301-926-2256 [email protected]


Next meeting: Monday, March 20, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

Town Elections

Nominations for Mayor and Council should be sent to Chair Meredith Horan at P.O. Box 337 or 127 Maple Ave. There is still time for more nominations. The candidate must agree to being nominated and have been a Town resident for at least two (2) years for the position as Mayor and for at least one (1) year for Town Council. So far, the nominees are;

Mayor (1-year term) Joli McCathran
Council (3-year term) Audrey Maskery
Council (3-year term) vacant

Budget Work Session

The Budget Work Session has been scheduled for Monday, March 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
From the Mayor…

Drive 15, Enjoy the Scene!
I want to express deep appreciation to those of you who are slowing down and driving the 15 mph in Washington Grove. I hope the difference I am seeing continues. Please remember to drive like your children live here! And thank you.

Town Road & Walkway Signs
The Town is investigating signage for our roads and walkways. Our Maintenance Staff has almost exhausted the signs in stock. The wooden signs are rotting and need to be replaced. The Town Council is seeking input from the Planning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Emergency Preparedness Committee to seek out concerns about visibility, safety for pedestrians, drivers and emergency response teams, and the historic nature of the signs. Different materials are being researched to find which will work in the best interest of the Town while preserving our historic streetscapes. Susan Van Nostrand and Margo Bohan are spearheading a committee to research this topic. If you are interested in being a part of this effort, please contact me.

Update Your House Number
This is also a good opportunity to look and perhaps update your own house signs. The Montgomery County Fire Department recommends to include your street name along with the number of your house. Reflective material is important to consider in labeling your house.

Maple Lake Bill
This past year was the first with our new Maple Lake bill in place. I want to thank the Lake Committee, chaired by John Hutchinson, and the Committee’s dedication to help us keep up one of our most precious resources in Town. Last year went very smoothly and I have every reason to believe this will continue in 2017.

In February, Charlie Challstrom was appointed to serve as a member of the Montgomery Municipal Channel Board. Their mission is to increase community awareness by airing municipal, educational, and social events within municipalities they serve. If you wish to enjoy such coverage, tune into Cable Channel 16. Thank you Charlie.
Joli A. McCathran

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., March 1, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend.

The Planning Commission meets on the first Wednesday of each month. The April meeting date is April 5, 2017.

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 March 1, 2017:

  • 114 Ridge Rd. addition
  • 304 Chestnut Ave. window wells

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 21, 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.

“Growing Better”
The full title of this newspaper article of June 2, 1903, is Washington Grove Meeting, Many Improvements Have Been Made by the Association. Acknowledgement of the author is listed only as “Special to the Washington Post.” To one following the development of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association since its inception in 1873 as a religious endeavor, through the societal changes of the 1890s and early 1900s, this news would most likely have brought a sense of relief, most likely along with an “isn’t it about time?” attitude.

The challenges facing the Association in these earlier years were many: ill-kept stock records and delinquent stockholders, unsanitary conditions and storm water management problems of the camp, a weakening religious fervor, and concerns for demoralizing conduct.

The intense power and generational struggle within the Association throughout this time frame is described quite eloquently by Philip K. Edwards in his book, Washington Grove 1873-1937. In the chapter titled “A Classic Struggle,” Mr. Edwards quotes from Association records which are frequently written in a blunt and frank manner. The struggle was indeed a “classic,” and the story is filled with dramatic and surprising details. (Dig out your copy and read about ‘election shenanigans’ and ‘trouble within the ranks’ Pages 137-151.)

In 1903, however, positive change was underway. Our Post writer (always unknown it seems) described this stockholders’ meeting on May 30, 1903, as “largely attended and enthusiastic” and that the financial report “showed a healthy condition of the treasury, with a good cash balance in hand.” The professionally printed financial statement distributed to the stockholders states the “. . . assessments of the Association we are pleased to note are, with one or two exceptions, paid up to date, the first time such a business condition has existed in many years.”

The originals kept here in the Town’s archives are beautifully handwritten, and the financial portions have an auditor’s certification that ends with the words “. . . found them well and faithfully and correctly kept.” The records were indeed well kept, with every stockholder’s name entered in alphabetical order and the amount they owed and paid. Assessments ranged from $1.12 to $16 in 1903. (And yes, those numbers are correct.)

The Post writer goes on: “Many noticeable improvements have been made at the grove during the year, the widening and surfacing of Grove avenue, the renovation of the association store, and added conveniences at the hall being especially noteworthy.”

Henry. L. Strang, the Association president, reported in his annual statement to the stockholders at this same May 30, 1903 annual meeting, that the store was “opened by Mr. B. S. Pendleton, a grocer of experience who comes to us well recommended . . . who promises to keep all the good things to eat usually found in a first class store . . . kindly give him your patronage.”

And regarding the hotel, Mr. Strang added this: “The Hotel is under the same efficient management of last year. Mrs. May C. Jones has demonstrated her ability and fitness to cater satisfactorily to the exacting public. It behooves every stock holder to endorse our hotel and recommend it to inquirers.”

Both the Post writer and Mr. Strang refer to Chautauqua. The Post author reports that “The Chautauqua committee, through its chairman, Mr. W. H. H. Smith, presented the programme of events for the season. Many distinguished entertainers and educators are on the list.” Mr. Strang, however, in his annual report, approaches the subject from a different angle. He delights in the “great revival of interest in the Grove due to its attractiveness . . .” and attributes this to the Chautauqua movement. He boasts that there was a great “. . . demand for cottages leaving at this writing but three cottages that are not taken and perhaps a hundred applicants disappointed who were not able to secure a dwelling place.” Mr. Strang suggested “that authority be given the board of trustees to open Maple Avenue from Brown to Oak Street whenever the demand will justify the expenditures.” This would allow for more cottages to be built.

The Post article ends with a list of the men who were elected to the Board of Trustees for the upcoming year and a reference also to the cottages:
“The following trustees were selected to serve one year: President, Henry L. Strang; vice president, Robert Cohen; secretary, D. Elmer Wiber; treasurer, Robert L. Baines; H. Maurice Talbort, I. T. Fulks, John N. Bovee, John B. Davis, and I. Cabell Williamson.”
“Messrs. Williamson, Rynex, and Sparrow have erected handsome cottages on the grounds during the past season, the two latter on Chestnut avenue, which is fast being improved.”

Sources: The Washington Post (1877-1922); Jun 3 1903, ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. 5
President’s Reports, May 30, 1903, Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association Archives
Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association Minutes of May 30, 1903, Washington Grove Archives
Edwards, P. (1988) Washington Grove 1873-1937. Washington Grove: Edwards.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., March 15, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room

St. Patrick’s Day Ceili – Friday, March 10
The Blackthorn Ceili Dancers and the Washington Grove Recreation Committee will sponsor a dance at McCathran Hall from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10. Grovers are welcome to join in the dancing or come to enjoy the live music. There will be a potluck supper about halfway through.
Free to Grove residents though contributions to pay the musicians are always welcome!

The Recking Crew is delighted to announce that we have booked a special concert in McCathran Hall on March 14, 2017 by the Grove’s own Sita Strother and her a cappella partners in the New Blue. The show starts at 7 p.m., and is only about 45 minutes, so bring our other talented kids along to enjoy!

Mark Your Calendars…
Details to follow on the Spring Kids/Family Event the first weekend of May. Not to drop too big of a hint, but we promise no last-minute mix-up about the ceremony.

Film Society News…
The last movie of our 2016/2017 series, to be shown on Sunday, March 12, is Mustang. Five spirited sisters in rural Turkey yearn for fun, adventure, and boys, but they face suffocating restrictions imposed by conservative elders. Mustang provides a deeply moving portrait of female empowerment with a cultural twist. Directed by Deniz Gamze Erguven, 2015, Turkey / France / Germany / Qatar, Turkish with English subtitles, 97 minutes. Movie airs at 7 PM, $7 at the door. Discussion to follow the film.

As this year’s film season draws to a close, the Film Society will soon begin to plan for the 2017/2018 season (our 18th season). We welcome ideas for films as well as new members of the committee; we don’t have too many meetings and do have lots of fun talking about movies when we get together. If you are interested, contact Freda Temple (301, 926-3066, [email protected]) or talk to any committee member.

Woman’s Club News…

Birthday Bags and Treasure Chest Rewards Outreach Program.
Once again, we’re asking for donations to both fill Birthday Bags and supply the Treasure Chest with Rewards. These Birthday Bags and Treasure Chest Rewards will be distributed through Interfaith Works, so the County’s neediest children can have something for their birthdays, and so their parents can have a little something to reward them for things well done, or just to make their day a little brighter. Birthday Gifts should be for boys or girls ages 1 to 9, and the values should be about $5. Treasure Chest Rewards can be pencils, erasers or small, party-favor type things, and should have a value of about $1.
We will be collecting these until Thursday, March 16th, when you’re all invited to join us at the Clubhouse at 7:00 PM, for an evening of filling Bags and sorting Rewards, so we can help make life a little better for these children. Even if you can’t help fill the bags, you can always drop off your donations in Wendy Weisbard’s hand-painted cans at 119 Grove Road, or in the plastic bin on the Clubhouse porch.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Wed., March 8, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
Forestry and Beautification Committee will meet on the second Wednesday of each month in March, April, May, September, October and November. Please join us in the Council Room at 7:30 pm to discuss the health of our residential tree canopy and plans for new trees and shrubs. We welcome new members and would love to hear your ideas for making our “Town within a Forest” even more beautiful than it is now.

Woods Committee News…
Next Meeting: Monday, March 6, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

Maple Lake News…

First Meeting of the Season: Thursday, March 16, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.
LAKE CLEAN UP DAY! April 22, 2017 10:00 am
Details to follow in the April Town Bulletin.

Geese Visitors at Maple Lake
We are using the Humane Society’s protocol again to humanely prevent eggs from hatching this spring. In the past several years a pair of geese has nested in an area easily accessible to our egg-oiling team. They drive away the other geese during nesting season and then leave when their eggs do not hatch. Please do not feed or harass the nesting pair or disturb the nest. If you see a nest built, please call Ann Philips or John Hutchinson. We encourage visitors to the lake to take along a plastic bag and scoop droppings. THANKS!

Lifeguards Needed for Maple Lake This Summer
We have a couple of applicants, but need one or two more lifeguards. Hours are from 12-6, seven days a week. Lifeguards must be certified in Lifesaving, CPR, and First Aid. (We can help you pay for the training.) Pay is $10 to $12 per hour. Call John Hutchinson at 301-926-8767, for details.

Emergency Preparedness Committee

Next Meeting: Thurs., March 23, 2017; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room
Register for a CPR Class!
The Emergency Preparedness Committee is offering Washington Grove residents a community awareness CPR/AED/Choking class on Saturday April 22nd in McCathran Hall at 1PM. This 3-hour NON-CERTIFICATE class is offered to us by the Gaithersburg Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Department Fireman’s Fund. The cost is $10/person, scholarships available if needed. Please register with payment or scholarship request through the Town Office. The class is limited to the first 10 people to register. If there is more interest, we will schedule a repeat session next time and we will establish a waiting list. This is a community outreach function of GWGVFD and coordinates with our purchase and installation of an AED device in the Town Hall and our purpose of preparing our Town for emergencies.

If you need or want American Heart Association certification, there is a 4-hour monthly class available through GWGVFD.org/cprtraining.cfm on the third Saturday of each month (except August and December) for $75/person in Old Towne Gaithersburg.

Be Prepared: Get a Kit – Make a Plan – Be Informed

Washington Grove Church News…

You are invited to our SPRING FESTIVAL on SATURDAY, APRIL 1st from 9:00 to 3:00. You’ll enjoy the art & craft vendors, “old-fashion” bake sale, plant sale, lunch, games for children and more!

General Information

Recyclable Yard Waste Pick Up Returns
Recyclable yard waste pick up by Potomac Disposal resumes on March 2, 2017. Our trash contractor will pick up recyclable yard waste from your properly marked containers and/or large brown bags. You may also bundle your brush and tie it with twine. Bundles should be no larger than 30” in diameter and 4 feet in length. No individual pieces larger than 4 inches in diameter. Please keep in mind your container is being picked up by a human being and should not be too heavy.

Final Bulk Leaf Pick Up
Per our contract with US Lawns, the spring 2016/17 leaf pick up must be completed by close of business on Friday, March 31, 2017. Residents have one final opportunity to have their spring leaves picked up by the vacuum truck. Please be mindful not to block traffic with leaves on our narrow streets.

Washington Grove Cares Update
Washington Grove Cares connects Town residents who need assistance with neighbors who can provide help at no charge. You can arrange for rides to appointments, ask for prepared meals during a difficult period or get help with grocery shopping. As of late February, 47 Town residents have signed up to participate. All ages can join and can give and receive help.
By now, everyone in Town should have received a magnet with contact information about WG Cares. We encourage you to visit the washingtongrovecares.org website to learn how to volunteer and/or request help, and to join your neighbors in signing up. If you need help getting started or would like a demo of the website, call Mimi Bolotin or Emily Brown at 240-813-3316.

Future Town Bulletins will share updates about the program as well as ideas on how you can make the best use of it.

Summer in the Parks 2017!

Calling all SITP Campers: Kindergarten through 8th grade!
Enroll in camp this summer and make friends and life long memories! This year camp will be held from July 5th through the 28th and we would love to have every child in the Grove with us! We have a fun filled month of July planned, including Lake Days, Field Trips, water games and more! Enrollment forms are due by April 30, 2017! Please visit Summer in the Parks for the electronic enrollment form.

If you are interested in a staff or volunteer position with SITP please visit the Washington Grove Town website for the electronic application.

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