301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, July 10, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the May meeting included:

  • approval of Resolution 2017-03; Budget Transfers Resolution

Summary of Ordinance 2017-03

This ordinance adopts the Town budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, and levies an ad valorem tax on all assessable property within the Town of Washington Grove, Maryland. The ordinance will be effective June 22, 2017.

From the Mayor…

The Town is devastated by the tragic event at Maple Lake. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family of the victim. Town authorities are continuing to cooperate with the investigators of this incident. I must send out gratitude to our life guards Haley McClelland, Sita Strother and Lainey Selby who were on the scene during the recovery operation. Their high level of professionalism was more than impressive. Many thanks to these dedicated employees. On June 20, the water at Maple Lake was tested, as it is monthly, and the results show the quality of the water is fine.

Swimming Instructor and Lifeguard Lainey Selby is hosting a Water Safety Potluck Banquet for children up to 18 years of age, and their families. This is on Friday, July 14 from 4-7 p.m. at McCathran Hall. Join in the fun of a potluck and learn more about water safety at the same time. There will be games and prizes for children of all ages. Safety materials will be given to parents.

On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, John Hutchinson (Hutch), Shelley Winkler, Pat Klein, and I met with Montgomery County Police District 6 Commander
Dinesh Patil and Officer Hudson to discuss Maple Lake issues and additional concerns in Washington Grove. After this meeting, Hutch wrote up the following about what to do regarding intruders at

Maple Lake. In light of the recent incident, I felt it is important to share this with all Town residents.
What to do when encountering intruders at the lake:

  1. When encountering people at the lake, ask if they live in Washington Grove. (Ask their street address if they say “Yes.”)
  2. Explain that this lake is “Private Property” and only for residents of Washington Grove. Lake Passes are available for residents at the Town Hall on weekdays.
  3. Ask them to leave if they are not residents.
  4. If they do not leave, go out of the lake and call the Montgomery County Police (MCPD) non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.
  5. When talking to the police, explain that we have an “Agent of Property” letter on file for the lake.
  6. If there are any threatening situations, call 911.
  7. If there are adults available, ask them to wait at the lake entrance on Washington Grove Lane (#304) for the police to arrive.
  8. If life guards are on duty, file an incident report available in the Life Guards Handbook and turn it into the Town office.

On June 12, 2017, a petition was submitted to the Town to construct a Dog Exercise Area within the Town of Washington Grove. This petition meets the qualification of a minimum of 25 registered voter signatures as outlined in Section 15 of the Town Charter. Our Town Charter requires the Town Council to take action at the next regular meeting of the Town Council. This meeting is July 10, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in McCathran Hall.

In 1957, 60 years ago this past June, Irving LeRoy McCathran chose not to run for Mayor after 20 years of dedicated service. (Up until recently the Town elections used to be held in June.) The residents of Washington Grove honored him by naming the Assembly Hall McCathran Hall.

Summer in the Parks is about to begin. Gray Yachup is the Director again this year. Hearing the sounds of children playing and laughing at McCathran Hall is a joy!

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed, July 5, 2017, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.

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 July 5, 2017:

  • 125 Grove Ave. Addition

Historic Preservation News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, July 18, 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.

“Opening Day Among the Methodist Tenters in Maryland, Part One”

“Washington Grove, Montgomery County, Md. August 11 [1881] –To-day the ninth annual camp of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association of the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, began.” The Washington Post correspondent reports on the opening of the camp meeting by the presiding elder at “half-past 7 o’clock” and proceeds to comment in such detail that his lengthy article measures 22 by 2 inches of newsprint.

He writes: “The grove is situated about twenty miles from Washington, immediately on the north side of the Metropolitan branch of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, high and well drained, with plenty of pure air. As you enter the grounds you pass through Grove avenue. Here are situated the four handsomest cottages on the grounds . . . From this you enter Broadway which leads to the circle where the tabernacle is, and from which branches out six smaller avenues.”

He continues true to form (as have other reporters in earlier articles of this series) providing the names of each resident on each avenue! Because this is over one hundred people, it cannot be reproduced here. Informative tidbits appear after some of the names. For example: “. . . John S. Paxton, who keeps a boarding tent . . . Miss Lizzie Magruder, boarding tent . . .” or especially “. . . Mrs. Kilgore and daughter, of Montgomery County, who keeps a very popular boarding tent, which last year was overrun with boarders; . . .” The word bachelor appears after several male names – Remus Dorsey on the Circle, Messrs. Ratcliffe and Clark on Third Avenue, and T. W. Fowler on First Avenue. Reference to any “available” ladies is more subtle, seen in the use of the title Miss, as in “Miss Jane Clark on Third Avenue,” or as daughter of a married woman, as in “Mrs. H. A. Wise and daughter ” on First Avenue.

A confirmation of the presence of these people is found in the Town’s Archives in the minutes of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association for that year, i.e., 1881. The records list Miss Magruder as paying $75 for the boarding fee and Mrs. Kilgore as paying $33.34 for stock shares. J. Clark, Dorsey, Fowler, and Raddcliff (Ratcliff) are also referenced, as well as others.

A portion of the Post article is devoted to the camp ground itself, and it becomes clear that the writer was present at a Grove camp meeting before. “The grounds are in better order now than they have ever been, and the drainage, which is naturally superior, has been made as near perfect as possible by those in charge. . . It is patent that a greater pride is being taken here each year in the abodes themselves, the tents and cottages, as well as in the furniture and household adornments. Pretty carpets are seen in nearly every domicile, if tents can be called such. New furniture of light colored wood has taken the place of former old, discarded and broken sets. Cheerful, and in some cases handsome, pictures from home parlors adorn the walls. Rockeries covered with ferns and with beautiful bright, variegated flowers growing in the centres, line many of the better avenues.”

After another paragraph describing the “truly grand specimens” of trees in the forested camp ground, the correspondent ends with “The shade is so heavy and the foliage so dense that . . . it is at times almost suffocatingly hot in the camp grove.” [Looking at the dress of the times in the Town Archives photos and knowing this was August, one wonders how these tenters survived the heat, the humidity and the bugs.]

At this point in his article, the writer-cum-historian launches into a classic Victorian-style of prose moving from the camp ground itself to a mini-history of camp meetings in general. [Reader, take your time to enjoy the sheer delight of this high-brow writing.]

“Time was, thirty years ago, when the sparse settlement of the country and incommodious and scarce transportation facilities and the paucity of churches, demanded a grand encampment of the faithful each year, that they might hear the gospel and worship in assembly. Necessity, which is the reputed mother of invention, is none the less, therefore, barren of other good offspring, and though now the camp meeting has ceased to be a necessity, it has by no means grown effete nor inefficient. Rather, however, than a religious necessity, camp meeting has become a religious luxury . . .”

To be continued . . .

Maple Lake News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, July 20, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Goldfish 2:00 – 2:30
Sharks 2:30 – 3:15
Dolphins 3:15 – 4:00
Stingrays 4:15 – 5:00
Starfish 5:00 – 5:45

Forestry & Beautification News…

F & B Committee is on hiatus until August 9th.

Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, July 17, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. Meetings are open to the public. Please join us!
The Woods Committee has rescheduled our monthly meeting from July 3 to Monday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Council Room due to the July 4th holiday weekend. Meetings are open to the public. We continue our control efforts of non-native invasive plants in the East Woods with initial emphasis on wisteria and bush honeysuckle. We had anticipated die-off and decomposition of these invasive plants following treatments last month so some areas of the East Woods are much browner than usual. We also continue discussions on controlling deer over-browsing to support reforestation as outlined in the 2015 Forest Stewardship Plan. The Woods Committee is responsible for protecting the East and West Woods as our Town’s Forest Preserve in accordance with the Town’s Master Plan.

Woman’s Club News…

July 13th Wildlife talk by Dr.Patty Klein
Kids…bring your parents!
One of the many joys of living in Washington Grove is that we have our very own wildlife veterinarian! And at our Thursday, July 13th meeting, Dr. Patty is going to tell us about working with that wildlife, and has some great “show and tell” things, too. Make this a family evening…come to the Clubhouse at 7:00 PM to hear this very special talk.

Community Outreach
Again, this summer we’re going to focus on Community Outreach, with our annual Gude Men’s Shelter project. We’ll be collecting much needed new white socks, along with those travel sized bottles of shampoo & conditioner, mouth wash, soap, etc. In October, we’ll be putting them into individual bags for the men. You can drop off any donations in the decorated cans on Wendy Weisbard’s porch (119 Grove Road) or in the plastic bin on the Woman’s Club porch.

We’re also beginning our annual Coats, Hats, Scarves and Other Winter Wear Drive to help ensure the less fortunate children of Washington Grove Elementary School do not suffer a winter without adequate outerwear. These items can also be left in the plastic bin on the Club porch.

Annual Woman’s Club Potluck
Save The Date for our always popular Annual Woman’s Club’s Potluck Supper on Friday night, September 22nd from 6:30 on, at the Clubhouse!

New Town Directories
The 2017 to 2019 Washington Grove Directory is available for purchase. Once again, the price will be $3 each or two for $5. Call Marilynn Frey 301-926-0867 or the Town Office 301-926-2256.

General Information

Muskrat Band Members Find Your Instruments!

The Muskrat Band will, once again, march in the 4th of July festivities. All are welcome to join in the fun. Meet at 203 Grove Ave. at 11:00 AM. Please contact Kathy Lehman, 301-926-1253 or [email protected] for additional details

Emergency Preparedness Committee
Next Meeting: Thursday, July 27, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All are welcome to attend.

To drive 15 and enjoy the scene or not to drive 15 and enjoy the scene. That is the question….

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., July 12, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

July 4th Festivities Schedule
Saturday, July 1st 11:00 a.m., Annual pickup softball game for all-ages in Woodward Park.
Bring gloves and bats if you have them.

Saturday, July 1st ; 4:00 p.m.: Potluck supper at Maple Lake. Hot Dogs and paper products provided. BYOB and a side to share.

Tuesday, July 4th:

  • 11:00 a.m., Costume Judging in Woodward Park
  • Noon, Flag Raising and Parade to McCathran Hall; prizes, popsicles, bell-ringing, singing
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