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By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

The Washington Post issue of August 6, 1879 announced the opening of the annual Methodist Camp Meeting to begin the next day “at Washington Grove, on the Metropolitan branch of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, a few miles above Rockville.”

The writer (unknown) predicts that this gathering would be “marked by greater success than any of the previous meetings.” Perhaps the reason for this optimism was that there were 175 families camped upon the ground and many transient visitors were expected. The writer continues to describe the environment: “Besides the cottages which have been erected during the year, a neat and commodious home has been built for the convenience of the preachers, containing a study, sleeping apartments, wash-rooms, etc.”

Unexpectedly, at least to a modern news reader, the writer then launches into a list of almost a hundred people who have cottages and tents, their names compressed into small print to make them fit in the allotted news print space. The 16 cottage owners were:

“E. F. Simpson, Thos. P. Morgan, Wm. Burris, R. H. Willet, Robert Cohen, W. R. Woodward, H. W. Frankland, W. H. Hess, Baltimore; Geo. H. H. Hall, Thos. Somerville, J. W. Wade, L. W.
Worthington, J. W. Sinclair, Alfred Wood, Henry C. Craig, and Miss Sallie Kilgour, of Montgomery County”

Those using tents, about 80 in number but not able to be listed here, had additional details attached to their names. Preserving the writing style of the reporter, some examples are: Mrs. Bird, Metropolitan church; George Emmons, Twelfth street church; Mr. Higgins (deputy sheriff); and Mrs. Kilgour, of the county. Several personalities rated even more coverage: “Rev. B. Peyton Brown, presiding elder, will also have a tent on the ground. Maj. Morgan yesterday waited upon Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, who signified their intention to visit the camp meeting.”

The Camp Association charged fees for the rental of the tent lots: lots 12’ x 16’ cost $10.25 whereas 10’ x 10’ cost $7.50. An exception to the fee was made for Mr. Murphy who brought his own tent and paid $3.00. However, Mr. Bennett paid $13 for the larger lot sized 14’ x 20’. These fees are presumed to be for a full camp meeting period.

The Post article concludes: “The following has been issued as the schedule time of trains running between the camp-ground and this city: Leave Washington 8:10, 8:35 A.M.; 4:35; 6:30; 8:15 P.M. Leave camp—7:00, 7:24, 8:38 A.M; 3:36, 7:19 P.M.”

Sources: Newspaper quotes are from The Washington Post (1887-1992); Aug. 6, 1897; Proquest Historical Newspapers.
References to Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (WGCMA) are from the Board of Trustees Minutes 1880.

Outstanding Renovation Award
Congratulations to Ryan Young and Emily Brown who were awarded the 2016 Renovation Award for the addition to their ca. 1890-95 house that retains the original form and character as viewed from the avenue, while balancing the scale and character of the added forms at the rear. This project well illustrates the challenges faced when adding to Grove cottages and retaining the impression of a modest scale and unique detailing. Well done!

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