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Next meeting: Monday, October 10, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the September meeting included:

  • approval of changes to the Request for Proposal for East Woods Marking & Re-subdivision.
  • approval for Town Maintenance to construct a set of steps in the hill on the Chestnut Road side of the Clubhouse for easier access.

From the Mayor…

Policy for Public Appearances: At the Town Council meeting on August 8, 2016, the Council implemented a five (5) minute time for public appearances during meetings of the Town Council, Planning Commission, and the Historic Preservation Commission. This would also be for the Annual Town Meeting. If a member of any of the above mentioned groups questions a speaker, the answer to a question does not count as being part of the five (5) minute allotted time period.

House Number and Street Visibility:

To ensure better safety, please make every effort to make visible your house number and street name for emergency services to better respond to your needs.

Emergency Preparedness Committee:

I am still seeking a few more members to join the Emergency Preparedness Committee to shepherd the implementation of the recommendations made in the report of the Emergency Preparedness Task Force. If you wish to serve as a member of this committee, please contact me at 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected].

Notary Services Free to Town Residents:

Treasurer Mary Challstrom and Mayor Joli McCathran are available to notarize documents for Town residents free of charge. If you need the services of a notary, please contact Mary at 301-926-4498 or at [email protected] or Joli at 301-869-5358 or via e-mail at [email protected].
Joli A. McCathran

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., October 5, 2016; 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 Oct. 5, 2016:

  • 203 2nd Ave. Fence
  • 400 Center St. Renovation/Addition

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 18, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

Clare Kelly comes to McCathran Hall

Clare Lise Kelly, Architectural History Specialist at the Montgomery County Planning Department (and former Washington Grove resident) will speak about her most recent book, Montgomery Modern, in McCathran Hall on Friday, October 21 at 7:00pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Released in October 2015, Montgomery Modern is an illustrated reference guide that includes an inventory of key buildings and communities, and biographical sketches of practitioners including architects, landscape architects, planners and developers. It was awarded the 2015 Paul H. Kea medal for architectural advocacy by the American Institute of Architects (Potomac Valley Chapter). Find more info about Montgomery Modern at www.montgomeryplanning.org/montgomerymodern.


By Wendy E. Harris, Volunteer Associate 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.

Portrait of a Founding Mother: Amelia Elmore Huntley, Part Two

This past August, the Town Bulletin published Part I of an account of the life of Amelia Elmore Huntley, who in 1913 became the first woman in Washington Grove’s history to be elected to the Board of Trustees. Her election was described in the June 8, 1913 edition of The Washington Post as “the first time during the forty years’ history of Washington Grove that a woman has held such a position.” In this, the second part of Amelia’s story, we continue to tell you more about her life, exploring the related questions of what prepared her for this role, and what about Amelia and her qualifications convinced the residents of Washington Grove to elect her. One thing that we have learned in our research is that if such a thing as a Methodist elite existed in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America, Amelia Huntley and her husband Elias DeWitt Huntley would certainly qualify as members.

Amelia was born in 1844, in Ulster County, New York. The family soon moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Because her mother died while Amelia was still a young child, she and her siblings were raised by their father, described in biographical accounts as “a successful businessman” and “an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.” As a young woman Amelia attended two schools remembered today for their pioneering roles in providing higher education to American women. The influence of both institutions would become evident in Huntley’s later life and career. The first, Wisconsin Female College, was located in Milwaukee. Associated with its development was Catherine Beecher, an early advocate for women’s education and the sister of author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin). Genesee College, which Amelia later attended, was located in Lima, N.Y. and had been founded originally as a Methodist seminary. The school, with its stated purpose of “training of men and women for service in the Methodist Church,” produced a number of remarkable female graduates. Male graduates of note included Elias DeWitt Huntley, an ordained Methodist minister who would later become the president of Lawrence University and Chaplain of the United States Senate. Amelia must have met Elias while at Genesee College. They married in 1867, one year after Elias’s graduation.

Much of what we presently know about the early years of Amelia’s married life is limited to what can be gleaned from the fairly well documented outlines of Elias’s career. Their first decade together was not only peripatetic but also marked by tragedy. They lived first in Wisconsin where Elias worked as a traveling minister, serving a group of Methodist congregations in rural Portage and Nunda townships. They returned briefly to Genesee College where Elias joined the faculty as Professor of Ancient Languages. Called back to Wisconsin by the Methodist Church, Elias was appointed Presiding Elder of the Madison District. This must have represented a significant promotion not only because of its supervisory responsibilities but also because of Madison’s position as state capital and site of the state university.

We can’t be certain, however, whether Amelia was always with her husband during these many moves. According to census records Amelia (but not Elias) was living in a suburb of Milwaukee in 1870. Significantly, the census listed the presence of two children, Sherman, a baby of three months and George, a one-year old boy. Amelia and Elias would lose them both. George died in 1873, when he was only six years old. Sherman probably died in infancy. We can only speculate as to how the Huntley’s dealt with these devastating losses but given what we know of their lives up to this point, it would not surprise us if they became increasingly immersed in their Methodist faith.

From 1879 to 1883 Elias was the president of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. After this, the couple apparently moved east where Elias was the pastor of Methodist churches in Washington D.C., Annapolis, Baltimore and New York City. The question arises as to what was occurring in Amelia’s life during the years following the deaths of her children. Outside of the domestic realm there were few career paths open to well-educated and ambitious women of Amelia’s generation. Two of the most available options were the temperance movement and missionary work. Amelia became involved in both, initially as a leader in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Wisconsin and then as a founding member and officer in the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society, a Methodist organization. Amelia’s association with these two organizations would not only have offered her solace and continuity, but also a means to serve humanity within the Methodist framework of “social holiness,” a doctrine dedicated to serving the poor and vulnerable as well as to the religious conversion of others.

In 1912, Amelia was profiled in the book, The Part Taken by Women in American History. Its author, identifying herself as Mrs. John A. Logan, was actually Mary Simmerson Cunningham Logan, a Washington based journalist, women’s suffrage activist, and widow of a United States Senator. Logan’s goal, as explained in the book’s Forward, was “to form a compendium of all names and achievements of women who have taken a part in the vital affairs of this country.” Her scope was enormous, beginning with Native American women and proceeding through American history to the twentieth century. Amelia was one of the 30 women included in the chapter “Women in the Missionary Field.” Of Amelia, Logan noted her “great genius for organization.” Turning to Amelia’s involvement in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Wisconsin, Logan praised her “fine preventive work” and for “forming reading rooms, night schools, etc.” Regarding Amelia’s work as corresponding secretary for the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society, Logan cited Amelia’s “fine executive ability” and “intelligent enthusiasm.” According to Logan, Amelia was also “a stirring and sympathetic” public speaker.

Additional evidence of Amelia’s efforts on behalf of Methodist missionaries can be found in the April 1913 edition of the journal Women’s Missionary Friend. There we learn of fundraising efforts to construct the “Amelia H. Huntley Hall” at a Methodist boarding school for girls in Fuzhuo, Fujian Province, China. Whether the building was ever completed is unclear. However, it should be noted that in the spring of 1913, on the other side of the world, Amelia had also just become the first woman ever elected to the Washington Grove Association’s Board of Trustees. In the upcoming third and final installment of Amelia’s story, we will look at what happened when this intelligent, outspoken and zealous woman focused all of her considerable talents upon Washington Grove’s residents and their local government.

Sources: The Washington Post (1877-1922), June 8, 1913, ProQuest Historical Newspapers; Wikipedia; www.findagrave.com; https://archive.org; www.lux.lawrence.edu/mdc/writtenhistories; https://archives.syr.edu/collections/org; https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/idea_of_the_senate/1901Logan.htm

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed., October 27, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

What’s That?
Plant Invaders/Grass – Poaceae
Microstegium vimineum Japanese Stilt-grass
Originally introduced to the US in Tennessee around 1919 and likely escaped as a result of its use as a packing material for porcelain. It can be found in full sun to deep shaded forest conditions and is associated with most rich soils that are acidic, neutral or basic and high in nitrogen. It readily invades disturbed shaded areas. It spreads opportunistically to form dense patches, displacing native wetland and forest vegetation as the patch expands. Stilt-grass spread by seed and vegetative by rooting at joints along the stem – a single plant can produce 100 – 1,000 seeds that remain viable in the soil for at least three years. The annual grass resembles a small, delicate Bamboo; mature plants grow to 2-3ft in height. Because it is shallow-rooted, stilt-grass may be pulled by hand at any time.

Oplismenus hirtellus Wavyleaf Basket Grass
First discovered in Maryland in 1996 along the Patapsco River. Wavyleaf grows low to the ground, this fast spreading grass is low-growing, shallow-rooted, producing long stolons; branches and roots. The seeds have a sticky substance facilitating adherence to animal fur, human clothing and shoes, tiers and other objects. If you are working in an infested area, be thorough in removing all seeds from shoes, clothing and equipment prior to leaving.

Bambusa vulgaris Bamboo
Bamboo is a woody reed-like grass with a shrubby growth habit, forming very dense single-species thickets that displace native plants species and create dense shade that makes it difficult for seedlings of native species to survive. Spreading occursby vegetative means through vigorous rhizomatous growth. Manual control requires cutting and digging out of the rhizomes – extremely labor intensive and will need to be continued over a long time to ensure eradication.

Woods Committee

Next Meeting: Monday, October 3, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

The Woods Committee is marking off sections of the woods to plan for removing/controlling invasive plants and for reforestation. You may see temporary colored flagged markers in the East Woods, which is part of this work. Please do not disturb or remove them. The Woods Committee is also in the process of marking Town boundaries at the edge of both the East and the West Woods. In addition, we will be planning volunteer opportunities for woods work during the fall and winter. Check future Bulletins for details. The Committee is using the Forest Stewardship Plan as a guide.

Also, the Town is installing boundary markers. Please do not remove these markers. There is a $2,500 fine for removal of boundary markers. If you witness anyone removing them, please contact the Montgomery County Police.

Maple Lake News…

Swimming season is over, the lifeguards are gone, but the lake is still available – “Swim At Your Own Risk”. Thanks to all (too numerous to enumerate) for a great 2016 season! The lock combo on the inner gate will be changed on Monday, October 3rd. Please contact John Hutchinson or the Town Office for the new number and please do not share this number with non-residents.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., November 16, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

The Fruits of Their Labors….
Before we pack up our summer calendars for another year, let’s give another thanks to all the Grovers who helped make our Town’s Labor Day festivities the best around, especially gamesmeister Craig English and Peter Nagrod, whose inaugural soccer skills competition was such a hit we’re hoping he’s up for making it a perennial. Thanks too to the potluck helpers!

Congratulations to Declan Scott, this year’s SUPER GROVE!

Dance Classes for Youth…

Mixed dance class, including jazz, ballet and zumba for 9 to 17 year olds. Join us for our first 8 classes to get ready for the Holiday Show! For more information, call Samantha Beres (301-330-8509, home; 515-450-9167, cell) or stop in to try a class.

Film Society News…

Join us on October 9 (7 pm) for the first movie in the Film Society’s 2016/2017 series: Bernie. Bernie, the new assistant mortician in a small Texas town, wins everyone over, befriending even a nasty-tempered old widow. Based on a true story, this black comedy turns on the reaction of townsfolk when her body is discovered in her deep freeze. A discussion will follow the movie. Directed by Richard Linklater, 2011, U.S., subtitles,104 minutes. Order your 5-movie subscription before the season starts; send a check for $20 to Birgit Henninger, Box 355. Tickets at the door are $7.

BluestoberFest 2016

The 8th Annual Washington Grove BluestoberFest honors “WOMEN OF THE BLUES” and is scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 6-10 p.m. Please come out and enjoy a fun musical gathering with family and friends as we celebrate the autumn season with the acoustic sounds of DC-based Esther Haynes from 6-7 p.m. and PA-based, Vizztone recording artists The Skyla Burrell Band (a full time, hardworking, traveling blues band) known for their high-energy electric blues from 7:30 -10 p.m. This event will be held at the Gazebo (McCathran Hall if it rains). Sausages, hot dogs, potato salad, condiments and cookies provided. Please bring a side dish to share. BYOB!

If you can help with set-up and/or clean-up and if you have any questions, please contact Eric Selby, [email protected], 703-203-8100 or Lawren Selby, [email protected], 703-203-1643. And remember, Lederhosen optional…

For more information on this year’s amazing artists, check out their websites: www.estherhaynesmusic.com

Autumn Irish Ceili – October 28

Blackthorn will hold a ceili (dance) party on Friday, October 28 at McCathran Hall from 7 to 10:30 pm. Grovers are welcome to join in the dancing or come to enjoy the music. You may bring a dish to share and join in a potluck. Free to Grove residents but contributions to pay the musicians are gratefully accepted.

Sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.

Get Your Goblin Groove On!

Time to start sharpening your fangs and shaking out your spider webs! Halloween celebrations are a little different this year. As Oct. 31 is a Monday, there will not be a public pumpkin carving; instead, the popular photo booth will be rising again for your All Hallows Eve pleasure (Was that a vampire joke?). So get on to your costume planning ASAP! The photo booth will be open at Town Hall from 5-8 p.m.

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

Holiday Show 2016

If you want to participate in the 2016 holiday show, Saturday Night Grove, let Judy Mroczka ([email protected], 301 990-3771) know ASAP. There are still spaces to fill in the acting company and the stage crew; those of you who are musically inclined (singing, playing an instrument, dancing) may also still be accommodated. We have a specific need for new members for the lighting team. In addition to letting Judy know of your interest, plan on coming to the kick-off for the show on Sunday, October 30, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Town Hall.

Woman’s Club News…

Our Outreach Projects
Thanks to the generosity of our Town, we were able to provide each of the residents of the Gude Men’s Shelter with personal hygiene items and white socks. Plus, we were able to give the Shelter desperately needed socks to have on hand for this winter.
Through the end of October, we are again collecting gently used winter wear for the needy children of our own Washington Grove Elementary School. It’s heartbreaking how many of these kids will otherwise have nothing warm to wear this winter. So please, sort through your closets and bring any coats, hats, scarves and gloves to the plastic bin on the Clubhouse porch.
New this year, we are collecting leftover Halloween candy to send to our deployed troops. This is also a wonderful chance for our kids to share their bounty with those who help to keep us safe as they Trick or Treat for Those Who Serve! There will be a bin on the Clubhouse porch, or your candy can be dropped off on Wendy Weisbard’s porch at 119 Grove Road.

Washington Grove Cares
Last year, the Woman’s Club sponsored a Sunday afternoon presentation about the Aging in Place, and Villages movements, which are aimed at helping people to remain in their own homes as they grow older. Following that presentation, a small group volunteered to investigate the various resources introduced that day. On Sunday, October 16, 2016, we invite you to join us at the Woman’s Club, from 2 to 4 PM, to discuss any ideas you may have, and to present a proposed plan for alerting volunteers about neighbors’ needs. This plan uses an online platform similar to ones that have been used successfully in the past here in Town.


Sunday worship services are at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church.
The Church will be starting a new inspirational worship series, based on Rick Warren’s Life’s Healing Choices, “Freedom From Your Hurts, Hang-ups & Habits”. This theme will be part of upcoming Sunday worship services and group discussions. If you would like more information about this series, which is based on the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, please contact Rev. Joo ([email protected] or 301-947-0532)

General Information

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.

Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

There will be a bulk trash collection on Saturday, October 22, 2016.
PLEASE NOTE; Potomac Disposal will NOT pick up the following: liquids or chemicals in any form, including paint, gasoline, oil and 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’ (tape to prevent injury); large amounts of construction debris, specifically material left by a contractor.

If residents are doing their own repair work and wish to set up a bulk pick-up, they may call Jana or Cheryl (301-294-9700) to make these arrangements.


Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ends

Please note that December 31, 2016 will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal. This service will resume in early March.

Thanksgiving Refuse Collection CHANGE !!

Because of the conflict with our refuse collection day and the Thanksgiving holiday, the collection that week will take place on WEDNESDAY, November 23, 2016. Please make a note of this change.

Leaves Are Falling

New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for bulk leaf removal each autumn. The contractor, Green Earth, Inc., will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six (6) feet of any roadway or walkway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins October 31 and ends January 3, 2017, or as soon thereafter as we agree the work is complete. This is the only time to have leaves removed without bagging for recycling.
The contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming. One or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually have most of us raking at the same time. If you rake when most others are raking, the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly.
Please place your windrows within six (6) feet of the road or walkway (keeping in mind car & pedestrian traffic).
Green Earth will collect leaves by working from one end of the Town to the other, typically starting with Ridge Road working their way across the community, first removing piles along roads for safety reasons. After making one pass along roads, they will focus on walkways. If roads become obstructed before walkways are completed, roads will be cleared until they are safe. Then collection will resume along walkways.
Weather may affect this process. Rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues and accumulated snow or freezing rain may make piles too heavy to vacuum. The contractor will not remove leaf piles that contain branches, brush, pruned limbs, and cut ornamental grasses. Please do not add these to leaf piles. They foul the vacuum and Green Earth will not collect piles containing this material.
If a particular leaf pile has lingered for an inordinate amount of time, please call Kathy Lehman at the Town Office, 301-926-2256, or by e-mail [email protected].

Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.


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