Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2024 - Bethesda's 153rd birthday!

Uncovering the "Lost Colony" in Bethesda

“I call River Road the ‘lost colony,’ ” says Harvey Matthews Sr. “I lived there, I was raised there, I went to school there, but it’s gone and forgotten. All those whites who live in the surrounding area don’t have any knowledge of the black folks who lived there, and people need to know about that.”

This “lost colony” in Bethesda flourished for almost a hundred years, between Little Falls Parkway and Kenwood, until developers pushed out the last few families in the early 1960s. The only remaining vestige is a small church, Macedonia Baptist, tucked between a towering apartment building and a Bank of America branch. You can drive by it countless times, as I did for years, and never know it’s there.

Read more at “Uncovering the ‘Lost Colony’ in Bethesda. Near Macedonia Baptist Church, a black community on River Road struggles to reclaim its history” by Steve Roberts on the Bethesda Magazine website (|May 22, 2017)