The building at 5 N. Main St. in Woodsboro was also a dentist office, grocery store, post office, the Woodsboro Historic Society and the Woodsboro Opera House. And although it housed many different businesses it was always home to Woodsboro Bank.
It’s been the bank’s home since May 1, 1899, and today it houses one of the bank’s seven branches and its headquarters.
Woodsboro Bank has expanded its clientele, employees, departments and locations and this month is celebrating its 120th anniversary.
“As a community bank, it’s taking care of your colleagues,” said Steve Heine, president and CEO of Woodsboro Bank, on the recipe for a bank’s longevity. “It’s taking care of your clients and taking care of the community and your shareholders. It’s balancing those four things through good times and bad.”
In 1995, the bank’s name was changed from Woodsboro Savings Bank of Frederick County, Maryland to Woodsboro Bank, according to a news release. It opened its first stand-alone branch in Thurmont in the mid-1900s, followed by its first Frederick branch on East Street.
But the original branch in Woodsboro still has pieces of years passed.
“It’s a classical building with a whole lot of modern stuff in it,” Heine said.
But not everything is modern. The building still has the bank’s original safe. On the second floor, the outline of the original opera house stage and the theater’s ticket window are still there.
But the building has had additions put on through the years, Heine said. An addition was put on toward the back of the building in the early 1900s. The second and third floors were also built out in the mid-1990s for more work space.
“And most recently we converted a teller drive-up area into additional working space for our retail loan group,” he said.
In 2006, the commercial banking operations grew out of the office and into a space in downtown Frederick. After several moves, it recently settled into a brand new space on East 2nd Street.
The space, with a front-row view of Market Street, includes adjustable standing desks that can be moved from a sitting to a standing position with the push of a button, locally sourced artwork of downtown Frederick and a gathering area with a kitchenette, work space and TV.
Heine said the downtown expansion provided 1,300 square feet of more working space and room for 10 new employees on the commercial lending side.
“We stay committed to downtown by staying here,” he said.
One employee who has an office in the new space downtown, and who has been with the bank 18 years in July, is Kim Arnold, senior vice president and chief credit officer for the bank.
When she first started, there were only three employees in the old downtown office.
In her tenure, Arnold has seen the economic downturn, “and the bank did very well during that time because we’re a community bank and we worked with our customers. We know our customers and worked one-on-one with them,” she said. “So even though the market and the economy overall slid during that time period, the problems or difficulties [we had] were relatively minor.”
She’s also seen the benefits of the bank’s expansions in many ways.
“We’ve seen the market come back, we’ve seen new businesses come to downtown Frederick and we’ve seen some expand,” she said. “So we’ve seen our customer base, on the lending side, in different economic periods weather the storm and thrive.”
What she loves about the bank, and what makes her stay there, is that it’s community based.
“It’s small, it’s community centered,” she said. “You have that interaction with the clients. They can call and they’re going to get somebody on the phone. And when you meet with them, you start to develop that partnership. A client knows that when they call they’ll get someone to make a decision locally.”
In celebrating 120 years, she added that it’s wonderful to be part of a landmark community bank in Frederick County in an industry that is constantly consolidating financial institutions.
“The neat part is you always feel a part of something that’s evolving,” she said. “It’s very dynamic. No two work days are the same, but it’s really the people that make the bank what it is. It’s a combination of our colleagues, our management and board of directors backing us and supporting us along the way, and it’s the clients.”
And the bank hasn’t lacked in community support either.
Rick Weldon, president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, said the bank “deserves the entire community’s recognition” for reaching 120 years.
“Imagine the family businesses launched, the home purchases, the entrepreneurial investment and the financial stability for retirees enabled by that incredible history,” Weldon said in an email. “Think about hundreds or thousands of bank board members and shareholders over the years that have made dreams come true.”
Today, the bank has 65 employees, and even though it holds onto its core values of community banking, Heine said it is focusing on being an innovative bank going forward to hopefully reach another 120 years.
“I’ve been with large-risk community banks and large regional banks, and I truly appreciate how important Woodsboro Bank, as a community bank, is to an area like Frederick to provide capital for projects and for businesses to make them grow and survive,” Heine said.
And without Woodsboro Bank, there are a lot of businesses that would not have access to capital because of the restrictive nature of larger banks, he said.
“It’s an understanding of what the needs, wants and growth aspirations are,” he said. “We truly have a pulse on the community.”