Although refrigeration had been around since 1810, it was the completion of the B & O Metropolitan Branch that really gave a boost to dairy farms in Montgomery County, so much so, that it was known as the “milk train”. This line made it possible for farmers to bring milk into their local rail station for fast delivery to Washington, D.C. At one point in the 1950s, there were over 300 family-operated dairy farms in Montgomery County. The second half of the 20th century saw a rapid decline in Montgomery County farms due to development pressures, ever increasing government health regulations, and a Federal Government Whole Herd Buy-out Program via the Dairy Termination Program (DTP). In 2017, the number of operating dairy farms in the county fell to four. To help preserve the history of dairy farms in Montgomery County, Richard Rowe has been photographing them, as seen in this photographic collection.
The following materials from Montgomery History’s Special Collections and other collections in Montgomery County have been digitized by the Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center’s Digital Maryland project and are available to view online:
Fair Hill School (Sandy Spring) correspondence and school brochures, 1850s-1860s
Fair Hill Seminary, also known as the Fair Hill Boarding School for Girls, was one of the earliest schools in the county to include a program for girls based on the Quaker belief that everyone, regardless of gender, race or class, is both deserving and capable of an education. This collection consists of Fair Hill Boarding School for Girls circulars from 1860 and 1862 as well as letters and correspondence from 1857-1860.
Women’s Land Army photographs and correspondence, 1918-1923
The Woman’s Land Army of America 1918-1923 Collection focuses on the District of Columbia branch of the W. L. A. A. which sent young women to work on farms in Montgomery County, Maryland. These “farmerettes,” as they were called, did men’s work for men’s wages and by all accounts did it as well as the men. The tasks they tackled, some of which are depicted here, included gardening, dairying, poultry raising, ploughing, harvesting, handling work horses, and haying.
Stoneyhurst Quarry Records, 1918-1984
Consisting of postcards, memoranda, letters, legal papers, photographs, and ledgers, the Montgomery History’s Stoneyhurst Quarries collection highlights the story of Stoneyhurst Quarries, a stone quarrying business once located in Bethesda, Maryland. Founded in the 19th century to provide stone for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, it closed as a quarrying business until 1921, when, after her husband Frank P. Stone’s death, Lilly C. Stone at the age of 61 re-established it. She later partnered with her son J. Dunbar Stone, who then passed on the business to his son John Stone.
E.R. Iddings Glass Slide Collection
The E. R. Iddings Glass Slide Collection consists of early 20th century glass plate negatives and lantern slide glass plates of historic buildings, interiors, and other scenes of life at Sandy Spring and other nearby towns in Montgomery County, Maryland. Featured buildings are the United States Post Office and general store at Sandy Spring, the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Montgomery County at Sandy Spring, Clifton House at Ednor, the Leonard Doggett House (Sprigg Poole House) at Rockville, and the Montgomery General Hospital at Olney.
Fred Van Hoesen Lantern Slides
Consisting of glass slides, Montgomery History’s Fred Van Hoesen Lantern Slides Collection shows Montgomery County just before and a few years after (1917-1924) World War I. Fred Van Hoesen, the county’s first Cooperative Extension Agent, documented many of the activities of the citizens of the county during this time. Asked to raise their own crops for the war effort, ordinary citizens pitched in, tilling their own fields and growing their own vegetables. At the same time, the new Montgomery General Hospital was opened in the then-rural county.
Sandy Spring Museum Archives
Established in 1980, Sandy Spring Museum’s collections include meeting minutes for the community’s many social clubs, a strong collection of Quaker materials, correspondence of Benjamin Hallowell and many other influential early citizens, holdings from Montgomery General Hospital, manumission papers documenting the release of enslaved people, and many other items of local, regional and national significance.
Dairy Farms of Montgomery County
Montgomery College Student Newspapers
This incomplete collection of Montgomery College student newspapers includes Knights’ Quest from its earliest days at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, to Excalibur from its Takoma Park campus, to The Paper, The Griffinette, and The Globe from its Germantown campus; to The Spur from its Rockville campus. The dates of the following issues are: Excalibur–February 1973 to April 1993; Knights’ Quest–November 1947 to March 1950; The Paper–September 1978 to May 1979; The Griffinette–September 1987 to May 1989; The Globe–September 1989 to December 1990; and The Spur– October 1989 to April 1994.
Schoolhouses of Montgomery County
A collection of photographs of the remaining schoolhouses in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, taken by local historian Ralph Buglass, as well as his article discussing the rich history of one- and two-room schools in the area. Included are Rosenwald schools, segregated schools for white students and black students, and both private and public schools.