Thank you Bethesda's 150th Birthday Boosters!
Al Marah Riverway Association
Bethesda Community Garden Club
Bethesda Crab House
Bethesda Metro Area Village
Bethesda Presbyterian Church
Brookdale Citizens Association
Campaign for Bethesda’s Madonna of the Trail
Central Farm Markets
Christ Lutheran Church
Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County
Gail Humphries Ewing
Brenda & Dwayne Holt
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Wendy & Steven Kaufman
Henry B. & Jessie W. Keiser Foundation
Delegate Marc Korman (MD-16)
Senator Susan C. Lee (MD-16)
Bob & Jane Levey
Susan Riggle LoPresti
ZKL Martin Family
Eileen S. McGuckian & Philip L. Cantelon
Greg & Karyn Miele
Minuteman Press Bethesda
Fred & Barbara Ordway
Ourisman Jeep Bethesda
Piccoli Piatti Pizzeria
Quattro Auto Body Inc.
St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church & School
Sullivan & Company, CPAs
The Barking Dog Bar & Restaurant
The Bethesda Montessori School
The Blue House
The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce
The Jane Fairweather Team
The Woman’s Club of Bethesda, Inc.
RoseMarie & Ronald Winiewicz
The History of Bethesda
by Mark Walston
Advances in transportation over the course of two centuries transformed Bethesda from a rural wayside stop into a bustling metropolis. But for much of its early existence, Bethesda was little more than “a wide spot in the road,” as one early resident put it.
That road (today’s Wisconsin Avenue and Old Georgetown Road) began in the far past as a ridgeline trail through ancient woods, carrying the first settlers, the Native Americans, as they hunted game in the land among the Potomac, Patuxent, and Monocacy Rivers.
At the end of the 17th century it brought Dutch fur traders, who built a one-story granite trading post dominated by a great stone chimney rising up through the middle of the roof (part of which still stands) near the intersection of present-day River Road and Little Falls Parkway.
© 2010 by Mark Walston. Lightly edited to reflect changes in Bethesda in the decade since it originally appeared in Bethesda Magazine on September 27, 2010. The Bethesda Historical Society is grateful for Mark’s permission to reprint it here.
Do you have historical photos of Bethesda? Let us scan them and post them on this website for everyone to enjoy!
Do you like to plan events, collect memorabilia, research, or fundraise? We are looking for fellow volunteers to help us preserve Bethesda memories while having fun at the same time!
Montgomery County History Conference 2021
This year the conference is taking place entirely online
Click here for details.
Saturday January 23
Bethesda’s 150th Birthday!
Wednesday February 3
Bethesda Historical Society Meeting by Zoom
Contact us for more information
The Bethesda Historical Society, established in 2019, is an organization of volunteers dedicated to sharing and reflecting on the history of the Bethesda, Maryland area and its diverse residents.
The Society plans to develop events and educational programs focusing on significant locations and important moments in our history.
We are now a 501 (c)(3) organization, so donations are tax-deductible!