Mar Lu Ridge was founded in 1959 as the Outdoor Ministry of the Maryland Synod of the Lutheran Church. The initial construction efforts included a Lodge for dining and the construction of four cabins. This was the first year that summer camp was held.

In 1962 our Chapel, Salem-on-the-Mountain was constructed; which is well known for its view of the Potomac River and valley below.

In 1970 the construction of the Ridge Inn was completed, this facility offered 16 hotels style rooms with its own kitchen and dining facilities.