301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, January 9, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the December meeting included:

  • accepted bid proposal from Snider & Associates for the re-subdivision & marking boundary of the East Woods.
  • adopted Resolution 2016-12; a Charter Resolution To Amend The Budget, Taxation, And Indebtedness Article Of The Town Charter, Section 57, “Purchasing And Contracts”, To Authorize The Council To Override The Bid Process In The Best Interest Of The Town And To Take Advantage Of The Bids Received By Other State And Local Governments Through A Comparable Competitive Bid Process.

From the Mayor…
Town Speed Limit

Dear Washington Grove Residents:
The speed limit through the entire Town is 15 mph. All of us probably know this. However, the Town receives many concerns about vehicles driving above the 15 mph speed limit. Oftentimes it is the people who actually live in our Town who are driving the fastest.

Our roads are narrow. In addition to driving, our roads are used for pedestrians, adults and children alike, bicyclists and pets. The street corners are school bus stops for our children, too.

Every year, around 15,500 pedestrians under the age of 14 are injured in vehicular accidents, and an average of 350 are killed, according to Safe Kids USA. Cities have turned to speed humps and speed cameras to try to convince drivers to slow down. The Town has investigated these and other options but has not taken such action.

Driving fast can kill people (including the driver). Two statistics: 1) Traffic is the biggest single killer of 12-16 year olds. Surprisingly, at 35mph you are twice as likely to kill someone you hit as at 30 mph. 2) Faster driving gives you a shorter amount of time to respond to something in your path, and even a fraction of a second can mean the difference between life and death. Drive slower for your safety and that of those around you. Especially drive slowly around runners, cyclists, school bus stops, and our Town with children on the streets. It is the responsibility of every resident to voluntarily follow the speed limit of 15 mph. Please ask your guests and vendors to do the same.

Most importantly:
Drive like your children live here!
Thank you!

Tennis Court Vandalism
Our all-weather tennis court was vandalized in the end of December. An oily, tar-like substance was poured at both ends of the court. This court is now locked until this mess can be cleaned up and the courts deemed safe for playing. Although a police report was made, there are no clues as to who did this damage.

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution to volunteer for a Town committee? If so, now is the time to act. Consider joining the Recreation Committee, Woods Committee, Summer in the Parks Planning Committee, Maple Lake Committee and others. Service can be a onetime event or on-going. Please contact me if you wish to serve. My phone number is 301-869-5358; e-mail is [email protected].

Joli A. McCathran

Joint Work Session Scheduled
The Town Council, Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission will hold a joint work session on January 30, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall. The purpose of this work session is to discuss issues of mutual concerns. If you have items you wish to have these groups discuss together, please contact Mayor McCathran at [email protected] or 301-869-5358.
Important Message for 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: Wed., January 4, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process. The procedures are available from the Town Clerk or from the Town’s website. Both the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help with your renovation/building project.

Permits up for approval on January 4, 2017:

  • None

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 17, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.


By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

News Dispatches from Other Centuries

A series devoted to describing Washington Grove’s earliest days based on historic newspapers (appearing as written) and original records in the Grove’s archives.

“A Day Devoted to the Cause of Temperance, August 20, 1883”
Washington Grove Camp is given as the location for this day devoted to the Cause of Temperance by the Special Correspondent of The Post who wrote this piece. He sets the mood by observing that few people were there from the county, and those present were mostly from the immediate neighborhood, but the number attending was “nothing like as large as was anticipated.” As it turned out, the attendance was estimated to be twelve hundred, mostly women and children.

Patriotic decorations and a military presence emphasized the importance of this Temperance Day.
“The platform of the tabernacle was dressed in good taste. In the rear of the stand the American flag was gracefully festooned and immediately above it the inscription, ‘Our God and homes and native land.’ On each side of this were placed scriptural mottos.” Into this setting, at 10:30 a.m., approximately “fifty soldiers of the Second United States artillery stationed in Gaithersburg,” marched onto the grounds accompanied by a band.

At that point, the women took over.
At 11 o’clock, “Mrs. Linville called the meeting to order by reading the seventy-second psalm and made a few introductory remarks. Mrs. Linville was followed by Mrs. Dr. Rogers, Mrs. Welding, and Mrs. Burris in short addresses which were well received. The latter introduced the soldiers. Several of the soldiers made addresses. The children’s temperance meeting was held at 2 o’clock and conducted by Mrs. Dr. Rogers. Miss Laton and others made some well-timed remarks, which seemed to leave a most pleasing impression on the children.”

Because the temperance movement stressed the evils and ugliness of alcoholism, so dramatically and seriously portrayed in the derogatory cartoons of the time, one’s curiosity is peaked as to what was presented to the children. Perhaps they were told one of the stories from “The Temperance Reader; Designed for Use in Schools” by Charles Yale written in 1835. Two excerpts of these emotionally charged stories, “A Glass of Rum–what it costs” and “Confessions of a Spirit Dealer” can be found on the Internet. (You might want to review them to decide if you would like to have them read to your child. Or if you would like to impress upon your “young person” the evils of alcohol/drug use in a more visual vein, review the Ohio State University website on Prohibition or the site called Harp Week Cartoons.)

This Post writer obviously felt a strong commitment to obtaining the names of everyone present. Just look at this list to see if you recognize any.

More speakers followed the signing of the pledge to avoid alcohol: Hon. Hiram Price, commissioner of Indian affairs, and B.H. Warner. The latter impressed the Post writer who described Mr. Warner’s effort as a “masterly one, and . . . warmly received.” The “attending clergy upon the camp” were named: Dr. F. Howard; Henry S. Wilson; Rev. O. C. Marriott to hold morning prayer-meeting in the tabernacle; Rev. John Lanahan to do later preaching; Dr. Joseph France to do the communion service; and Dr. Dashiel of Frederick to preach Wednesday morning. Others in attendance were noted because of their support of the temperance movement: David H. Bouic, president of the State county alliance; Henry Henshaw; Rev. S. R. White; Franklin Mace; Montgomery Claggett (spelling varies); and Frank Griffith. These “attentive listeners” included Dr. Summers, Colonel W. Bowie, Judge Dorsey, David Griffith, James Dawson, and W. T. Rabbit (probably spelled Rabbitt).

The names of Clagett (spelling varies) and Rabbitt are familiar names to long-time residents of Gaithersburg. Could W. T. Rabbit be an ancestor of Charles Herman Rabbitt of Gaithersburg who was a farmer and left half his fortune in old milk cans (1972)? And could Montgomery Claggett be part of the Clagett family who has a street in Gaithersburg named after them, or be an ancestor of Wilson Clagett, who started Hershey’s Cleaners in Gaithersburg, which is continued by his son Lambert? Or be a descendant of Henry Clagett (1731-1778), whose heirs sold 200 acres of his farm to Frederick A. Tschiffely in 1900 which are now known as Kentlands. (Calling all genealogists . . .)

More social news follows. “Dr. John Lanahan arrived on the morning train and is staying at the Sibley cottage. Rev. R. B. Prettyman and Rev. Mr. Bond are also on the ground. Miss Mary Summers, of Washington, daughter of Judge Summers, of this county, came on the morning train.”

Finally, to conclude his description of Temperance Day, the narrator writes about Miss Annie Fieldmeyer, of Annapolis, whose singing was “one of the most attractive features of the day” which unfortunately was one that was “disagreeably warm. General Ayres and staff have accepted Mr. Noyes’ invitation to be present at the entertainment on Wednesday to the management and clergy.”

Sources: The Newspaper quotes are from The Washington Post (1887-1992); Aug. 21, 1883; ProQuest Historical Newspapers
www/teachushistory.org/ . . . /stories-temperance-read

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., January 18, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Contra Dancing in The Grove!
Come to McCathran Hall on Saturday evening, February 4, for a totally fun evening of contra dance! Lesson at 7:00 pm, dancing from 7:30 – 10. No experience needed to have a great time! Bring a snack to share for the break, if you like.

Our caller, DeLaura Padovan, has called at family and adult dances for decades, and is a pro at helping the whole room enjoy the dance. Our musicians, Steve Hickman (fiddle) and John Devine (guitar), are well known for their talents at dances and dance camps. We will be joined by veteran dancers and musicians of Terpsichore’s Holiday Folk Dance Camp, who will help keep all of us moving! Questions? Call Shelley Winkler at 301-330-6446.
Sponsored by the Recreation Committee.

Film Society News…
Our first movie of the New Year is A Better Life, shown at 7 PM, on January 15. Carlos, an undocumented Mexican laborer, is raising his rebellious America-born son in East L.A. With standout performances, the film confronts universal issues of heritage, family, assimilation, and the painful realities of living without papers. Please join us for the screening and stay for the discussion of this timely movie. Directed by Chris Weitz, 2011, US, English/Spanish with English subtitles, 98 minutes. Tickets are $7.00 at the door.

Forestry & Beautification News…

What’s that – Vines?

Oriental Bittersweet – Celastrus orbiculaturs
Staff-tree family (Celastraceae)
Origin: Eastern Asia.
Oriental Bittersweet was introduced into the US in the 1800s as an ornamental plant and it is still widely sold for landscaping despite its invasive qualities.
Oriental bittersweet occurs in forest edges, open woodlands, fields, hedgerows, coastal areas, salt marshes and disturbed lands. While it is often found in open, sunny sites, its tolerance of shade allows it to invade forested areas.
Oriental bittersweet is a vigorous growing plant that threatens native vegetation from the ground to the canopy level. Thick masses of vines sprawl over shrubs, small trees and other plants, producing dense shade that weakens and kills them. Shrubs and trees can be killed by girdling and by uprooting as a result of excessive weight of the vine.
The plant is a deciduous, woody, twining vine, sometimes occurring as a trailing shrub; stems of older plants can reach 4 inches in diameter. The leaves alternate and are glossy and rounded with finely toothed margins.
Flowers; abundant clusters of small greenish flowers emerge from most leaf axils; green to yellow fruits split open at maturity to reveal fleshy red-orange arils that cover the seeds; seeds germinate in late spring. The seeds are dispersed by many species of birds and by people who are not responsible when disposing of faded bittersweet wreaths and other floral decorations. Bittersweet spreads locally by stolons and rhizomes and through root suckering.
Oriental bittersweet can be controlled/removed manually, mechanically and with chemical methods.

Porcelainberry – Ampelopsis brevipedunculata
Grape family (Vitaceae)
Origin: China, Korea, Japan & Russian Far East
Porcelainberry, also called amur peppervine, was originally introduced and cultivated as a bedding and landscape plant.
It grows well in most soils, especially forest edges, pond margins, stream banks, thickets, and waste places, where there is full sunlight to partial shade, and where it is not permanently wet. The seeds germinate readily in the soil after natural or human disturbance.
It is a vigorous invader of open and wooded habitats where it shades out native shrubs and young trees. As it spreads, it climbs over and blankets existing plants and weakens and kills them by blocking sunlight.
The plant resembles grape and climbs by non-adhesive tendrils at the base of each leaf; grows to 15-20 ft.
Leaves: alternate, simple, 3-5 lobed to highly dissected with heart-shaped base and coarsely toothed margins, shiny underneath with hairs on veins.
Flowers: fruits and seeds: tiny, greenish-white flowers with petals separated at their tips occur in flat-topped clusters opposite the leaves; appear in June through August. The fruit is a speckled berry in colors ranging from aqua to pink to purple, each berry carries 2-4 seeds.
The seeds are spread by birds and other small animals and dispersed in their droppings.
Porcelainberry is difficult to control due to its vigorous root system. Pull young vines up by hand anytime and try to remove the rootstock. Apply systemic herbicides like glyphosate and triclopyr to cut stems or leaves in order to kill entire plants including the roots.

Woods Committee News…

The Woods Committee will meet on Monday, February 6th at 7:30 PM in the Council Room at McCathran Hall. The Woods Committee has marked off sections of the East Woods in preparation for removing and controlling non-native invasive plants and for reforestation. You may see colored, flagged markers in the East Woods which are part of this work. Please do not disturb or remove them. Marking of Town boundaries in both the East and West woods also is underway. The Committee is following the Forestry Stewardship Plan as a guide. This plan is now available on the Town website:https://washingtongrovemd.org/whats-happening/woods-committee-news/forest-stewardship-plan.

Woman’s Club News…

You’re invited to the Annual White Elephant Auction on Saturday January 21, 2017
As we welcome 2017, it’s time for our annual Woman’s Club’s White Elephant Auction.

What is a White Elephant Auction you ask? Well, in Washington Grove, it’s a great excuse for a good time! Bring something you are willing to part with, be it useful, beautiful or goofy, then join the fun as it’s auctioned off to the highest bidder.
This year’s auction will be Saturday, January 28, 2017, 7:00 PM, at the home of JoAnn and Nick Suzich, 122 Chestnut Avenue so mark this fun event on your calendars!

Membership Drive

Don’t forget that January is also our annual Membership Drive, when the Club’s annual dues of a modest $15 are payable. In addition to donating funds to help support the Summer In the Parks program, the Acorn Library and the Holiday show, we also host annual Town events like the January White Elephant Sale, the February Chili Dinner, the Spring Egg Hunt, the May Flower Show, the June Progressive Porch Party, and the September Pot Luck Supper, and special events such as guest speakers and Community Outreach programs. Since the Club was formed, we have been an integral part of the fabric of our unique Town. So, if you’re a member, remember to pay your dues, and if you aren’t, please consider joining the Woman’s Club. Our goal this year is to have more members taking an active role in the Club. While everyone’s generous in contributing to our outreach programs, bringing delicious dishes to our pot luck dinners, and attending our annual events, we need more people to attend our monthly meetings. We need new ideas and more volunteers if our Club is to continue into the future.

New Directories

We will soon begin working on a new Washington Grove Directory. Please, when you receive the request to verify and/or change your information, please send it back as soon as possible!

Washington Grove Church News…

As we greet 2017, we look forward to a busy year of reaching out to our Community. At our January 8, 2017 worship service, we will be showing our appreciation to Pastor EunJoung Joo, and to the leadership volunteers who work so hard to serve our Church. Our dream for this year is to raise enough funds to replace the very old, very worn church carpet!

Our joyful family worship services are Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880. Rev. EunJoung Joo (301-947-0532).

General Information

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. Ask around among your neighbors—many residents have already served and can give you an idea of what it’s like. Washington Grove can only thrive with the participation of motivated residents like YOU!

Vacant Homes Task Force
The next meeting of this task force is not known at this time. Please call the Town Office for more information. This meetings are open to the public.

Emergency Preparedness Committee
The Emergency Preparedness Committee’s January meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 19th, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall. All are welcome to attend. Also, on January 28th at 2:00 pm, there will be a special presentation for all interested Town residents on emergency preparedness. It will be given by Joe Corona, a guest speaker from the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ends
Please note that December 29, 2016 was the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal this year. This service will resume in early March.

Christmas Tree Disposal
Beginning in late December, Christmas trees will be picked up roadside by Town Maintenance staff. When you place your tree out for collection, please remove all tinsel, ornaments, the stand and any other metal.

Please Include Your Box Number
Our postmaster has asked that residents remember to include their PO Box number on all correspondence and packages including UPS and FedEx. Not doing so slows down the delivery of your mail because they have to look up your box number. The Post Office is aware of the difficulties that PO Box customers have with other carriers and suggests that you address mail in the following manner:
Ms. Jean Doe
600 Grove Ave. #000
Washington Grove, MD 20880

Thank you for your help with this issue!!

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