301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 08.11.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Playground Committee

First meeting: Monday » 08.18.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. All meetings of this committee are open to the public. The goal of the Committee is to provide the Mayor and Council with the information to develop a comprehensive playground improvement and maintenance plan. Now is your opportunity to let this committee know your ideas for our playground. The Town Council liaison for this committee is Greg Silber.


Jenn Hix, Chair
Melanie McComb
Travis Davidson
Jean Moyer
David Hix
Janis Neville
Hutch Hutchinson
Stacey Umunna
Miyuki Mahaffey

Young Members and Testers:

Max Good
Geneiveve Hix
Cory Hix
Grove Children

Traffic Safety Advisory Committee

First meeting: Monday » 08.25.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. All meetings of this committee are open to the public.
The purpose of this committee is to address citizen concerns regarding the speeding of vehicles on Town roads and other safety concerns regarding vehicles and report their finding to the Mayor and Council. Please attend if you wish to share your concerns and ideas for improvement. The Town Council liaison for this committee is Carolyn Rapkievian.


Melanie Davidson
John Tomlin
Kristen Perry
Mary Warfield

Income and Age Eligible Property Tax Credits

Grove residents may be eligible for tax credit programs for income-eligible homeowners and seniors. The Maryland homeowners property tax credit and Montgomery County’s supplemental tax credit may be available to homeowners who qualify based on their household income as compared to their tax bill. Homeowners who are at least 70 and are eligible for either of the tax credits are also eligible for the County’s senior property tax credit. It is necessary to reapply for this property tax credit program each year. The application form contains information for the State assessment agency to determine eligibility for the State and County credits, so homeowners need to submit only one application. Applications for this program must be filed by September 1. For information about the tax credit programs, call 800-944-7403 or visit www.dat.state.md.us/. Click on "Forms & Applications" and go all the way to the bottom to "Tax Credits."


Many thanks to ALL the wonderful people who made Summer In The Parks 2014 a resounding success and memorable camp for the children: Jack Leng, Zach Fletcher and all of the Councilors and Student Volunteers. Special thanks to the dedicated parents, Emily Cavey, Sam Beres and Paige Clifford. It was a great pleasure to hear the children playing and laughing on Summer In The Parks days. Capture the Flag was again the game of the camp!

Mayor’s Political Hill Speech from July 4, 2014

We’ve stopped here to tell you what often took place here in the “old days.” The old days I’m referring to were really old days, when the Grove was first coming into existence as a camp meeting place. (1873). During the summers of that era, members of the Methodist Church would come from Washington DC and pitch their tents here in the cool forest to have church services and to socialize. Thousands of people would come, some by horse and wagon, and many by train. The reason was to get converts to the Methodist religion. These annual encampments for evangelization were quite common throughout the United States at that time.

One August day in 1885, that’s 129 years ago, a roving newspaper reporter came to witness the activities. (No, it was not OUR roving reporter.) He stayed all day writing down everything he saw and heard, telling how busy of a day the people had, being called to family prayer by a bell rung at 6 am., then again at 8 am, and dinner at high noon. There were many services and meetings throughout the day. At 2 o’clock the children had their own meeting in the tabernacle. He titled his article “A Busy Time. How a Sunday is Passed in Washington Grove.”

But the newspaper reporter (name unknown & presumed to be male due to the times) realized that not all who came were here for religious purposes.

Men running for public office saw this gathering of people as a great opportunity to speak about their own political views. In 1885, the radio, telephone and TV had not yet been invented, so men running for political office took advantage of every opportunity to try to get the people to vote for them in upcoming elections. However, the candidates had to speak to the people away from the religious activities taking place in the Sacred Circle and Tabernacle, and so they came here to address those who were interested in politics. Local custom calls this place “political hill.”

Our roving reporter from the newspaper, The Critic Record, referred to this place as “Candidate Hill.” Here is what he wrote about Candidate Hill in the newspaper dated August 17, 1885. Enjoy the writing style so different from our current newspapers.

“That the forthcoming campaign in Montgomery County, Md. will be unusually warm and exciting was manifest by the large number of politicians who concentrated on “Candidate Hill” yesterday. The day seemed a gala one for them and they seemed oblivious of the fact that the camp was for religious purposes and not a political purpose. It is quite safe to say that not a word in either prayer or sermon was heard by these men, whose only interest was who will be the next sheriff or State Senator. The canvas was quietly conducted. The conversation in whispers did not in any way interfere with the services.”

So, whenever you pass by here, picture a politician standing on these raised rocks, trying to be seen and heard, and trying to get people to promise to vote for him.

Thanks to Steve Werts, Audrey Maskery and the Maintenance Staff for restoring this wonderful area. Also, thanks to Pat Patula and Wendy Harris for researching Political Hill.

*FYI Page Milburn wrote about political hill in his pamphlet "Reminiscences in WG" 1927, he was one of original stockholders.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 08.06.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

If you are going to erect a building or structure (including fences), make structural alterations to, or move any existing building or other structure, you must first obtain a building permit from the Washington Grove Planning Commission. All permit applications must be received in the Town Office fourteen (14) days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they will receive their initial review. The applicant must post a "Notice To Neighbors" sign within seven (7) days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The Planning Commission will not act on an application unless the Notice To Neighbors sign was posted in a timely fashion as confirmed by the Commission. Please contact the Town Office (301-926-2256) or [email protected], or see permits for more details. The Historic Preservation Commission will review most permit applications as well.

Permits up for Approval

  • 201 Maple Rd.  » enclose garage
    (Pending receipt of HPC Review)
  • 102 Center St.  » shed
  • 501 Brown St.  » screened porch

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 08.19.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.

HPC Reminder! Residents are reminded of the change in the Town building permit process. You must first obtain a formal advisory review of your project from the HPC before turning in your permit application. The HPC review (when applicable) must accompany the building permit application.

From The Town Archives

by Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

A Fourth of July Salute to the Grove

This written version of a radio broadcast given on July 6, 1942, was found in the 1942 Minutes of the Town Archives. The speaker is Mary Mason, who did a daily broadcast for the Washington Daily News.

Out on the B and O is a place called Washington Grove, Maryland. I made its acquaintance July 4th.

The wooden village built around the Elephant House (McCathran Hall) or the old meeting house, grew up from the tent city which used to spring up there each summer, a Methodist Camp Meeting colony. The houses huddle as the tents used to. They are long and narrow with peaked roofs like tents.

The note of the 4th, in the new Woman’s Club House, a patriotic meeting, sent all down the pleasant paths under the huge oak trees to hear the Mayor (Roy McCathran) and George Myers and others. As the twilight deepened and the street lights twinkled on and lit the paths in front of the houses where autos are not permitted, a peaceful quiet settled over the little town and we lit sparklers just as a train went whistling by, saluting the Grove with a long whistle. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed a visit there. To me it brought a flood of memories of other camp meetings, and those houses, tent-shaped, turned white in my imagination to remind me of other tent cities. I’d love to live in one of those houses-I’d love to live in a place like Washington Grove, so hectic city life could be left at Union Station, and by the time the B and O had deposited me at the little Washington Grove station I’d be ready for the soothing peace and quiet of those little houses and the unharrassed streets.

Ghosts of other years would be sure to go singing down those streets at night; singing such hymns as “Onward Christian Soldiers,” “Count Your Many Blessings,” and “My Faith Looks Up to Thee.” It would be easy to do this in such a place.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 08.20.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.

Let There Be Singing

Any voices want to sing-a-long? Join us on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. This is just an informal gathering of singers, all voices (SATB) welcome. Bring a song you’d like the group to sing. Questions may be directed to Ann Briggs, 301-926-6347 or the Town Office 301-926-2256.

Mark Your Calendars

  • BluestoberFest » October 11, 2014
  • Film Society Starts » October 12, 2014
  • Punkin’ Carving » October 25, 2014

Maple Lake News

Next meeting: Thursday » 08.21.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

Who Are Those Lifeguards, Anyway?

Our lifeguards for this season are:
Eric Gausseres
Kelley Schreiber
Caitlin Kelly
Lainey Selby
Emily Montgomery

Lake Passes & Party Permits

Please call Sally Mansfield at 301-977-3189

Forestry News

Woods Group Meeting: Tuesday » 09.02.14 @ 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend. New members always welcome!

WG Meadow Park News

Excellent News for the Meadow! Park Manager, Mike Jones, and Forest Ecologist/Botanist, Carole Bergmann, recently walked the Meadow Conservation Park to assess the status of non-native invasive weeds. They were encouraged to see significantly fewer problems than last year; both cutting and chemical treatment done in 2013 are really paying off. Spot removal of mile-a-minute by our in-Town Weed Warriors has helped too. And the milkweed planted by our residents concerned with providing habitat for Monarch Butterflies is thriving. Kudos to all of our “Friends of the Meadow!”

Woman’s Club News

The 2014 to 2016 Town Directories are for sale at the Town Office! $3.00 each, exact change helpful!

Who says doing a yard sale can’t be fun! Certainly everyone who helped make this year’s Woman’s Club Yard Sale a great success had many laughs and lots of fun. Trying to thank everyone individually would fill half this Bulletin, so here’s one big THANK YOU to all!

The Club will be taking the month of August off, but the crisp fall days of September will bring our Annual Pot Luck Supper. It’s one of the Town’s favorite events, so mark your calendars for September 19th, 6:30 p.m. at the Clubhouse.

During August, we will have a collection box available on the Clubhouse porch for donations of kids coats, hats, gloves and scarves for the Washington Grove Elementary School. Many of you will remember last January, when we became aware of how many children were coming to school on those bitter cold days without any warm clothing. Within hours, the Town had mobilized, collected and delivered coats for the school to distribute. The need will likely be just as great again this year!

Recycling Reminder

Did you know if you co-mingle your paper recycling with your glass and metal, the entire bin gets thrown in the TRASH? You can co-mingle metal, glass and plastic in one bin but you must separate your paper and your cardboard or you will end up not recycling at all. Thank you for your help with this.


Tennis Anyone?

Have you played on the newly renovated dirt tennis courts yet? Town Maintenance has done a remarkable job with the renovation of these tired, “not-clay” courts. Check them out, you won’t be sorry!! Thank you to those who had the vision and knowledge to make this work. 30 UUUUPPPP!!

In Case You Forgot


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