This article is sponsored by Maryland Injury Guys, the worker's compensation attorneys in North Potomac. We hope visitors and residents could learn something new about the history of North Potomac through our informative post.
North Potomac is an unincorporated area in Montgomery County, Maryland. The census-designated place (CDP) is located about 20 miles from Washington, D.C. and less than five miles north of the Potomac River. It is within the Shady Grove Hospital area and the I-270 Technology Corridor. The CDP has a population of around 25,000 people. Households in the area have an average income of $160,000 and are served by the Montgomery Public Schools District.
The area of North Potomac was once used by European settlers to grow tobacco and corn. In the 1800s, a network of mills, roads, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) provided farmers with access to the marts. By the 1850s, Quakers had introduced improved farming practices to revitalize agriculture in the area after its soil was depleted. Corn, wheat and oats began growing in North Potomac. The area remained farmland until the Great Depression, when farmers started selling their land due to financial hardships. These properties were brought by wealthy people who were looking for land to ride horses and hunt. In the early 1960s, mortgage banker Frederick Harting established the Potomac Horse Center training facility for horses and riders. The facility continues the equestrian heritage today as it became the site of horse shows after Montgomery County purchased it in 1981.
Other farm areas also continued into the 20th century. The majority of the 355-acre Maple Spring Farm was sold in the 1970s and became the Dufief subdivision of North Potomac. During that time, the United States Census Bureau considered the area of North Potomac an unincorporated place within the Darnestown and Travilah areas. It wasn't until 1989 that North Potomac got its identity. The United States Post Office finally allowed the use of the name North Potomac for the collection of 25 housing subdivisions, farms and wooded parks. In 200, North Potomac was recognized as a CDP by the Census Bureau. In 2009, work began for the approval to build single-family homes on the Hanson Farm, the last major farm in the area.
Dufief Mill is a historic site near the intersection of Turkey Foot Rd. and the Muddy Branch in the Muddy Branch Regional Park. Located about three miles from the C&O Canal, the mill complex was built by John L. Dufief in the 1850s. It consisted of a gristmill, blacksmith's shop and miller's house that are connected to a warehouse, barrelhouse and wharf that he operates at the Pennyfield Lock on the C&O Canal.
Maple Spring Farm is another historic site in North Potomac. The privately-owned property is situated at the intersection of Dufief Mill Rd. and Darnestown Rd. During the 20th century, it was one of the largest dairy farms in the state of Maryland.
Pleasant View Historic Site sits just above the North Potomac area, on the south side of Darnestown Rd. near the Quince Orchard area. The site consists of the Pleasant View Cemetery, Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church and the Quince Orchard Colored School. The school was built in 1901 and was soon followed by the Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church's chapel in 1914. The development of the chapel comes decades later than the establishment of the church's congregation around 1868.
Poplar Grove Baptist Church is the only surviving 1800s Baptist church in Montgomery County that had an African American congregation. The church was built on Jones Ln., near a tributary of the Muddy Branch in 1893. It is said that the church performed many immersion baptisms in this tributary.
Learn more about the History of Glenmont, Maryland.
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