Bethesda Historical Society

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

the historical society of Bethesda, Maryland

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Walter Rupert Tuckerman, Father of Bethesda by William Offutt

Walter Tuckerman was a fine horseman, champion golfer, excellent tennis player and well-bred lawyer. He was a tall, spare, quiet and gentle man.

When Tuckerman discovered very rural Bethesda, the crossroads on the twenty-five-year-old, single-track trolley line was well on it’s way to becoming a very blue-collar community. Centered on the Woodmont Triangle, it consisted of tiny clapboard homes on narrow lots and a developing black community of crowded shanties in Miller’s Flats near the railroad tracks with their coal and lumber yards.

Tuckerman bought the derelict farm positioned between those two bustling centers of modest homes and sweaty workmen, sub-divided it and invited Ivy League bankers and businessmen to come live in his upscale neighborhood-to-be. Slowly but remarkably, they did, and Bethesda changed and prospered.

Read more at “Walter Rupert Tuckerman, Father of Bethesda” by William Offutt on the Montgomery County Hisorical Society website