111 W. Montgomery Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
The Beall-Dawson House was built circa 1815 for Upton Beall and his wife and daughters. Beall, from a prominent Georgetown family, was Clerk of the Court for the county, and he wanted a home that would reflect his wealth and status. In 1815 Rockville was a small rural community, despite being the county seat and an important cross-roads town. Beall’s large brick Federal-style home, built overlooking Commerce Lane (now West Montgomery Avenue), was designed to impress both inside and out.
Beall’s daughters lived in the house their entire lives, and were later joined by a cousin, Amelia Somervell Dawson, and her family. The house remained in private hands until the 1960s, when it was purchased by the City of Rockville and became the Montgomery History’s headquarters.
Today, although all but one of the outbuildings are gone, the house itself still contains most of its original architectural features, including the indoor slave quarters located above the kitchen. The museum is furnished in the style of the early 19th century, and the tour interprets the lives of both the upper-class white family and the enslaved African Americans who lived here, as well as life in 19th century Rockville. Two rooms on the second floor are used as changing exhibit galleries, showcasing Montgomery History’s collections.