Bethesda Historical Society

We're celebrating the 150th birthday of Bethesda in 2021!

Ghosts of covenants past

“I wonder if W.C. and A.N. Miller (and its 20th century contemporaries still in business today) has ever been called to answer for its decades of discriminatory suburban residential development and the lingering effects those practices that are found throughout Montgomery County?”

In the mid-1940s, the firm subdivided former agricultural properties southwest of River Road and began selling home sites. Each sale included this racially restrictive covenant:

No part of the land hereby conveyed shall ever be used or occupied by or sold demised transferred conveyed unto or in trust for leased, or rented, or given to negroes or any person or persons of negro blood or extraction or to any persons of the Semitic race blood or origin which racial description shall be deemed to include Armenians, Jews, Hebrews, Persians and Syrians except that this paragraph shall not be held to exclude partial occupancy of the premises by domestic servants ….”

Read more at “The ghosts of covenants past” on the History Sidebar blog.

Ghosts of covenants past

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