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Living in Montgomery County


Montgomery County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Maryland, located adjacent to Washington, D.C. As of the 2020 census, the county’s population was 1,062,061, increasing by 9.3% from 2010. The county seat and largest municipality is Rockville, although the census-designated place of Germantown is the most populous city within the county. Montgomery County is included in the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV metropolitan statistical area, which in turn forms part of the Baltimore–Washington combined statistical area. Most of the county’s residents live in unincorporated locales, of which the most urban are Silver Spring and Bethesda, although the incorporated cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg are also large population centers, as are many smaller but significant places.

As one of the most affluent counties in the United States, Montgomery County also has the highest percentage (29.2%) of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate degrees. The county has been ranked as one of the wealthiest in the United States. Like other inner-suburban Washington, D.C. counties, Montgomery County contains many major U.S. government offices, scientific research and learning centers, and business campuses, which provide a significant amount of revenue for the county.

The Maryland state legislature named Montgomery County after Richard Montgomery; the county was created from lands that had at one point or another been part of Frederick County. On September 6, 1776, Thomas Sprigg Wootton from Rockville, Maryland, introduced legislation, while serving at the Maryland Constitutional Convention, to create lower Frederick County as Montgomery County. The name, Montgomery County, along with the founding of Washington County, Maryland, after George Washington, was the first time in American history that counties and provinces in the thirteen colonies were not named after British referents. The name use of Montgomery and Washington County were seen as further defiance to Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. The county’s nickname of “MoCo” is derived from “Montgomery County”.

The county’s motto, adopted in 1976, is “Gardez Bien”, a phrase meaning “Watch Well”. The county’s motto is also the motto of its namesake’s family.

Early history
Before European colonization, the land now known as Montgomery County was covered in a vast swath of forest crossed by the creeks and small streams that feed the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. A few small villages of the Piscataway, members of the Algonquian people, were scattered across the southern portions of the county. North of the Great Falls of the Potomac, there were few permanent settlements, and the Piscataway shared hunting camps and foot paths with members of rival peoples like the Susquehannocks and the Senecas.

Captain John Smith of the English settlement at Jamestown was probably the first European to explore the area, during his travels along the Potomac River and throughout the Chesapeake region.

These lands were claimed by Europeans for the first time when George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore was granted the charter for the colony of Maryland by Charles I of England. However, it was not until 1688 that the first tract of land in what is now Montgomery County was granted by the Calvert family to an individual colonist, a wealthy and prominent early Marylander named Henry Darnall. He and other early claimants had no intention of settling their families. They were little more than speculators, securing grants from the colonial leadership and then selling their lands in pieces to settlers. Thus, it was not until approximately 1715 that the first British settlers began building farms and plantations in the area.

These earliest settlers were English or Scottish immigrants from other portions of Maryland, German settlers moving down from Pennsylvania, or Quakers who came to settle on land granted to a convert named James Brooke in what is now Brookeville. Most of these early settlers were small farmers, growing wheat and a variety of other subsistence crops in addition to the region’s main cash crop, tobacco. Many of the farmers owned slaves. They transported the tobacco they grew to market through the Potomac River port of Georgetown. Sparsely settled, the area’s farms and taverns were nonetheless of strategic importance as access to the interior. General Edward Braddock’s army traveled through the county on the way to its disastrous defeat at Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War.

Like other regions of the American colonies, the region that is now Montgomery County saw protests against British taxation in the years before the American Revolution. In 1774, local residents met at Hungerford’s Tavern and agreed to break off commerce with Great Britain. Following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, representatives of the area helped to draft the new state constitution and began to build a Maryland free of proprietary control.

By 1776, there was a growing movement to form a new, strong federal government, with each colony retaining the authority to govern its local affairs. Member of the Maryland Constitutional Convention Thomas S. Wootton thought that dividing large Frederick County into three counties, each governed by elected representatives, would result in greater self-government.

When Wootton discussed his idea with the residents of southern Frederick County, the residents supported his idea for a different reason. At some point, almost everyone had needed to travel to the courthouse in Frederick Town, and the travel cost and time was prohibitive. The residents wanted a county courthouse to be located closer to them.

On August 31, 1776, Wootton introduced a measure to form a new county from the southern portion of Frederick County.

Resolved, That after the first day of October, next, such part of the said county of Frederick as is contained within the bounds and limits following, to wit: beginning at the east side of the mouth of Rock Creek, on the Potomac River, and running thence with the said river to the mouth of Monocacy, then with a straight line to Parr’s Spring, from thence with the lines of the county to the beginning shall be and is hereby erected into a new county called Montgomery County.

Wootton proposed naming the new county after the well-known Major General Richard Montgomery, who had served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Eight months prior, Montgomery had died in Quebec City while attempting an ultimately unsuccessful invasion of the Province of Quebec. Montgomery had never actually set foot on the land that would bear his name.

Wootton also proposed forming a new county from the northwestern portion of Frederick County, named Washington County, named after another well-known leader of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, General George Washington.

Several members of the Maryland Continental Convention opposed Wootton’s proposal, and it was tabled. Six days later, Wootton pressed for his proposal again, and it passed by a slim majority. As a result, Montgomery County came into existence on October 1, 1776.

In 1777, the leaders of the new county chose as their county seat an area adjacent to Hungerford’s Tavern near the center of the county, which became Rockville in 1801. When deciding its name, the original idea was to call it Wattsville, after Watts Branch, a stream that runs through the land. Because Watts Branch is a small stream, the idea was reconsidered, and the area was ultimately named Rockville after the nearby and larger Rock Creek.

For tax purposes, Montgomery County was divided into eleven districts, called hundreds. The names and areas of each hundred carried over from when the area was still part of Frederick County. The eleven districts were named as follows.

  • Linganor Hundred (now Clarksburg, Damascus, and Hyattstown);
  • Upper Newfoundland Hundred (Brookeville, Laytonsville, Olney, Sandy Spring);
  • Lower Newfoundland Hundred (Ashton, Brighton, Burtonsville);
  • Rock Creek Hundred (Colesville, Layhill, Norbeck);
  • Northwest Hundred (Kensington, Wheaton, Silver Spring, Takoma Park);
  • Lower Potomac Hundred (Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Georgetown);
  • Middle Potomac Hundred (Potomac, Rockville);
  • Upper Potomac Hundred (Darnestown, Dawsonville, Seneca);
  • Seneca Hundred (Gaithersburg);
  • Sugar Loaf Hundred (Barnesville, Beallsville, Germantown);
  • Sugarland Hundred (Poolesville).

The first court was held at Hungerford’s Tavern on May 20, 1777. Court was held by Charles Jones, Samuel W. Magruder, Elisha Williams, William Deakins, Richard Thompson, James Offutt, and Edward Burgess, with Brook Beall as clerk. Clement Beall served as the county’s first sheriff. The county’s first courthouse was built soon thereafter, and the court was held at the new courthouse beginning in 1779.

According to the 1790 census, the county’s first, 18,000 people lived in the county, of which about 35 percent were Black.

Montgomery County supplied arms, food, and forage for the Continental Army during the Revolution, in addition to soldiers.

In 1791, portions of Montgomery County, including Georgetown, were ceded to form the new District of Columbia, along with portions of Prince George’s County, Maryland, as well as parts of Virginia that were later returned to Virginia.

19th century
In 1828, construction on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal commenced and was completed in 1850. Laborers were primarily Irish immigrants. Throughout the 19th century, agriculture dominated the economy in Montgomery County, with slaves playing a significant role, though the vast majority of farmers owned ten slaves or fewer rather than large plantations. In the first half of the 19th century, low tobacco prices and worn-out soil caused many tobacco farms to be abandoned. Crop production gradually shifted away from tobacco and toward wheat and corn. Prior to the Civil War, Montgomery County allied itself with other slaveholding counties in southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Montgomery County was important in the abolitionist movement, especially among the Quakers in the northern part of the county near Sandy Spring. Josiah Henson grew up as a slave on the Riley farm south of Rockville. He wrote about his experiences in a memoir which became the basis for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). A slave cabin where he is believed to have spent time still stands at the end of a driveway off Old Georgetown Road.

Until 1860, only private schools existed in Montgomery County. Initially, schools for European-American students were built. A school in Rockville for free African Americans existed until 1866. Another school for African Americans was opened by 1877 in Rockville.

Montgomery County’s proximity to the nation’s capital and split sympathies to North and South resulted in it being occupied by Union forces during the Civil War. The county was “invaded” on multiple occasions by Confederate and Union forces.

In 1855, work on the Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad began, in order to provide a route between Washington, D.C., and Point of Rocks, Maryland. In 1873, the railroad opened. The railroad spurred development at Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Kensington, Garrett Park and Chevy Chase. By providing a much-needed transportation link, it also greatly increased the value of farmland and spurred the development of a dairy industry in the county.

During the Jim Crow era, masked mobs of local white men carried out two separate lynchings of African-American men in Montgomery County on Rockville’s courthouse lawn. John Diggs was violently lynched in 1880 and Sydney Randolph similarly murdered in 1896. Neither man was found guilty in a court of law, nor was anyone punished for the lynchings. On that same lawn, the Maryland Historical Society maintains a monument to the Confederate army as “heroes of the thin grey line”, because Montgomery County, like the rest of Maryland, was divided over the issue of secession. One vocal sociologist has claimed Montgomery County was not welcoming of the Confederates during the Civil War. No memorial exists for victims of Montgomery County’s lynchings. In 2015, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett ordered that the Confederate statue be removed. In February 2017, Montgomery County officials made a deal to move the statue to land owned by the operator of White’s Ferry. The statue was moved to its new location in July 2017.

20th and 21st centuries
On July 1, 1922, the Montgomery County Police Department was established. Prior to that time, law enforcement duties rested in the Montgomery County Sheriff and designated constables. In 1922, the police department consisted of three to six officers who were appointed to two-year terms by the Board of County Commissioners, one of whom would be appointed as Chief. In 1927, the police department was enlarged to twenty officers.

The remains of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, best known for the novel The Great Gatsby, are interred at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Rockville.

Home rule
The county began with most legislative power in the hands of the Maryland state government, with a five-person Montgomery County Board of Commissioners who oversaw the administration of the county but could neither pass county laws nor enact policies.

In 1915, Maryland amended its constitution. According to the constitutional amendment, a county’s residents may propose a petition to create a nonpartisan Charter Board. If the petition receives signatures from at least twenty percent of the county’s registered voters, all county residents would vote to select the members of the Charter Board during the next general election. The Charter Board would be authorized to draft a new system of county government, which could include a county council with the power to enact legislation and policies. The Charter Board’s proposal would then be voted upon by registered voters during the following general election, and it would be enacted if approved by the voters.

In 1930, two-thirds of Arlington County, Virginia residents voted to appoint a county manager, inspiring activists in Montgomery County to advocate for the same. In 1935, a group of farmers meeting in Sandy Spring decided that Montgomery County needed a new form of governance. The farmers were in favor of a professional county manager and a home-rule charter for Montgomery County.

In 1936, the Montgomery County Civic Federation announced its support for a home-rule charter, a merit system for Montgomery County’s employees, and a comptroller to administer the county’s finances. The following year, the Montgomery County Civic Federation appointed Woodside Park resident Allen H. Gardener to head a committee to study the reorganization of the Montgomery County’s government. The committee recommended massive changes and, in February 1938, the Montgomery County Civic Federation passed a resolution urging the Montgomery County commissioners to engage a professional group to study the county’s government.

In October 1938, the Montgomery County Commissioners held a public hearing on the proposal. The Commissioners decided to authorize a study of the existing county government structure with the goal of suggesting recommendations. In November 1938, the Commissioners selected the Brookings Institution for Government Research to conduct the study. The 720-page report opined that the county had outgrown its form of government.

The Brookings Institution’s study recommended the creation of a nonpartisan county council consisting of nine members representing defined districts of the county who could pass legislation, determine policy, and control over the administration of the county. The county should hire a county administrator, create an independent comptroller in charge of county finances, consolidate welfare services, and establish a three-member non-political civil service commission. Black children deserved better schools, and all children should receive military training and learn about democracy. The Liquor Control Board should be abolished, and the county should hire a full-time attorney rather than retain multiple part-time legal advisers. A professional consultant should reassess taxes, and the tax rate should be increased enough to retire the county’s debt. The Montgomery County Civic Federation praised the study for its comprehensiveness.

The county commissioners appointed a citizen’s committee to determine how to enact the study’s recommendations. The county commissioners strongly criticized the recommendation to create a county council, both because the council would be nonpartisan and because each county resident would be able to vote for only one representative rather than for all nine. Implementing some of the recommendations weeks later, the county commissioners appointed a permanent Board of Assessors, reorganized the Welfare Board, hired the a County Attorney and a purchasing agent, and hired sixteen police officers.

In 1942, Montgomery County Charter Committee was organized, which was formed primarily to circulate petitions to form a Charter Board. The Charter Board petitioned to form a county council with the power to pass laws without the consent of the Maryland General Assembly and with authority over the administration the county. While the Democratic Party did not explicitly denounce the charter, it issued a statement calling out the ostensibly nonpartisan movement for hidden partisan goals and claimed that backers of the charter petition for their alleged personal and political attacks on the Democratic Party and its officials. The newly formed Independent Party endorsed the charter, praising county residents’ goal of improving their form of government. In the November 1942 election, county residents voted in favor of forming a Charter Board.

In 1943, the Charter Board released its draft charter. The council would have nine unpaid members, of which five would represent each of five single-member districts and four would represent the county at-large. Council seats would be nonpartisan, each seat would be held for four years, and elections would occur every two years. The council would have the power to enact legislation and hire a county manager, to whom all governmental department heads would report. All sessions of the council would be open to the public. The office of county treasurer would be abolished and replaced by a director of finance, who would be responsible for assessment and collection of taxes, assessments, and licenses, custody and disbursement of public funds and property, and preparation of monthly financial statements. A department of public works, department of education, department of safety, department of welfare, and department of health would also be created.

The Montgomery County Charter Board opened its campaign headquarters in Bethesda, to serve as an information center regarding the draft charter. The Charter Board emphasized that the draft charter would allow for county affairs to be decided by local representatives rather than by a vote of members of the Maryland General Assembly who represent citizens of all parts of the state. Another group opposing the draft charter opened its headquarters in Bethesda. The group said there was no good reason to abolish the functional state-level system already in place, and that the draft charter would increase taxes and establish heads of governmental agencies with indefinite terms who are not directly accountable to the public. The group also said that making the council seats nonpartisan would go against the country’s political history. The editorial board of The Washington Post supported the draft charter. The Montgomery County League of Women Voters also endorsed the draft charter.

In a near-record turnout, a 1946 vote to enact a home-rule charter failed by a vote of 14,471 to 13,270. Following the vote, proponents of the charter said they would not give up the fight.

Several months later, Montgomery County Democratic Party leader Col. E. Brooke Lee said he would support Montgomery County home rule by way of an act of the Maryland state legislature. Lee proposed a bill to create a position of county supervisor, who would be in charge of routine county business, would appoint county employees subject to civil service rules and regulations, would supervise expenditures, and would prepare the operating and capital budgets. The bill did not disband the county commissioners or create a county council. The bill passed the state legislature and was signed by Governor Herbert R. O’Conor in 1945. The county commissioners appointed Willard F. Day to the position.

In 1948, by a vote of 17,809 in favor and 13,752 against, voters approved a charter for a “Council-Manager” form of government, making Montgomery County the first home-rule county in Maryland. The charter created an elected seven-member County Council with the power to pass local laws. All seven Council Members would be elected at-large by all county residents. Five would have to live in five different residence districts, while the other two could live anywhere within the county. The Council would serve as both the legislative and executive functions of the county. Council members would elect one of their own to serve as president of the Council. The charter also authorized the hiring of a county manager, the top administrative official, who could be dismissed by the Council after a public hearing. The charter created a department of public works, department of finance, and office of the county attorney, while it abolished the positions of county treasurer and police commissioner. The first County Council was elected in 1949.

County executive
In 1962, a county civic group advocated for the election of a county executive. The group’s report said that the new position would give citizens another place to go if their concerns were refused by the Montgomery County Council. The group said that the fact that the county had four appointed county managers in thirteen years demonstrates that establishing the position in 1948 had not been a stunning success. The group also advocated for nonpartisan elections for council members. Among the reasons for the suggested changes in governance is the fact that the county’s population had more than doubled since the governmental system had been established in 1948.

In 1966, the Montgomery County Council adopted a proposed charter amendment to create a new elected position of County Executive. Elected to a four-year term, the County Executive could veto legislation passed by the County Council, although five members of the County Council could vote to overrule the veto. All Council Members would continue to be at-large, but they would need to live in seven different residence districts. Republicans favored a referendum on the proposed charter amendment, while Democrats favored it in principle but urged the specific amendment’s defeat because the duties of the County Executive were not specific enough. In the referendum held in September 1966, the referendum was defeated, with 57 percent of voters opposed.

In February 1967, the Montgomery County Council formed a commission to draft a charter amendment to elect a county executive. The commission’s plan was to separate the legislative and executive functions of government. The county council would continue to be the legislative branch of county government, and an elected full-time County Executive who could veto legislation passed by the Council; it would take five votes by the Council to override a veto. The County Executive would hire a chief administrative officer to supervise the daily operations of the government. All Council Members would be elected at-large by all county residents, but five of the seven would need to live in each of five different residential districts of substantially equal population. In November 1968, the charter amendment was approved, with 53 percent of votes in favor.

In the first election for County Executive, held in 1970, Republican James P. Gleason defeated Democrat William W. Greenhalgh by a margin of 420 votes.

In November 1986, voters amended the Charter to increase the number of Council seats in the 1990 election from seven to nine. Now five members are elected by the voters of their council district and four are elected at-large. Each voter may vote for five council members; four at-large and one from the district in which they reside.

In November 1995, the City of Takoma Park held a state-sponsored referendum asking whether the portions of the city in Prince George’s County should be annexed to Montgomery County or vice versa. The majority of votes in the referendum were in favor of unification of the entire city in Montgomery County. Following subsequent approval by both counties’ councils and the Maryland General Assembly, the county line was moved to include the entire city into Montgomery County (including territory in Prince George’s County newly annexed by the city) on July 1, 1997. This added about 800 residents to Montgomery County’s population.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,310 km2), of which 491 square miles (1,270 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (3.1%) is water. Montgomery County lies entirely inside the Piedmont plateau. The topography is generally rolling. Elevations range from a low of near sea level along the Potomac River to about 875 feet in the northernmost portion of the county north of Damascus. Relief between valley bottoms and hilltops is several hundred feet.

When Montgomery County was created in 1776, its boundaries were defined as “beginning at the east side of the mouth of Rock Creek on Potowmac river [sic], and running with the said river to the mouth of Monocacy, then with a straight line to Par’s spring, from thence with the lines of the county to the beginning”.

The county’s boundary forms a sliver of land at the far northern tip of the county that is several miles long and averages less than 200 yards wide. In fact, a single house on Lakeview Drive and its yard is sectioned by this sliver into three portions, each separately contained within Montgomery, Frederick and Howard Counties. These jurisdictions and Carroll County meet at a single point at Parr’s Spring on Parr’s Ridge.

Adjacent counties

  • Frederick County (northwest)
  • Carroll County (north)
  • Howard County (northeast)
  • Prince George’s County (southeast)
  • Washington, D.C. (south)
  • Fairfax County, Virginia (southwest)
  • Loudoun County, Virginia (west)

National protected areas

  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (part)
  • Clara Barton National Historic Site
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway (part)

Montgomery County is an important business and research center. It is the epicenter for biotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region. Montgomery County, as third largest biotechnology cluster in the U.S., holds a large cluster and companies of large corporate size within the state. Biomedical research is carried out by institutions including Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County Campus (JHU MCC), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Federal government agencies in Montgomery County engaged in related work include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Many large firms are based in the county, including Coventry Health Care, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Host Hotels & Resorts, Travel Channel, Ritz-Carlton, Robert Louis Johnson Companies (RLJ Companies), Choice Hotels, MedImmune, TV One, BAE Systems Inc., Hughes Network Systems and GEICO.

Other U.S. federal government agencies based in the county include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring are the largest urban business hubs in the county; combined, they rival many major city cores.

Poor transportation was a hindrance for Montgomery County’s farmers who wanted to transport their crops to market in the early 18th century. Montgomery County’s first roads, often barely adequate, were built by the 18th century.

One early road connected Frederick and Georgetown. There was a road that connected Georgetown and the mouth of the Monocacy River. Plans to continue the road to Cumberland did not come to fruition. Another road connected the Montgomery County Courthouse with Sandy Spring and Baltimore, and one other road connected the courthouse with Bladensburg and Annapolis.

The county’s first turnpike was chartered in 1806, but its construction began in 1817. In 1828, the turnpike was completed, running from Georgetown to Rockville. It was the first paved road in Montgomery County.

In 1849, the Seventh Street Turnpike (now called Georgia Avenue) was extended from Washington to Brookeville. The Colesville–Ashton Turnpike was built in 1870 (now parts of Colesville Road, Columbia Pike, and New Hampshire Avenue).

The United States Army Corps of Engineers built the Washington Aqueduct between 1853 and 1864, to supply water from Great Falls to Washington. The aqueduct was covered in 1875, and it became known as Conduit Road. The Union Arch Bridge, which carries the aqueduct across Cabin John Creek, was the longest single-arch bridge in the world at the time it was completed in 1864. The road is now named MacArthur Boulevard.

Montgomery County operates its own bus public transit system, known as Ride On. Major routes closer to its rail service area are also covered by WMATA’s Metrobus service.

The county began building a bus rapid transit (BRT) system along US 29 in 2018. The system will provide service between Silver Spring and Burtonsville and is scheduled to begin operation in 2020.

The Corridor Cities Transitway is a proposed BRT line that would provide an extension of the Red Line corridor from Gaithersburg to Germantown, and eventually to Frederick County.

Montgomery County is served by three passenger rail systems, with a fourth line under construction.

Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger rail system, operates its Capitol Limited to Rockville, between Washington Union Station and Chicago Union Station.

The Brunswick line of the MARC commuter rail system makes stops at Silver Spring, Kensington, Garrett Park, Rockville, Washington Grove, Gaithersburg, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, Boyds, Barnesville, and Dickerson, where the line splits into its Frederick and Martinsburg branches.

Both suburban arms of the Red Line of the Washington Metro serve Montgomery County. It follows the CSX right of way to the west, roughly paralleling Route 355 from Friendship Heights to Shady Grove. The eastern side runs between the two tracks of the CSX right of way from Washington Union Station to Silver Spring, and roughly parallels Georgia Avenue, from Silver Spring to Glenmont.

The Purple Line, a light rail system, is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in 2022. The line will run in a generally east-west direction, connecting Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties near the Beltway, with 21 stations. The Purple Line will connect directly with four Metro stations, MARC trains and Amtrak.

The Montgomery County Airpark (FAA GAI, ICAO KGAI), a general aviation facility in Gaithersburg, is the major airport in the county. Davis Airport (FAA Identifier W50), a privately owned airstrip, is located in Laytonsville on Hawkins Creamery Road. Commercial air service is provided at the nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National, Washington Dulles International, and BWI Airports.

Educative system is conformed by Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and other institutions in the area.

Montgomery County Public Schools
Elementary and secondary public schools are operated by the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The county public school system is the largest school district in Maryland, serving about 162,000 students with 13,000 teachers and 10,000 support staff. The public school system operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019 is $2.6 billion.

MCPS operates under the jurisdiction of an elected Board of Education.

MCPS conducted its first ‘data deletion week’ in 2019, purging its databases of unnecessary student information. Parents said they hoped to shield children from being held accountable in adulthood for youthful mistakes, as well as to guard them from exploitation by what one parent termed “the student data surveillance industrial complex”.The district also requires tech companies to annually delete data they collect on schoolchildren. In December 2019 it said GoGuardian had sent formal certification that it had deleted its data, but the district was still waiting for confirmation from Google.

Montgomery College
The county is also served by Montgomery College, a public, open access community college that has a budget of US$315 million for FY2020. The county has no public university of its own, but the state university system does operate a facility called Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville that provides access to baccalaureate and Master’s level programs from several of the state’s public universities.

Montgomery County Public Libraries
Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is the public library system for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. The system includes 23 individual libraries. It has a budget $38 million for 2015.

The “Smondrowski Amendment”
On November 11, 2014, the Board approved an amendment introduced by Rebecca Smondrowksi to modify the school calendar to delete all references to religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. The amendment was in response to requests by an interfaith organization called Equality for Eid which asked that the listing for the Islamic holiday, Eid al-Adha be listed alongside Yom Kippur which occurred on the same day.

The Smondrowski amendment received both national and international attention. Criticism of the Smondrowski amendment came from a variety of sources including the Montgomery County Executive, Isiah Leggett, and congressman John Delaney.

Montgomery County is religiously diverse. Of Montgomery County’s population, according to the Association of Religion Data Archives, in 2010, 13% was Catholic, 5% was Baptist, 4% was Evangelical Protestant, 3% was Jewish, 3% was Methodist/Pietist, 2% was Adventist, 2% was Presbyterian, 1% was Episcopalian/Anglican, 1% was Mormon, 1% was Muslim, 1% was Lutheran, 1% was Eastern Orthodox, 1% was Pentecostal, 1% was Buddhist, and 1% was Hindu.

Montgomery County is the most religiously diverse county in the US outside of New York City. A 2020 census by the Public Religion Research Institute (unconnected to the official US census) calculates a religious diversity score of 0.880 for Montgomery County, where 1 represents complete diversity (each religious group of equal size) and 0 a total lack of diversity. Only two other counties in the US have higher diversity scores than Montgomery County, both in urban New York.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church maintains its General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring in Montgomery County.

The county is home to the National Women’s Soccer League team Washington Spirit, a professional soccer team that played its home games at the Maryland SoccerPlex sports complex in Boyds. In 2021, the Spirit will play its seven home games at Audi Field, in Washington, D.C. and five home games at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia. Starting in 2022, the team will work to maximize the number of games played at Audi Field.

Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club has hosted four Major Championships, including three playings of the U.S. Open, most recently in 2011 which was won by Rory McIlroy. The Club also hosts the Quicken Loans National, an annual event on the PGA Tour which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Previously, neighboring TPC at Avenel hosted the Booz Allen Classic.

The award-winning Members Club at Four Streams is located on a former farm in Beallsville, Maryland.

The Bethesda Big Train, Rockville Express, and Silver Spring–Takoma Thunderbolts all play college level wooden bat baseball in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.

Montgomery County is home of the Montgomery County Swim League, a youth (ages 4–18) competitive swimming league composed of ninety teams based at community pools throughout the county.

The King Farm Park in Rockville, open and accessible 24/7 without cost, provides a first-class 16-station Bankshot Playcourt, the Home Court for the Rockville based Bankshot Sports Organization advocating “Total-mix diversity based on Universal Design.” Hundreds of communities provide Bankshot Playcourts mainstreaming differently-able participants in community sports. Bankshot basketball Playcourts are also at Montrose park, the JCC among other locations.

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair
Since 1949 the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, the largest in the state, showcases farm life in the county. The week long event offers family events, carnival rides, live animals, entertainment and food. Visitors can also view entries of canned and baked goods, clothing, quilts and produce from local county farmers.

Content Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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Ste 0221
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(240) 821-6660

Botanero Restaurant 4.5 star rating 549 reviews
800 Pleasant Dr
Ste 160
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 474-5461

Gyuzo Japanese BBQ 4.5 star rating 598 reviews
33 Maryland Ave
Ste B
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 403-7670

Boca Botana's Tapas Bar 4.5 star rating 335 reviews
239 Muddy Branch Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(240) 702-0869

Coastal Flats 4.0 star rating 1076 reviews
135 Crown Park Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 869-8800

Ixtapalapa Taqueria 4.5 star rating 627 reviews
411 N Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

(240) 702-0217

Matthew's Grill 4.5 star rating 272 reviews
213 Muddy Branch Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 990-8858

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant - Rockville 4.0 star rating 364 reviews
1403 Research Blvd
Rockville, MD 20850

(301) 517-9463

The Tiki Room 5.0 star rating 10 reviews
4613 Willow Ln
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Old Town Pour House - Gaithersburg 3.5 star rating 527 reviews
212 Ellington Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 963-6281

Quincy's South Bar & Grille 4.0 star rating 319 reviews
11401 Woodglen Dr
Rockville, MD 20852

(240) 669-3270

Boca Botana's Tapas Bar 4.5 star rating 335 reviews
239 Muddy Branch Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(240) 702-0869

Beer On Tapz 4.5 star rating 18 reviews
19520 Waters Rd
Unit 2
Germantown, MD 20874

(301) 250-4631

Flood Zone Marketplace & Brewery 5.0 star rating 12 reviews
50 N Main St
Union Bridge, MD 21791

(443) 937-6170

The Hideout 4.5 star rating 69 reviews
9855 Washington Blvd N
Laurel, MD 20707

(240) 360-4713

Brews & Barrels 3.5 star rating 133 reviews
625 Center Point Way
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(240) 912-7736

Wegmans 4.0 star rating 274 reviews
20600 Seneca Meadows Pkwy
Germantown, MD 20876

(240) 499-0700

Harris Teeter 3.5 star rating 93 reviews
323 Copley Pl
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 963-7904

Lidl 3.0 star rating 24 reviews
2201 Randolph Rd
Unit A
Wheaton, MD 20902

(844) 747-5435

Trader Joe's 4.0 star rating 118 reviews
10076 Darnestown Rd
Rockville, MD 20850

(301) 762-0782

Boarman's Old Fashioned Meat Market 4.5 star rating 59 reviews
13402 Clarksville Pike
Highland, MD 20777

(301) 854-2883

Clarksburg Market 4.5 star rating 16 reviews
23329 Frederick Rd
Clarksburg, MD 20871

(301) 515-0701

Lancaster County Dutch Market 4.5 star rating 418 reviews
12613 Wisteria Dr
Germantown, MD 20874

(301) 515-1019

Homestead Farm 4.0 star rating 162 reviews
15604 Sugarland Rd
Poolesville, MD 20837

Coffee Republic 4.0 star rating 254 reviews
801 Pleasant Dr
Ste 100
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 347-3782

Black Lion Cafe 4.5 star rating 283 reviews
9705 Traville Gateway Dr
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 907-2994

Filicori Zecchini 4.5 star rating 125 reviews
12430 Park Potomac Ave
Unit R-3
Potomac, MD 20854

(301) 444-4417

La Poteria Local 5.0 star rating 21 reviews
19116 Montgomery Village Ave
Montgomery Village, MD 20886

(240) 477-6636

Barking Mad Cafe 4.0 star rating 706 reviews
239 Spectrum Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

(240) 690-7003

Ceremony Coffee Roasters - Bethesda Crescent 4.5 star rating 40 reviews
7475 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

(410) 626-0011

La Bohemia Bakery 4.5 star rating 238 reviews
5540 Wilkins Ct
Rockville, MD 20852

(240) 360-3697

Java Nation 4.0 star rating 199 reviews
11120 Rockville Pike
N. Bethesda, MD 20852

(301) 836-6022

Onelife Fitness - Rockville 3.5 star rating 85 reviews
1407 Research Blvd
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 599-8383

Foundry Fitness 5.0 star rating 55 reviews
205 Market St
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(240) 478-0253

Fitness Edge MD 5.0 star rating 62 reviews
220 Girard St
Ste D
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

(240) 370-5836

Life Time 3.0 star rating 139 reviews
10121 Washingtonian Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 569-5100

Redzone Fitness 5.0 star rating 9 reviews
228 Main St
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(240) 498-0289

North Bethesda Sport&Health 4.0 star rating 88 reviews
11594 Old Georgetown Rd
Rockville, MD 20852

(301) 245-3908

LA Fitness 2.5 star rating 108 reviews
602 Quince Orchard Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 987-5421

ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center 4.0 star rating 38 reviews
20500 Seneca Meadows Pkwy
Germantown, MD 20874

(240) 686-4500

Tokyo Marketplace 5.0 star rating 2 reviews
613 Hungerford Dr
Rockville, MD 20850

PetSmart 2.5 star rating 84 reviews
218 Kentlands Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 977-9677

Just For Pets 5.0 star rating 3 reviews
11200 Scaggsville Rd
Ste 131
Laurel, MD 20723

(301) 776-8667

Life of Riley 4.5 star rating 114 reviews
7326 Westmore Rd
Rockville, MD 20850

(240) 569-5921

Loyal Companion 4.5 star rating 57 reviews
1306 East Gude Dr
Gude Plaza Shopping Center
Rockville, MD 20850

(301) 217-0432

Loyal Companion 4.5 star rating 29 reviews
235 Kentlands Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 527-8833

Just Puppies of Maryland, Inc 2.0 star rating 123 reviews
2004 Veirs Mill Rd
Rockville, MD 20851

(301) 738-7877

Pet Barn 4.0 star rating 28 reviews
11815 W Market Pl
Fulton, MD 20759

(301) 725-0958