Business & Commercial History of Montgomery County
Request one of the following Speakers Bureau topics through our online form!
Questions? Contact Matthew Gagle or call 301-340-2825.
*NEW* C&O Canal: History and Nature
Speaker: Ralph Buglass
An ambitious project in our nation’s early days, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was built alongside the unnavigable Potomac River as a commercial waterway to reach the west. But doomed almost from the start by the railroad, then put out of business altogether by the river flooding–not to mention almost being turned into a parkway–it is now a treasured recreational spot by cyclists, hikers, canoeists and others with technological wonders of its time and natural beauty to behold.
Speaker: Robert Bachman
The 1950’s housing boom almost doubled the number of single-family homes in Montgomery County in one decade. This presentation will focus on the national-level & county-level factors that fueled the housing boom, the federal programs that helped builders & buyers, where the new homes were built in the county, the styles of these new homes, the developers who built them, the architects who designed them, and the role of the National-Capital Park & Planning Commission and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in preparing the infrastructure and establishing the procedures to respond to the rapid population growth and housing boom of the 1950’s.
Speaker: Jeanne Gartner
Reed Brothers Dodge was one of the longest running automobile dealerships in Montgomery County history, operating from two locations in Rockville for 97 years. This PowerPoint presentation features historical photographs taken by the dealership’s founder, Lewis Reed, and highlights how Reed Brothers Dodge came into being, and how the company overcame the inevitable changes and challenges throughout almost a century of being in business.
Speaker: Bob Bachman
A lecture and PowerPoint presentation summarizing the rapid development of lower Montgomery County in the 1950s as a suburb of Washington, DC. The focus is on demographics, housing & subdivisions, shopping centers, schools, parks & recreation, & libraries. This program was offered at the 2018 Montgomery County History Conference.
Speaker: Katie Dishman
A lecture and PowerPoint presentation focusing on a now a well-known hotel company, Marriott International, which actually started as an A&W Root Beer stand in Washington, D.C. in 1927. Marriott’s corporate archivist will explore the history of the company and its integral connection with cars. Not only did the stands, named Hot Shoppes, expand because of their drive-ins, but the lodging business began as motor hotels at the advent of the Interstate Highway System. Highlights from the history of the company and its growth, including its move to Bethesda in 1955, will be featured.
Mills in Montgomery County
Speaker: Don Housley
This PowerPoint presentation focuses on the rise and fall of the milling industry in Montgomery County. The talk describes the nature and diversity of milling operations on the major stream valleys in the County, along with some archaeology done on selected mill sites.