301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News

Next meeting: Monday » 10.14.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Special Town Meeting

Please come to a Special Town Meeting on Tuesday October 8th to learn about the new plan that CSX has brought to us regarding raising the Deer Park Humpback Bridge. With this plan CSX says there will be NO impact on Town land. The meeting will start at 7:30 PM or as soon thereafter as we have a quorum of 50 qualified Town voters.

2013 Attack on an Invading Species

Thanks to bad storms a year ago, many trees in our East Woods came down, opening up some sections of tree canopy to full sun. Mile-a-Minute has moved in and taken over those sections with speed and in quantity, blanketing and blotting out young native plants. The Town is trying a “Mow & Pull Effort” in one section along Grove Road. This will be followed by chipping of the fallen wood and, once leaf collection begins, spreading a thick layer of leaf mulch over the mowed area. The Woods Group will be assessing this effort to see the degree to which Mile-a-Minute returns in the spring or disappears from this area. Stay tuned! For the long term the best way to inhibit the growth of these invasives is by reducing sunlight in the area. In these cleared areas we’ll be planting more trees so the tree canopy will shade the forest floor and inhibit the growth of garlic mustard, stilt grass and mile-a-minute.

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.02.13 @ 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 » 10.15.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Meetings are open to the public.


By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist

"Rocks and Politicians"

The Story of Political Hill

Political Hill, an outcropping of rocks, not really a “hill,” is viewed by Grove residents to be the highest point in Washington Grove. It received its name during the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Era (1873 to 1936). Politicians would come to the Camp meetings during election campaigns to talk to the voters and would speak from this “hill” which is believed to be in the area of 4th and 5th Avenues. This kept the secular (political) speakers away from the Sacred Circle and the Tabernacle, the central gathering places for the Methodist Camp.

The story of Political Hill has been kept alive for present residents in the Grove through references in the Town Directories from 1969 through 1988. The “Story of Washington Grove, Maryland” (which included the mention of Political Hill) that was printed in those directories, was researched and written by Mrs. Patricia McDowell, an active member of the Grove’s Woman’s Club at that time. While Mrs. McDowell did not state her sources, a similar quote about Political Hill appears in a booklet by Page Milburn, titled “Reminiscences of Washington Grove” written in 1927. It is assumed Mrs. McDowell used Mr. Milburn’s information.

The two sources differ in their location of Political Hill. Mr. Milburn’s writing, the first known mention of Political Hill (1927) in written records, refers to the “mound of rocks lying between Fifth and Sixth Avenue [which] became the meeting place of political workers.” Mrs. McDowell’s article (1969) states that “politicians would gather near a mound of rocks that lies between 4th and 5th Avenues, then known as Political Hill, and now known as Wade Park.”

Do you know of any politicians who may have spoken on Political Hill? Is there a favorite story in your family about this place? Send it in!

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.16.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
The public is invited to attend.

Casting Call for Holiday Show 2013!!

Time again to send out the call for actors, both singing and non-singing, a few musicians, and backstage crew who want to be involved in this year’s Holiday show, scheduled for Saturday, December 14 at 7:30 pm in McCathran Hall.

The format of the show will be different this year, so, an informational meeting for those who are or may be interested has been scheduled for Saturday, November 2, 2 pm in McCathran Hall. Those who cannot attend the meeting, but are interested in participating, should contact Judy Mroczka at ([email protected]).

Save these Dates for Dancing!

Friday, October 18:

Autumn Ceili – All are invited to come to McCathran Hall from 7 to 11 p.m. to enjoy live Irish music and join in the dancing with Blackthorn Ceili dancers – an enthusiastic group of Irish dancers.
Contributions welcome to help pay the band; soda bread and tea during first break; pot luck supper — bring a hot dish, salad or dessert to share; soft drinks available; music by Common Ground Ceili Band.

Friday, November 15:

The Continentals Return! 7:30-10:30 p.m., McCathran Hall
Get out your dancing shoes and get ready for Washington’s premiere polka band. This versatile group of musicians will play a wide variety of dance music. Check out their website at: www.mikesurratt.com BYOB – snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. No charge.
Dances sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee

Clay Courts Committee

Next meeting: Tuesday » 10.29.13 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room.
Your participation is encouraged. Come learn about the different types of “clay” courts. Your voice is important. Tell us what you think.

First Annual Punkin Carvin’ Fest and Costume Parade

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

It is that time of year again! The air is crispy, leaves will soon need raking, and it’s time to dust off the Halloween decorations! This year, we are trying something new to celebrate the season: a Punkin Carvin’ Fest. Let’s all meet at McCathran Hall in the afternoon to carve our punkins. The Recreation Committee will supply the pumpkins and candles. Your family must bring the cutting tools and your imaginations. We have tried to order enough pumpkins for everyone in the family to be able to carve one.

Then everyone can go home, take a nap, eat some dinner, get into costumes and meet us back at the Hall for a parade and to see the spectacular pumpkin display that we have all created! Should be a great photo op! Hot cider, a warm fire and s’mores included. Cookie donations will be appreciated. Everyone gets to take their pumpkins home with them after the fest is over!

  • Date: Saturday, October 26 (rain date Sunday, October 27)
  • Time: 2:30-4:30 to carve pumpkins; 6:30- parade, pumpkin display, etc.
  • Where: Outside McCathran Hall
  • WHAT TO BRING: cutting tools, marshmallow roasting sticks, cookies
  • PARENTAL SUPERVISION REQUIRED. Sorry, but unsupervised children will not be allowed to carve a pumpkin.

Halloween in Washington Grove

Trick or treating in the Grove is on October 31, 2013 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Have fun and be safe!

Woman’s Club News

October 12th Talent Show Postponed

Because of the uncertainty of the completion date for the repairs at McCathran Hall, the Club has decided to hold-off on the Talent Show. Instead, they will try to schedule a “Games Night” at the Clubhouse in October. Look for information on the Yahoo Group and then pass it along to those neighbors who do not subscribe.

Thanks to Cynthia Werts’ hard work and everyone’s tasty contributions, our Annual Potluck Dinner was a delicious success. There were at least 8 people in attendance that grew up in the Grove. How many other small towns can make a claim like that? As always, a good time was had by all!

The next big event will be the November 14th evening of Painting Holiday Decorations for all the kids and their parents. There will be decorations for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and, for you Seinfeld fans, Festivus!


  • Oct. 2nd – Nov. 6th – Wednesdays at 7:30 pm at 101 Center St. We’ll continue the community study of the Bible looking at scholarly perspectives, this fall comparing the four gospels. All viewpoints and traditions welcome!
  • Oct. 24th – The 2nd Annual Red Cross Blood Drive will take place downstairs in the church (303 Chestnut Rd.) on Thursday, Oct. 24th. Sign up with Judy for a time on the 24th between 2:00 & 8:00 pm, by email or phone, at [email protected] or 240 912 9895.
  • Nov. 3rd – Be a saint and give canned or dried food to our annual Halloween/All Saints Day Food Drive for Gaithersburg Help! Your bag with food can be left on the road side of your house on Sunday morning Nov. 3rd by 9 am, or you can drop it at the church, 303 Chestnut Rd. Many thanks on behalf of needy neighbors!
  • Nov. 26th – The Interfaith Thanksgiving service will be at 7:30 on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving this year, to avoid conflicting with the first day of Hanukkah.

Film Society News

It’s going to be a great film season and it’s time to purchase your season subscription-still $20 for 5 films. Send your check to Birgit Henninger, made out to the Town of Washington Grove.

The first film of the new season is Tea with Mussolini, on October 13. In pre-WWII Florence, a group of Englishwomen lives a sheltered existence, thinking they are under Il Duce’s personal protection. Yet danger draws near. Lily Tomlin, Cher, and 3 great Dames – Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright – star. Eccentric, appealing characters in an eccentric story…and what scenery! Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, 1999, Italy/UK, English and Italian with English subtitles, 117 minutes. Join us in McCathran Hall at 7 PM, $7 at the door.

Bulk Trash Pickup Scheduled

The Town has scheduled a bulk trash pickup for Saturday, November 2, 2013. Please have your items “curbside” by 7:00 AM. Potomac Disposal will NOT pick up the following:

  • Liquids or chemicals in any form, including paint, gasoline, oil etc. NO FREON!
  • Tires
  • Rugs and/or padding which is not cut into three (3) foot rolls
  • Large wall units (shelving) not broken down
  • Fencing
  • Mirrors or glass larger than 3′ x 3′. Please tape to prevent injury.
  • Large amounts of construction debris, specifically material left by a contractor. If homeowner is doing their own repair work they can call PDI to set up the bulk pick-up.

If residents have questions about certain items, feel free to call Jana or Cheryl at 301-294-9700.

From the Post Office

Our postmaster, Mrs. Lee, has asked that residents remember to include their PO Box number on all correspondence and packages. Not doing so slows down the delivery of your mail because they have to look up your number. The Post Office is aware of the difficulties that PO Box customers have with other carriers and they suggest that you address mail in the following manner;

Ms. Jean Doe
600 Grove Ave. #000
Washington Grove, MD 20880


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