of her husband soon thereafter. In 1995, the family tore down the two-room, gabled roof lunchroom located in the heart of the black community. It was said by many that these were two wonderful people, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary several years before their death. The affair ‘ drew numbers of people from their immediate community nearby towns and along the Eastern Seaboard.