The Montgomery County Story



The Montgomery County Story, published by Montgomery History since 1957, features scholarly articles on topics of local interest. It is the only journal solely devoted to research on the rich and colorful past of Montgomery County, Maryland. All issues can be viewed online for FREE through our digital repository, with searching available on author, title and keyword. To submit an article for publication, see our submission guidelines.


Current Issue

Our most recent issue, Volume 66: Number 2, features the story of a historical mystery on the C&O Canal, solved by Jim Johnston.

Roger S. Cohen, avid Civil War buff and member of the Montgomery County Historical Society, was singularly responsible for the placement and wording of the historical marker for Rowser’s Ford on Violette’s Lock Road just off River Road near Seneca. The sign commemorates General J.E.B. Stuart’s crossing of the Potomac River along with 5,000 Rebel cavalry bound for Gettysburg on June 27, 1863 as part of his “ride around” the Union army. However, Stuart didn’t cross where the sign is. The crossing was more than two miles downriver. Moreover, he was severely criticized for this ride because he was urgently needed eighty miles away in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where the main Confederate force was by this time.

Read Johnston’s in-depth research revealing the true location of “Rowser’s Ford” and how easily our view of history can be skewed, even by well-meaning enthusiasts.






Recent Issues


Black Baseball in Norbeck by Julianne Mangin  The Black community in Norbeck, Maryland boasted one of the best ball fields in Montgomery County. The ball field, called Page’s Park and later Bailey’s Park, was used into the 1950s and bore witness to the resilience and talent that defined generations of baseball-playing African Americans.

Walter Johnson’s Forays into Politics by Bill Hickman  Walter Johnson, well known as the Hall of Fame pitcher who played for the Washington Senators, spent the final eight years of his life in politics serving as a Montgomery County Commissioner and involved in other campaigns. From 1938 until his death in 1946, he became Montgomery County’s “reluctant politician.”

Read it here




The Fight for “Gay Rights”: LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Legislation in Montgomery County by Emma Satterfield

Two milestones in LGBTQ+ rights were achieved with the passage of an anti-discrimination bill establishing sexual orientation as a protected status in 1984, and the establishment of a domestic partnership registry which extended employment benefits to the same-sex partners of county employees in 1999. This article describes the years of advocacy, education, and legal work by LGBTQ+ community organizations and allies to achieve these two milestones for civil rights in Montgomery County.

Read it here





The Nurse and the Midwife: The Story of Clara Barton and Emma Jones of Gibson Grove by L. Paige Whitley and Rockville’s Old Clock by Cara Seitchek

The story of Emma Jones of the Gibson Grove community in Cabin John and her longtime relationship with employer Clara Barton; the story of the c.1805 tall clock made by Jesse Hayden in Rockville.

Read it here





“The Unwritten Law of Maryland”: The 1896 Lynching of Sidney Randolphby Sarah Hedlund

Sidney Randolph, a native of Georgia in his mid-twenties, was lynched in Rockville, Maryland on July 4, 1896 by an officially-unidentified group of white men from Montgomery County. 

Read it here






Older Issues

All Montgomery County Story issues are now fully scanned and available to view or download FOR FREE in our digital repository: The Montgomery County Story, 1957-present. The entire collection of issues is keyword-searchable, or browse by title, author, or subject.



Submit an article to the Montgomery County Story:
Submission Guidelines


Editorial Staff:
Sarah Hedlund, Editor

Ralph Buglass, Katie Dishman, Matt Logan, Eileen McGuckian, Rachel Shuster


To Order Physical Copies of Current or Past Issues:
Printed copies of the Montgomery County Story may be ordered by phone or email.  Issues dated prior to 2010 are $3 per issue. Starting in fall 2010, issues are $5 each (double sized/color). Shipping is $1.50 for the first issue plus $0.50 for each additional issue in the same order. Contact the Office Manager Stacie Vodra at 301-340-2825 or for assistance.