By 1955, approximately 30 families were living in the five sections of Sunrise Beach. All of the streets were gravel topped, and to go from one house to another, you needed a flashlight to see the way. Realizing that many improvements were necessary in order to make this a really desirable area in which to live, some of the original settlers got together and formed the Civic Association of Sunrise Beach. This group was then incorporated under the laws of Maryland as a non-profit organization. Charter members of the Association included almost all the families living here at the time. Learning that the area was formerly known as Arden, the members of the new civic association adopted the name of "Arden-on-the-Severn" to create an aura of permanence for the community.