Bethesda Historical Society

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the historical society of Bethesda, Maryland



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Heritage Trail in Downtown Bethesda


1. St. John’s Episcopal Church
First church in downtown Bethesda, opening in 1873. Current building constructed in 1914.
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2. C&P Telephone Building at 6925 Wisconsin

First building dedicated to Bethesda telephone service. Opened in 1928 with almost 3,000 telephone numbers.
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3. Bethesda-Chevy Chase Shopping Center aka Sacks Row

Opened in the late 1930s, Sacks Row was a pioneering strip mall with plenty of parking to serve nearby residents. 
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4. Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market at 7155 Wisconsin Avenue

Founded during the Great Depression in 1932, the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market is the oldest continuously operated farm market in Montgomery County, and a pioneering example of women’s entrepreneurship.
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5. Site of Miller’s Flats, an early Black community and now a popular shopping and restaurant area.
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6. Darcy’s Store on 7200 block of Wisconsin

Site of Darcy’s Store. From 1862 to 1871, U.S. Post Office referred to this area as Darcy’s Store. In 1871, area was renamed Bethesda.
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7. Wilson Store aka Community Paint and Hardware at 7250 Wisconsin

Original site of the Wilson Store, also known as Community Paint and Hardware building. Constructed in 1890 on the site of original Rockville Pike Toll Booth. Probably earliest commercial building left standing in the Bethesda Commercial District. Moved to 4538 Middleton Lane in 2017.
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8. Original site of Macedonia Baptist Church. Now located 1.5 miles south of here on River Road.


9. Dr. Perry’s Office at 7349 Wisconsin

One of oldest commercial buildings in the area, the 1929 office of Dr. Benjamin C. Perry represents important step in  transformation of Bethesda from country crossroads to modern urban center.
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10. U.S. Post Office


11. Madonna of the Trail Statue at 7400 Wisconsin

The 1929 Madonna of the Trail in Bethesda is one of 12 identical monuments along a key route of Western migration from Maryland to California in the 18th and 19th centuries.
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12. Site of first motion picture theater in downtown Bethesda. Remembered as site of 1960 demonstration demanding that it be desegregated.

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13. Bethesda Presbyterian Church at 7611 Clarendon

Bethesda Presbyterian Church is “the church that named Bethesda.”
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14. Bank of Bethesda
The Bank of Bethesda, a landmark at this location since 1926, was a major factor in Bethesda’s rapid economic development.
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15. Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School


16. Pumphrey Funeral Home and Old Stone Tavern at 7557 Wisconsin

Reputedly the oldest business in Montgomery County, Pumphrey Funeral Home occupies the site of the “Old Stone Tavern”, the first commercial structure in what is now Bethesda.
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17. Wilson Store (new home) at 4538 Middleton Lane

New site of the Wilson Store, also known as the Community Paint and Hardware building. Probably earliest commercial building left standing in the Bethesda Commercial District. Moved from 7250 Wisconsin Avenue to 4538 Middleton Lane in 2017.
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18. Bethesda Theater


19. Woodmont Triangle area


20. Little Tavern at 8100 Wisconsin

The second Little Tavern restaurant in Bethesda. Built in 1955 and designated by Montgomery County as “culturally significant representation of a type of restaurant which would become symbolic of the American lifestyle in the late 20th century.”
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21. Leland Shopping Center

Built in the late 1920s, this was one of the first shopping centers built in the area to serve the needs of the relatively affluent families moving to the suburbs of Bethesda and Chevy Chase.
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