301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 02.10.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.


Town Meeting with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Scheduled
Mark your Calendars!
Wednesday March 12, 2014 7:30pm in McCathran Hall. Presentation plus Q&A.

Our Town experienced a very serious fire at 203 2nd Avenue on the morning of January 14. Over half of the historic cottage burned and the entire structure has been condemned as unsafe. If you haven’t done so already, this is an excellent opportunity to check/change the batteries in your smoke detectors!
Thanks to an early-rising and quick-thinking resident the fire was called in as soon as it was visible and all residents in the area evacuated from their homes. Thanks to the rapid and effective response by Montgomery Country Fire & Rescue Service only one home was lost in an area of Town at extremely high risk for fire to spread. Our "2-alarm" fire brought a total of ten different fire companies into Town. Three firefighters sustained injuries during the operation. We’ve ascertained these three firefighters were treated at a local hospital and are doing well. I have sent letters of thanks from the Town to Fire Chief Steven Lohr who heads Montgomery County as a whole and whom I met on the scene of the fire, and to Fire Chief Ken Knopp at Station 8 on Russell Avenue. Station 8 is the fire station closest to us and most accustomed to responding to our fire/ambulance calls. Since Tuesday, Fire Service personnel have been in Town several times reviewing their response and distributing literature to local homes. We were told a two-alarm fire is routinely reviewed afterward to formally evaluate the response. We met with their representatives for a preliminary report and the full report will be ready by March. The MC Fire Service has offered to come for a Community meeting where they will present the full report and talk about what we can do to help them help us.

Town Elections

Town Elections are coming up! Have you thought about becoming a member of the Town Council? We encourage anyone intrigued by this idea to talk to anyone in the Town Government about it. Nominations for Mayor and Council must go to Chair Meredith Horan at PO Box 337 or 127 Maple Ave. by April 14, 2014. The candidate must agree to being nominated and have been a Town resident for at least two (2) years for the position of Mayor and at least one (1) year for Town Council.


Washington Grove Taxpayers

Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because our residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. It is critical that all Washington Grove residents (including renters!) designate “Washington Grove.” For Maryland iFile, under "Name of county and incorporated city, town, or special taxing area in which you were a resident on the last day of the taxable period," select "Montgomery, Washington Grove" from the drop down menu. This block is separate from the address blocks. Turbo Tax and H&R Block software also include drop down menus where you may select "Montgomery County" and then "Washington Grove." Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer if appropriate. This DOES NOT increase your taxes, but DOES help ensure that the Town receives its proper share of local income tax revenue. Thanks for your help! Questions, call Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 02.05.14 @ 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.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 02.18.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public. The HPC encourages residents to come for an early consultation when planning a renovation.


by Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

Prisoners’ Relief Society, Part Two

Why are documents relating to the Prisoners’ Relief Society in Washington Grove’s WWII archives?

Here begins the connection.

On September 5, 1942, Earl E. Dudding, president of the Society wrote to Washington Grove Town Council explaining that the "Society would like to buy Lot’ 1-2 and 3 in block 16… and we have this matter up with the State Auditor and the County Commissioners… We would expect to build in time a modest cottage facing on 6th avenue and a frame building on the rear facing the Road suitable for a garage and storage room…This writer and his family would live in the cottage… This would be attached with our Washington Office as a part of its housing program… we would like to have a writing of an official nature from your body, before, in agreement with the above program."

The Town’s response (September 8, 1942) was a concise and prompt rejection based on the Town’s charter not permitting any commercial business or “society or organization of this character.” (The Town minutes of September 14, 1942 include a bit of information not gleaned from either of the two letters; these lots were now owned by the Town by reason of purchase at Tax Sales.)

Dudding’s reply of two days later acknowledges that he will abide by the Town’s decision and “that the [Society] has no information of any kind regarding your rules and regulations.” But then he adds (with a bit of irony??): "We own the controlling interest in a large farm near Washington Grove where we intend to establish a project to advance our work of rehabilitation of men." Dudding concludes in a gentlemanly fashion and in a good spirit. He writes: "The matter is ended and we have no axes to grind or grudges to carry out." Dudding was quite accustomed to rejection and criticism.

There is one more known event between Dudding and the Town which will appear in Part Three, in a later issue of the Town Bulletin.

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 04.16.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.


Zach Fletcher invites you to his 30th Birthday Bash! Come celebrate this "Child of the Grove" turning 30! Saturday February 22, 2014, 6:30pm
Food and drink will be provided (additional dishes and libations are welcome)
All are welcome for music and socializing GALORE!!

Yoga in the New Year!

Open Class format (come when you can) structured for beginners with a little bit of everything: poses, some chanting, breathing practices, deep relaxation and a touch of meditation.

Town Hall, Tuesdays 7-8:30; $10, cash or check (Payable to Town of Washington Grove). Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga or pilates mat; blanket optional. Questions? Feel free to contact Terry Strother, IYI Certified Hatha Instructor 240-631-2759.

Film Society News

Help banish the February doldrums by coming to watch the action-packed The French Connection on Sunday evening, February 9. Based on a true story, a cat-and-mouse chase between New York City police detectives and heroin smugglers, this movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It features Gene Hackman in a breakout performance as Detective "Popeye" Doyle, and the best car chase ever. Directed by William Friedkin, 1971, USA, shown with English subtitles, 104 minutes. The movie airs at 7 PM in McCathran Hall. Use your film series subscription or $7 at the door.

Woman’s Club News

The February event is the annual Chili Supper. March 8, 2014, McCathran Hall, 6:00 p.m.
The White Elephants were funny, beautiful or unusual and the biddingwas, as always, spirited at this year’s annual White Elephant Sale. The evening was a great success because of all of you who came, donated and bid!

Special thanks for this year’s sale go to Mary & Charlie Challstrom for graciously welcoming us into their beautiful home; to our fun loving auctioneer Maria Montefusco and her assistants Collin Turner and Liz Robertson; to Ernie Kawasaki, our talented bartender for the evening; to Cynthia Werts for keeping track of everything sold, who bought it and for how much; to Barbara Engle for organizing the evening; to Sylvia Appleby, Barbara Engle and Mary Challstrom for all the delicious food; and to everyone else who worked hard to make the evening a success. It takes a lot of hands to create such a fun night!
The Woman’s Club’s next event will be the ever popular Annual Chili Supper on Saturday,March 8, 2014, in McCathran Hall, starting at 6:00 PM. This will be pot luck chili and cornbread, and Pat DiBella will soon be reaching out to those of you who’ve contributed in the past. If this is your first time enjoying this delicious feast and you want to share your favorite chili or cornbread, please contact Pat at [email protected] or 301-869-1907 so she can coordinate what everyone’s bringing.

Forestry News

Woods Group

Next meeting: Monday » 02.03.14 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Woods Information Forum #2 Scheduled
The 2nd forum is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, 2014 in McCathran Hall at 7:30 PM.


Presenters will be:

  • *John Parrish, Forest Ecologist, formerly with National Park Service
  • *Pat Klein, Veterinarian, volunteer at Second Chance and long time Town resident.

After each presentation there will be time on the agenda for clarifications, questions, comments from the audience and the speakers.

Follow up to these two forums will determine the need for additional information gathering and, perhaps, more forums. The Woods Group also is hoping sometime in 2014 to provide a self-guided tour through our woods with special areas highlighted, thanks to a Woods Group techie member. This is still in the planning stage.

Maple Lake News

The first meeting of the 2014 season will be on Wed. February 12, 2014 in the Council Room at 7:30 p.m. Newcomers are always welcome. We will be discussing budget needs, lifeguards, swim instructor, Lake clean-up, plantings, the bubbler and other Lake "stuff".


Emergency Help List-In addition to neighbors and friends who were there on the spot helping Eva and Jane following last week’s terrible fire, 28 families have put specific offers of help on a list for this and future emergencies. Betsy Klinger, Kathy Lehman, Emily Cavey, and I have copies of the list, which has been given to Jane and Eva. Keeping a list of the offers was the brain child of Pat Klein-thanks to Pat, and so many open-hearted neighbors!

Many thanks also for everyone’s generosity over the Holidays. On behalf of the Town and the church, following the Washington Grove Holiday Show Freda Temple and I delivered $990 worth of
gift cards to the Gude Drive Shelter for the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless. Checks and cash that were donated were also converted to gift cards and requested clothing items, all of which made the Holidays much merrier for our neighbors in need.

Thanks also for contributing to $255 in donations that were given to Gaithersburg Help at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in November, as well as $315 given to help victims of the hurricane in the Philippines, through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Also, Christmas Eve donations of $409 support the shelters and day care programs of the United Methodist Board of Childcare.
Grove generosity keeps many warm!

"It’s a Wonderful Grove", a Show to Remember!

This year’s holiday show was an amazing success! This year’s copy of the show CD will be accompanied by still photos from the show and the original lyrics to all the show tunes such as, "Should We Volunteer?" and that classic, "Howdy Tollville!" You get all this for the bargain price of $10 per CD. What great mother’s day, father’s day and grandparent gifts these classic CDs would make!

To order your It’s a Wonderful Grove CD(s), just send or drop off the order form below along with your check made out to “The Town of Washington Grove” to the Town office by Feb 15. Or, send an email with the information from the order form to: [email protected].

The CDs should be available for pick up at the Yachup house at 211 Maple Ave by the end of February.

Translate »