As Montgomery County prepares to celebrate Heritage Days Weekend this coming weekend, June 25 and 26, many local historical sites are preparing to accept visitors wanting to go back in time and visit the early days of Montgomery County.
For 18 years, the last weekend in June has meant it is time for Heritage Days. 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 4:00 pm 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 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 balloons for children from noon- 2:00 pm. Sunday only: Miss Regina’s music activity from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm for children ages 1-4, and butter churning from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
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.
Visitors in the Clarksburg area can check out the Hyattstown Mill, at 14920 Hyattstown Mill Road in Clarkburg beginning at 10:00 am on both Saturday and Sunday. See the new “Dwellings” art exhibit in the gallery of the historic mill; crafts for children. Art demonstrations and crafts for children. Saturday: Artists’ reception from 2:00 to 4:00 pm with live bluegrass & country swing music by Tumbleweeds at 3:00 pm. Sunday: Live guitar music by Jim Wagner.
On Saturday, also in Clarksburg, visitors can learn about the historic churches of Clarksburg at the Clarksburg United Methodist Church at 23245 Spire Street. Visit a historic 1909 church and National Historic Register two-room schoolhouse. Activities include local history exhibits, cemetery tour, classic cars, children’s games and activities, moon bounce, music, and more. Free trolley rides from the church to the schoolhouse. Refreshments for sale.
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 guided walking tours of Historic Germantown, a railroad town dating to the 1880s.
On Saturday, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe will perform traditional Native American dances and talk about their heritage. Tribe members will be in full ceremonial regalia with authentic musical instruments at the Monocacy Aqueduct on the C&O Canal at Mouth of Monocacy Road in Dickerson.
In Poolesville, both Saturday and Sunday, visitors can go to the John Poole House on 19923 Fisher Avenue in Poolesville and see the 1793 log cabin was built to serve as a general store and trading post; it is the oldest building in Poolesville. Civil War artifacts, children’s crafts, and refreshments.
Also in Poolesville, the Poolesville Museum at 19933 Fisher Avenue will be open. This 100 year-old restored bank includes an ornate, early 20th-century bank vault with decorative painting. The documentaries Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War and Growing Legacy, about the Agricultural Reserve, will be shown.
The Seneca Schoolhouse Museum will also be open on Saturday and Sunday at 16899 River Road in Poolesville. Class will be in session in this restored 1880s one room schoolhouse, with a period costumed teacher. Classroom activities, games, and refreshments.
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