111 W. Montgomery Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Historic and Remarkable People 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* Treason! — How Local Leaders Helped Launch the American Revolution
Speaker: Susan Cooke Soderberg
This presentation will describe the Repudiation Act of November 23, 1765, and the Hungerford Resolves of June 11, 1774; what led the citizens of what is now Montgomery County into an armed revolt against Great Britain; who the leaders were; how they fought in the Revolution; and how they contributed to the newly forming independent government of the state of Maryland. The well-known County surnames Brooke, Wooton, Thomas, Magruder, Bowie, and Griffith will be featured among others.
*NEW!* A 19th Century Reminiscence with Mrs. Elizabeth Magruder of Brookeville and Dr. Edward Stonestreet of Rockville
Reenactors: Jan McKee & Clarence Hickey
Jan and Clarence, in 19th century period attire, portray real historic people, Mrs. Elizabeth Magruder of Brookeville and Dr. Edward Stonestreet of Rockville. Sit in (or listen in) on a late 19th century encounter and conversation between Elizabeth and Edward. They knew each other through Elizabeth’s husband, Dr. William Magruder of Brookeville, with whom young Edward served as a medical apprentice on the doctor’s Oakley Farm during the latter 1840s. Elizabeth and Edward reminisce about their lives in the latter 1800s, talking about Dr. Magruder, medical training of that era, and his wide ranging practice. Elizabeth explains her husband’s strong views on good citizenship, and opening their home to traveling ministers who boarded with them and brought news from far and wide. Elizabeth expounds on home remedies and herbal medicines, while recalling farming and a farming life. Elizabeth talks about the Oakley farmhands, who were at first enslaved, but later were hired free men. Edward describes the Montgomery County he served from 1852 to 1903, its population, the poor state of the roads, the arrival of the B&O Railroad in the 1870s, making house calls during all seasons and at all hours of the day and night, and serving as the County’s first Public Health Officer.
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: Ralph Buglass
Civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall delivered an early blow to school segregation right here in Montgomery County—gaining equal pay for the county’s African American teachers in 1937. This little-known legal case is often seen as the first step in Marshall’s successful drive to have separate schools for white and black children declared unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court did 17 years later in a landmark decision. This illustrated talk details this remarkable local story and its national significance. Spoiler alert: the victory came at a tremendous cost to the teacher bringing the case.
Speaker: Susan Soderberg
After their ringleader, John Wilkes Booth, was killed, other conspirators in the plot to assassinate President Lincoln and other top leaders of the government were tried before a Courts Martial. Four of them were executed by hanging. Most people know of Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the United States; Davy Herald, the young man who led Booth on his escape; and Lewis Powell, the man who almost succeeded in killing Secretary of State Seward. But what of George Atzerodt, the Prussian immigrant who did not carry out his assignment of murdering Vice President Johnson and was later arrested in Germantown, Maryland? Who was he? How did he get involved in this plot? Why didn’t he assassinate the vice president? How did he escape? And why was he hanged? This PowerPoint presentation will answer these questions with illustrations from the past and the present.
Speaker: James H. Johnston
For 162 years, the Loughboroughs were one of the most prominent families in Washington and southern Montgomery County. Nathan Loughborough was a Quaker, working for the Treasury Department in Philadelphia, who moved here with the government in 1800. After he left government, he applied his financial expertise on the board of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank in Georgetown, the C&O Canal Company, and the Washington (Rockville) Turnpike. He owned twin townhouses in Georgetown, a 250-acre estate in northwest Washington called Grasslands, an 800-acre tobacco farm in Bethesda called Milton, and an estate in Middleburg, Virginia that later became the famous Melon farm there. Loughboro Road and Loughborough Lane are named for him. Later generations of the family fought in the Civil War on the Confederate side and aided the Confederacy. They also left memoirs of those times which can now be found in speaker James Johnston’s new book on the Loughborough family entitled, The Recollections of Margaret Cabell Brown Loughborough: A Southern Woman’s Memories of Richmond, VA and Washington, DC in the Civil War. To learn more about the book and the Loughborough family visit the speaker’s blog.
Abraham Lincoln’s Montgomery County Connections
Speaker: Susan Soderberg
An historic look back at the Congressman and the President Abraham Lincoln, and his diverse connections to Montgomery County before, and associated with, the Civil War. Among the things covered are his visit to Montanverde, a Montgomery County historic house; his and Mary Todd Lincoln’s relations with the Blair family of Silver Spring; his being shot at by Confederate snipers shooting from where Walter Reed is today; and the arrest of one of the assassination conspirators in Germantown. This is a PowerPoint presentation of 30-45 minutes.
Speaker: Susan Rosenvold
Join Speaker Susan Rosenvold and discover Washington D.C. through the eyes of one of its residents – Clara Barton. Barton lived in Washington several times, first, to become an independent woman, second, as a humanitarian and later as s lobbyist attempting to found the American Red Cross. Discover what Washington was like, who Clara rubbed elbows with, and her success as a humanitarian. PowerPoint presentation/guided tour/portrayal.
Father Divine of Montgomery County: Early 20th Century Advocate for Peace and Equality
Speaker: Judith Christensen