Historic Inns & Famous Homes
of Maryland

Montgomery County

At the Bethesda intersection of Wisconsin Avenue, Old Georgetown Road and East-West Highway is the Pioneer Lady Statue or Madonna of the Trail, symbolizing the importance of these roads in early days. The pioneer spirit and the National Pike were commemorated when Harry Truman dedicated the statue on April 19, 1929, connecting this spot on the East Coast to the town of Upland California on the West Coast. Twelve statues were erected in cities across the nation on the way to California. The memorial which faces east (most face west) is dedicated to the pioneer mothers of covered wagon days. It was reinstalled in 1986 after years in storage due to subway and hotel construction, and was the first in a collection commissioned to be installed along Bethesda's streets.

Silver Spring also changed because of Metro construction. A mural 100 feet long and 8 feet high was installed as part of the Metro Art I project. The idea of penguin signs advocating ride sharing and use of the Metro came from this mural. Montgomery County's Forest Glen Metro station is nearly 200 feet below ground level and is the deepest in the system and possibly in the world. The Wheaton Calator at more than 228 feet is the metro's longest.

While in Silver Spring, drive by the Silver Spring Acorn, a little park, located near the spring from which the area receives its name.

Samuel Thomas Magruder Farm

The Samuel Thomas Magruder Farm in the Travilah area is a historically significant structure for its function during the Civil War as head quarters for the Union Army and station for the U. S. Signal Corps. Strategically located on a height of land, overlooking the Potomac River, the rebuilt and commodious farmhouse was the headquarters for General Nationiel Banks and his staff in 1891. The U.S. Signal Corps operated a station, built in a large chestnut tree on the farm, relaying signals between Sugarloaf Mountain and Washington, DC. A topographic camp was also established on this site at the time. The earliest section of this house is the rear ell, believed to have been built in the 1830s. the front section, built by Samuel Thomas Magruder, probably in the late 1850s, exhibits Greek Revival influence, including flush board siding on the main facade, wide cornices and pediments in both gable ends. The house is at 14800 Seneca Road on a 5.4 acre lot, including bank barn and mature trees. On a separate lot is a sandstone springhouse.


Montanverde in the Darnestown area at 14601 Berryville Road is an important resource for its association with Major George Peter, an influential figure in both military and political spheres. In addition, the early 19th century house is architecturally significant for its outstanding integrity and noteworthy details. George Peter was appointed Second Lieutenant in the 9th infantry in 1799 by President John Adams, receiving his commission from George Washington at Mt. Vernon. Serving in the Missouri Territory, he was said to have fired the first salute upon the return of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He was assigned to watch the movements of Aaron Burr, serving later as a witness at Burr's trial in 1807. He was made a captain in the artillery and then promoted in 1808 to major.

The estate was established between 1806 and 1812 as a summer resort with the inheritance of a sizeagle fortune from his prominent father, Robert Peter, first Mayor of Georgetown. With the fortune and a new bride, in 1809, Peter resigned from distinguished military service and began a well acclaimed political career. Over the following fifty years, Peter served in both the U.S. Congress and the Maryland General Assembly. In the 1820s, Major Peter became a permanent Montgomery County resident, making Montanverde his year-round home. During this period, he served as the County Delegate to the first two sessions of the C & O Canal Convention. Peter held a well documented political rally at Montanverde in 1848 that was attended by Freshman Congressman Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln stayed overnight at the house in the west wing room, still referred to as the Lincoln Room.

Holly View in Four Corners

Holly View in Four Corners is a large two-storey from Tidewater hall and parlor I-house with a distinctive full width double-tier gallery. The farmhouse is believed to have been first constructed about 1783 by Josiah Beane as a single log pen with clapboard siding. Subsequent owners in the 19th century rebuilt and significantly enlarged the house between the 1850s and 1880. Burnt Mills merchant mill proprietor James L. Bond and Comptroller of the U.S. Currency, James Meline, were instrumental in changing it into the two-storey, three-bay front and elongated overall "salt box" form it has today. In 1886, it was purchased by Colonel Oliver Kinsman, a prominent Union Veteran of the Civil War, and it remained in the family's ownership for nearly a century. The arrival of the Kinsmans signaled the social changes that were beginning to occur in the county by the late 19th century, as "Yankee" military and professional men moved from Washington to the county.

The Benjamin Fawcett House

The Benjamin Fawcett House in the White Oak is a heavily remodeld frame building comprising a circa 1800 two storey section and a center hall plan I-house addition erected circa 1855. Benjamin Fawcett was a farmer and entrepreneur who served as secretary of the C & O Canal and was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates during the Civil War. Fawcett lived in the house between 1855 and 1903. Elizabeth McCuloloch purchased the farm in 1927, operating a dairy business on the property until 1965. She substantially renovated the farm house in the Colonial Revival style on two occasions (1939 and 1980). It now has a pedimented portico with four front pillars and a pedimented front door.

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