Whoa! You can't favorite your own shop.

Whoa! You can't buy your own item.

Whoa! You can't favorite your own item.

Whoa! You can't add your own item to a list.

Add this item to a treasury!

You don't have any treasuries yet. Enter a title below to create one.

This item has been added.

View your treasury.

Like this item?

Add it to your favorites to revisit it later.
This postcard was written and posted sometime in the early 1960's. My relative stayed in this charming inn on business. You can see on the back the sender 'advertised' they had fresh garden cooking, fresh veggies, ripe peaches and tomatoes!

Clara May Downey opened the Olney Inn in 1926 and did much to shape the Olney of her time. Olney Inn, formerly the Farquhar home Mt. Olney, opened in 1926 with three tables seating 12 persons. It grew into a renowned dining destination of dignitaries including President Franklin Roosevelt. Sadly, the inn burned in 1978 despite efforts of 18 pieces of firefighting equipment and more than a hundred firefighters.

Good condition. An age spot here and there, so please click on any of my photos twice for a close-up view!

Quick shipping from a non-smoking home!

Best Wishes,


A few extra notes from the nearby Sandy Spring Museum regarding the Inn and Clara May Downey, for your entertainment:

Some life lessons from Mrs. Downey at the Olney Inn
Remarks by Dr. Sharon Ann Holt
The Olney Inn began life as a small dining room with three tables, in a farm house that Mrs. Downey restored to use herself. The porch of the Inn once looked out over a thicket of trees toward the quiet country intersection of Georgia Ave and the road to Laytonsville.
Today that intersection is one of the busiest in our area, and people go out of their way to avoid the long light there. But Mrs. Downey herself was a forward-thinking, innovative person, and while she might have lamented the loss of the picturesque forest, she might have welcomed the commercial achievements of today’s bustling Olney.
The Olney Inn was famous for its gorgeous historical murals as well as for its prime eating and excellent service. Mrs. Downey commissioned those murals from Oscar Hauenstein in 1930, and the murals told stories of Maryland history both bucolic and steeped in go-getter energy. Here was young Leonard Calvert’s first landing with his brother’s fleet, here a deceptively charming rendition of life on a tobacco plantation. The British attack on Annapolis in 1774, and on Fort McHenry in 1814 appear as patriotic tributes to Maryland heroes. But right alongside a rendition of the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House, visitors could see “Stage 1 Coach Days,” “The First American Steamboat” on the Potomac, and “The First Steam Railroad,” the famous Baltimore and Ohio engine called Tom Thumb. For four years in the 1830s Tom Thumb, which pulled trains from Baltimore to Ellicott City, held the speed record for locomotives – fifteen miles per hour.
Between Revolutionary era heroics and flashy trains, Olney Inn guests enjoyed some of the best service available anywhere. Mrs. Downey’s entrepreneurial spirit included a drive to create new and higher standards of performance for the whole industry in which she made her life. By studying and analyzing her own operations, she produced a training manual for wait staff that became a national standard. In the early 1930s, when the American Restaurant Magazine survey hundreds of manuals on how to train wait staff, the volume Mrs. Downey had written herself for the Olney Inn staff stood out as, in their words, “comprehensive enough to cover every phase of a waitresses duty ... detailed enough to be clearly understood by all ... and packed with interesting and informative facts” valuable both to owners and servers. Like so many leaders in our community, besides being a local treasure, Mrs. Downey was also recognized nationally in her industry. She was one of three women who served as directors of the National Restaurant Association in the period.
And in her wait staff manual, she even managed to tuck in some life lessons for the rest of us. ... For example, she instructed her waitresses on how to handle themselves in the kitchen
“Other people have as many orders to fill as you have. You will get quicker and more pleasant service by being considerate. Unless you do show consideration and courtesy to the persons in the kitchen who fill your orders, you cannot remain with us, no matter how excellent you may be in the dining room.”
Imagine for a moment how useful that standard of behavior would be when, say, merging onto a modern highway.
Mrs. Downey’s general standards of conduct would be very warmly welcomed by patrons of all types of establishment nowadays, -- A good waitress “will not gossip,” will not chew gum on duty,” “will not eat anything while in the dining room.”
And the best advice, useful in all of life’s sticky moments ...
“The harder guests are to please, the more likely they are to become permanent guests if they are satisfied.”
Mrs. Downey enriched the experience of so many people, her guests, her staff, her family, and her town. She honored the past by looking forward from it, worked hard to spread the influence of good sense and polite conversation, and built a business that made the Olney area a destination for some of the nation’s most powerful figures. Like so many people who made a significant mark on this community, Clara May Downey defined her own life, found and solved problems that needed solving, and left a legacy behind her that strengthened her community as a whole.

Meet the owner of CurioGal

Rebecca K.

Olney Inn Advertisement Postcard - Olney, Maryland


  • Vintage item from the 1960s
  • Materials: paper ephemera postcard, stamp post mark, postmark post card pencil, ink, advertisement advertising
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 160 reviews