Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2022 - Bethesda's 151st birthday!

the historical society of Bethesda, Maryland



Thanks for Joining Us at the Bethesda Big Train Saturday June 18

Thanks to Fred Berner for his wonderful Historic Edgemoor Walking Tour June 5!

Fred Berner tour of historic Edgemoor

Fred Berner is author of “Old Edgemoor – The Heart of Bethesda.”


The Bridge that Carried Us Over

An Exhibit at the American University Museum

Friday–Sunday 11 am–4 pm June 11–August 7, 2022

This exhibit offers an in-depth look at the historic Black River Road community in Bethesda, which thrived from emancipation through its violent displacement in the mid-twentieth century.

The exhibition combines archival images and research—on neighborhood slaveholding estates, the free River Road community, and the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition’s ongoing struggle to protect the community’s desecrated burial ground—with community heirlooms, firsthand oral histories, and funerary objects rescued from the Moses African Cemetery.

In presenting the community’s rich history in juxtaposition with the powerful forces trying to erase it over the course of centuries, the exhibition aims to elucidate one instance of the systemic structural denial of communal wealth (in all its forms) to Black people in the United States, and to provide concrete, place-based and community-led proposals for reparations.

Dairy Industry in the Bethesda Area in the First Half of the 20th Century with Richard Rowe

Dairy farms and creameries in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Silver Spring area were pretty much gone by the 1940s. The early Bethesda area dairy farms and creameries are identified and located on a map and some are discussed in detail.
This presentation was developed in cooperation with the Bethesda Historical Society to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Bethesda.
An 80-minute video from Montgomery History April 27, 2022.

History of Bethesda Schools with Ralph Buglass

This richly-illustrated talk, in partnership with the Bethesda Historical Society, details the ways that Bethesda schools set the pace for education in Montgomery County public schools beginning in the early 1900s.
A 1-hour video from October 5, 2021.

Award to Bethesda's Bill Offutt

Congratulations to Bethesda historian and lifelong resident Bill Offutt who was presented Montgomery Preservation’s Lifetime Achievement Award this year.
An 8-minute video.

In Memoriam - Amy Rispin

The Bethesda Historical Society extends deepest condolences to the family of Amy Rispin, our beloved volunteer who passed away on February 14, 2022.

Amy was one of the Society’s first volunteers, with her experience and expertise in local history being highly valued by so many in the Bethesda area and throughout Montgomery County.

Amy’s participation in the activities of the Bethesda Historical Society will be greatly missed, but we will fondly remember the comradery we shared as we worked together.

Upcoming Events 

Monday June 27
7:30 pm

Bethesda Historical Society Monthly Meeting 
Contact us for more information