Thursday, February 5, 2015

1878 Map of Montgomery County

This map already shows a great deal of transition in the region in terms of place names.  For instance, if we look at the initial tract of land granted to Ralph Crabb (Crabb's Branch) in 1723, we have an area containing 470 acres.  This tract was known as Deer Park and contained an old American Indian path running North and South.  This path was slowly modernized into what became known as Frederick Road.

Cracklinburg, still seen as the name of the town in this map, turned into Laytonsville, which is noted here as the name of the Post Office.  It was not uncommon for places to have multiple names according to the interests of the individuals naming the area.  Typically, interests that alligned with post offices tend to win out. 

However, that was not the case with Gaithersburg.  The area was known as Log Town in the 1700s.  Around 1802, Benjamin Gaither established himself in Log Town and began to build up his sphere of influence.  Informally, the area became known as Gaitherburg.  The Post Office established in 1851 ignored this designation and referred to itself as Forest Oak PO with respect to the large tree located next to Gaither's store.  By 1878, it appears that this issue was resolved with the area cementing itself as Gaithersburg (now with an S). 

Another interesting part of that track of land would be the development of the southern end.  When the Clopper family moved in, they wound up being major proponents of the B&O Railroad.  A station was needed between Rockville and Gaithersburg.  That station was located in an area previously known as Deer Woods, but transitioned to a more vernacular pronunciation, Derwood.  In this map, we see it as Derwood Station.  As trains became more advanced and the automobile became more prominent, Derwood Station was used less and less as a way point.  Eventually, a fire at the Scwatrz' mill wound up destroying the station.

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