As Montgomery County prepares to celebrate Heritage Days Weekendthis coming weekend, June 27 and 28, many local historical sites are preparing to accept visitors wanting to go back in time and visit the early days of Montgomery County.
“This is our eighteenth year and it is a county-wide weekend,” said Sarah L. Rogers, the executive director of the Germantown-based Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County. “All the museums and parks are open for free, usually with special events, such as music, which they don’t usually do, in addition to tours of the site.”
This countywide festival has something to appeal to visitors of all ages and interests. With over 35 sites all around Montgomery County open with free admission for Heritage Days Weekend. Sites are open from noon to 4pm unless otherwise indicated. In addition to Civil War and agricultural history, the stories of local railroads and trolleys, African American communities, life along the C&O Canal, astronomy, and much more are featured.
Heritage Days also highlights local arts & culture as well as outdoor recreation, including biking, hiking, and walking tours. Many venues offer musical entertainment, activities and crafts for children, and refreshments.
In the Germantown area, on Saturday and Sunday the Boyds Negro School will be open to public. “The Negro School, which is not often open, is really wonderful,” said Rogers. “It is a one-room school house which was for African-American children at turn-of-the-century. The interior of the school is exactly how it would have been with wooden desks and the chalkboard.”
The Boyds Negro School is located at 19510 White Ground Road, it served as the only public school for African Americans in the Boyds area from 1895-1936. The schoolhouse served students in grades 1-8, many of whom walked for miles to attend classes at the school.
Residents can also experience early life in Montgomery County at the Button Farm Living History Center at 16820 Black Rock Road in Germantown. Visitors can see examples of plantation life in 1850s Maryland including an heirloom garden, heritage breed animals, newly restored period buildings, and slave cemetery. Demonstrations, petting zoo, and Underground Railroad passport activities for visitors of all ages.
Visitors to the Maryland SoccerPlex who have wondered what the white barn in the middle of the park was, can discover the MOOseum and learn about the history of dairy farming in Montgomery County. Exhibits include a Ford Model T milk delivery truck, wooden milk wagon, model railroad, and life-sized model cows; playroom & crafts. Saturday only: Balloon Man makes hats for children (noon- 2 pm); live farm animals. Sunday only: Miss Regina’s music activity (1-2pm) for children ages 1-4.
The Boyd-Maughlin House, located at 15215 Barnesville Road, is a historic house and garden. Tours are offered by curators in Victorian dress. Fun family activities include fishing with bamboo poles, country crafts, and period games including horseshoes, croquet, hopscotch, checkers, marbles and jacks. Player piano and live period music.
Visitors can stop by the Damascus Heritage Museum at 9701 Main Street on Saturday to learn about town history and how the town, streets, and buildings got their names. “Then and Now” exhibit features historical artifacts and photographs of Damascus and the surrounding area.
On Saturday, in Clarksburg, visitors can learn about the historic churches of Clarksburg at the Clarksburg United Methodist Church at 23245 Spire Street. The day will feature displays of newly acquired artifacts, strolling musicians, and children's activities. Visitors can vote in a photography contest and contribute to the town's time capsule.
Also on Saturday, visitors can see the county’s Radio Controlled Airplane at the DC Radio Control Club at 16300 Schaeffer Road in Boyds. Come to the Walt Good Flying Field in South Germantown Park and see model aircraft of all types flying overhead throughout the day.
On Sunday, the Historic Germantown Bank, at 19320 Mateny Hill Road in Germantown (near the MARC Train Station) will be open. Visit the 1922 bank, bank, with a walk-in vault and period safe deposit boxes. See the exhibit, Germantown History and enjoy railroad songs of the ‘20s & ‘30s led by “Banjo Man” Frank Casssel. Guided walking tours of Historic Germantown, a railroad town dating to the 1880s.
For a complete listing of all the Heritage Days events happening throughout Montgomery County this weekend, visit the Heritage Days Web site.
Photos courtesy of the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County