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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.


Current Issue

Spring 2024

Negative Space: The Life of Rebecca G. Fields, Publisher & Proprietor of the Montgomery County Sentinel, 1871-1930

by Sarah Hedlund

The traditional history of Montgomery County’s oldest newspaper of record, the Montgomery County Sentinel, usually contains the following information: “The Sentinel was founded in 1855 by Matthew Fields, a Confederate sympathizer who was arrested during the Civil War for his opinions. After his death in 1871, his widow took over the publication.” The story almost always ends there…but the full story of “his widow” has barely begun. Rebecca Fields was a rare woman business owner in a male-dominated business, and she ran that business for almost 60 years after her husband’s death. She was a complicated and unconventional woman whose true thoughts, opinions, attitudes, and politics are simultaneously known and unknowable, hidden in the white space between lines of type and glimpsed in the thinnest threads of her descendants’ memories. Author Sarah Hedlund uncovers the life and career of one of Montgomery County’s most overlooked historical figures, in search of the woman behind the press.


Recent Issues

by Ralph Buglass

In Slavery’s Shadow: Surveying Montgomery County Public School Names

An exploration of the tradition of school naming in Montgomery County, including biographical snapshots of the namesakes of eight Montgomery County public schools–men known to be enslavers–as well as contextual information examining the deeply embedded history of enslavement in the county.


Summer 2023
by James H. Johnston

Skewing History: Straightening Out J.E.B. Stuart’s Crossing of the Potomac at “Rowser’s Ford”

The story of research revealing the true location of “Rowser’s Ford” along the C&O Canal: a historical mystery that illustrates how easily our view of history can be skewed, even by well-meaning enthusiasts.


Spring 2023
by Julianne Mangin and Bill Hickman

Black Baseball in Norbeck | Walter Johnson’s Forays into Politics

The story of Page’s (later Bailey’s) Park, one of the best ball fields in Montgomery County, used into the 1950s by the Black community in Norbeck; the story of Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson’s less-well-known career in politics.


Fall/Winter 2022
by Emma Satterfield

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

The story of the years of advocacy, education, and legal work by LGBTQ+ community organizations and allies to achieve two milestones for civil rights in Montgomery County: an anti-discrimination bill in 1984, and the establishment of a domestic partnership registry in 1999.


Spring 2022
by L. Paige Whitley and Cara Seitchek

The Nurse and the Midwife: The Story of Clara Barton and Emma Jones of Gibson Grove | Rockville’s Old Clock

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.


Spring 2021
by Terry Lachin and Robert C. Plumb

Webster Sewell and the Struggle For Equal Care |General Richard Montgomery: “A Grateful Remembrance”

The story of Webster Sewell, Montgomery County’s only Black doctor during the 1950s and early 1960s; and the story of Richard Montgomery, namesake of our county.


Fall 2021
by Sarah Hedlund

“The Unwritten Law of Maryland”: The 1896 Lynching of Sidney Randolph

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


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 browsable 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. Email Office Manager Stacie Vodra or call at 301-340-2825 for assistance.