Montgomery County, Maryland
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
|Montgomery County, Maryland|
|Motto: "Gardez Bien"
(English: Watch Well)
Location in the state of Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Richard Montgomery|
|Largest city||Germantown[N 1]|
507 sq mi (1,313 km²)
496 sq mi (1,285 km²)
12 sq mi (31 km²), 2.3%
1,959.2/sq mi (756.2/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern : -5/-4|
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland, situated just to the north of Washington, D.C., and southwest of the city of Baltimore. It is one of the most affluent counties in the United States, and has the highest percentage (29.2%) of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate degrees. The county seat and largest municipality is Rockville; although the census-designated place of Germantown is more populous. As of 2010 the population was 971,777 and the county reached an estimated population of over 1 million residents with the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau update which shows that 1,004,709 residents now live in the county. Most of the county's residents live in unincorporated locales, the most populous of which are Silver Spring, Germantown and Bethesda, though the incorporated cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg are also large population centers. It is a part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
As of 2008, Montgomery County is the second richest county in terms of per capita income in the state of Maryland. As of 2011, it is the 10th richest in the United States, with a median household income of $92,213.
The Maryland state legislature named Montgomery County after Richard Montgomery; the county was created from lands that had at one point or another been part of the Charles, Prince George's and Frederick Counties. The county's nickname of "MoCo" is derived from a portmanteau of "Montgomery" and "County".
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
Montgomery County is an important business and research center. It is the epicenter for biotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region. Montgomery County is the third largest biotechnology cluster in the USA, holding the principal cluster and companies of large corporate size in the state. Biomedical research is carried out by institutions including Johns Hopkins University's Montgomery County Campus (JHU MCC), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Federal government agencies engaged in related work include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Many large firms are based in the county, including Discovery Communications, Coventry Health Care, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Host Hotels & Resorts, Travel Channel, Ritz-Carlton, Robert Louis Johnson Companies (RLJ Cos), Choice Hotels, MedImmune, TV One, BAE Systems Inc, Hughes Network Systems and GEICO.
Other U.S. federal government agencies based in the county include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
Top employers 
According to the County's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers by number of employees in the county are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||U.S. Department of Health and Human Services||29,700|
|2||Montgomery County Public Schools||22,016|
|3||United States Department of Defense||12,690|
|5||United States Department of Commerce||8,250|
Before European settlement, the land now known as Montgomery County was covered in a vast swath of forest crossed by the creeks and small streams that feed the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. A few small villages of the Piscataway, members of the Algonquian people, were scattered across the southern portions of the county. North of the Great Falls of the Potomac, there were few permanent settlements, and the Piscataway shared hunting camps and foot paths with members of rival peoples like the Susquehannocks and the Senecas.
These lands were claimed by Europeans for the first time when George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore was granted the charter for the colony of Maryland by Charles I of England. However, it was not until 1688 that the first tract of land in what is now Montgomery County was granted by the Calvert family to an individual colonist, a wealthy and prominent early Marylander named Henry Darnall. He and other early claimants had no intention of settling their families. They were little more than speculators, securing grants from the colonial leadership and then selling their lands in pieces to settlers. Thus, it was not until approximately 1715 that the first British settlers began building farms and plantations in the area.
These earliest settlers were English or Scottish immigrants from other portions of Maryland, German settlers moving down from Pennsylvania, or Quakers who came to settle on land granted to a convert named James Brooke in what is now Brookeville. Most of these early settlers were small farmers, growing a variety of subsistence crops in addition to the region's main cash crop, tobacco. They transported the tobacco they grew to market through the Potomac River port of Georgetown. Sparsely settled, the area's farms and taverns were nonetheless of strategic importance as access to the interior. General Edward Braddock's army traveled through the county on the way to its disastrous defeat at Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War.
Like other regions of the American colonies, the region that is now Montgomery County saw protests against British taxation in the years before the American Revolution. Following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, representatives of the area helped to draft the new state constitution and began to build a Maryland free of proprietary control. The new state legislature formed Montgomery County from lands that had at one point or another been part of Charles, Prince George's and Frederick Counties, naming it after General Richard Montgomery. The leaders of the new county chose as their county seat an area adjacent to Hungerford's Tavern near the center of the county, which later became Rockville. The newly formed Montgomery County supplied arms, food and forage for the Continental Army during the Revolution, in addition to soldiers.
In 1791, portions of Montgomery County, including Georgetown, were ceded to form the new District of Columbia, along with portions of Prince George's County, Maryland, as well as parts of Virginia that were later returned to Virginia.
In 1828, construction on the C&O Canal commenced and was completed in 1850. Throughout the 19th century, agriculture dominated the economy in Montgomery County, with slaves playing a significant role. In the 1850s, crop production shifted away from tobacco and toward corn. Montgomery County was important in the abolitionist movement, with slave Josiah Henson, who wrote about his experiences in a memoir which became the basis for Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Josiah, the inspiration for the character "Uncle Tom", was a slave in the county and a slave cabin where he is believed to have spent time still stands at the end of a driveway off Old Georgetown Road.
Until 1860, only private schools existed in Montgomery County. Initially, schools for European American students were built, and in 1872 schools for African-Americans were added.
In 1873, the Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opened, with a route between Washington, D.C., and Point of Rocks, Maryland. The railroad spurred development at Takoma Park, Kensington, Garrett Park and Chevy Chase.
On July 1, 1997, Montgomery County annexed a portion of Prince George's County, after residents of Takoma Park, which spanned both counties, voted to be entirely within the more affluent Montgomery County.
In October 2002, the county was the site of several of the Beltway sniper attacks.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,313 km2), of which 496 square miles (1,285 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) is water. Montgomery County lies entirely inside the Piedmont plateau. The topography is generally rolling. Elevations range from a low of near sea level along the Potomac River to about 875 feet in the northernmost portion of the county north of Damascus. Relief between valley bottoms and hilltops is several hundred feet.
Adjacent jurisdictions 
- Frederick County (northwest)
- Howard County (northeast)
- Prince George's County (southeast)
- Washington, D.C. (south)
- Loudoun County, Virginia (west)
- Fairfax County, Virginia (southwest)
National protected areas 
- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (part)
- Clara Barton National Historic Site
- George Washington Memorial Parkway (part)
Montgomery County lies within the northern portions of the humid subtropical climate. It has four distinct seasons. Hot, humid summers and chilly winters are the normal. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with annual totals averaging about 44 inches. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months with about 35 days experiencing thunder in the average year. While heavier precipitation is more common with thunderstorms in the summer, this is the season when droughts are most frequent. Summer precipitation is more variable than in winter.
The mean annual temperature is about 55 degrees F. The average summer afternoon maximum is about 85 F with the morning minimums about 65 F. In winter, the average maximum is about 43 F with the morning minimum about 28 F. Extremes heat waves can produce temperatures around 100 F with extreme cold snaps dropping lows to 0 to -10 F.
The average yearly snowfall for the county ranges from 21" in the southernmost extents to 32" across the northern portions where elevations are highest (850 ft. msl) in the Damascus area.
While infrequent, large snowstorms, called nor'easters (named for the northeast movement along the Atlantic Ocean coast and their strong winds blowing from the northeast) can sometimes paralyze the area. During the record snowy winter of 2009-2010, almost 100 inches of snow was officially reported by a National Weather Service observer in Damascus for the winter. The depth of snow on the ground also reached a all-time historical record of 37 inches during that winter in February 2010.
At the 2010 census, there were 971,777 people residing in the county. The population density was 1,762 per square mile (680 /km2). In 2000, there were 334,632 housing units at an average density of 675 per square mile (261 /km2).
The ethnic makeup of the county, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, was the following:
- 49.3% non-Hispanic White
- 16.6% Black
- 13.9% Asian
- 0.4% Native American
- 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 4.0% Two or more races
- 6.9% Other races
- 17.0% Hispanic or Latino (5.4% Salvadoran, 1.5% Mexican, 1.2% Peruvian, 1.1% Guatemalan), of any race
In 2000, significant national ethnic groups included people of Irish (8.5%), German (8.1%), English (6.8%) and American (5.0%) ancestry according to Census 2000. The county also has a sizable Jewish population, and is home to an increasing number of affluent Indian-Americans, Armenian-Americans and Iranian-Americans.
There were 324,565 households of which 35% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.19.
25.4% of the population was under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.
Montgomery County has the tenth highest median household income in the United States, and the second highest in the state after Howard County as of 2011. The median household income in 2007 was $89,284 and the median family income was $106,093. Males had a median income of $66,415 versus $52,134 for females. The per capita income for the county was $43,073. About 3.3% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
Since the 1970s, the county has had in place a Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) zoning plan that requires developers to include affordable housing in any new residential developments that they construct in the county. The goal is to create socioeconomically mixed neighborhoods and schools so the rich and poor are not isolated in separate parts of the county. Developers who provide for more than the minimum amount of MPDUs are rewarded with permission to increase the density of their developments, which allows them to build more housing and generate more revenue. Montgomery County was one of the first counties in the U.S. to adopt such a plan, but many other areas have since followed suit.
|2012||27.1% 123,353||70.9% 323,400|
|2008||27.1% 118,608||71.5% 314,444|
|2004||32.8% 136,334||65.9% 273,936|
|2000||33.5% 124,580||62.5% 232,453|
|1996||35.2% 117,730||59.4% 198,807|
|1992||33.0% 62,955||55.1% 168,691|
|1988||48.1% 154,191||51.5% 165,187|
|1984||50.1% 146,924||49.7%' 146,036|
|1980||47.2% 125,515||39.8%' 105,822|
Montgomery County was granted a charter form of government in 1948.
The present County Executive/County Council form of government of Montgomery County dates to November 1968 when the voters changed the form of government from a County Commission/County Manager system, as provided in the original 1948 home rule Charter.
The county began with a county commissioner system that kept most of the power in Annapolis. In 1948 voters approved a "Council-Manager" form of government, making Montgomery County the first home-rule county in Maryland. The first six-member council was elected in 1949. Then in 1968, the voters approved a "County Executive-Council" form of government. That change formed an executive branch under the County Executive, and a legislative branch under a seven-member County Council. Instead of a County Manager, there was now a Chief Administrative Officer appointed by the County Executive. That went into effect in 1970, when the first seven-member County Council was elected. Originally all of the council members were elected at large (that is, by all of the voters). Five members were required to reside in their council district. In November 1986, the voters amended the Charter to increase the number of Council seats in the 1990 election from seven to nine. Now five members are elected by the voters of their council district and four are elected at-large. Each voter may vote for five council members; four at-large and one from the district in which they reside.
The Montgomery County Police Department provides county-wide law enforcement services.
County executives 
|James P. Gleason||Republican||1970–1978|
|Charles W. Gilchrist||Democrat||1978–1986|
|Douglas M. Duncan||Democrat||1994–2006|
|Isiah "Ike" Leggett||Democrat||2006—|
Ike Leggett was sworn in on December 4, 2006. He was re-elected on November 2, 2010.
Legislative body 
The last Republican serving on the Montgomery County Council, Howard A. Denis of District 1 (Potomac/Bethesda), was defeated in 2006. The board has since been all-Democratic. The members of the County Council for the 2010-2014 term are:
|President||Roger Berliner||Democratic||1||Poolesville/Potomac/Bethesda/Chevy Chase||2006|
|Vice President||Nancy Navarro||Democratic||4||Wheaton/Glenmont/Aspen Hill/Ashton/Laytonsville||2009|
|Member||Craig L. Rice||Democratic||2||Germantown/Clarksburg/Darnestown/Damascus||2010|
|Member||Valerie Ervin||Democratic||5||Silver Spring/Takoma Park/Burtonsville||2006|
|Member||George L. Leventhal||Democratic||At-Large||At-Large||2006|
Bi-county agencies 
Montgomery and Prince George's Counties share a bi-county planning and parks agency in the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (often referred to as Park and Planning or its initials M-NCPPC by county residents) and a public bi-county water and sewer utility in the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).
Liquor control 
Montgomery County maintains a monopoly on the sale of "hard liquor" alcoholic beverages, while beer and wine may be sold at independently owned stores and at a single location within the county for a store chain. This is similar to several U.S. states. The county is thus referred to as an alcoholic beverage control county.
Cities and towns 
This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:
- 3 Cities:
- 12 Towns:
- Barnesville (incorporated 1888)
- Brookeville (incorporated 1808)
- Chevy Chase (Town of) (incorporated 1918)
- Chevy Chase View (incorporated 1993)
- Chevy Chase Village (incorporated 1910; note that, despite its name, it is a town and not a village.)
- Garrett Park (incorporated 1898)
- Glen Echo (incorporated 1904)
- Kensington (incorporated 1894)
- Laytonsville (incorporated 1892)
- Poolesville (incorporated 1867)
- Somerset (incorporated 1906)
- Washington Grove (incorporated 1937)
- 4 Villages:
Though the three incorporated cities of Gaithersburg, Rockville and Takoma Park lie within its boundaries, the most urbanized areas in the county include such unincorporated areas as Bethesda and Silver Spring.
Occupying a middle ground between incorporated and unincorporated areas are Special Tax Districts, quasi-municipal unincorporated areas created by legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly. They lack home rule authority and must petition the General Assembly for changes affecting the authority of the district. The four incorporated villages of Montgomery County and the town of Chevy Chase View were originally established as Special Tax Districts. Four Special Tax Districts remain in the county:
- Drummond, Village of (1916)
- Friendship Heights and "The Hills" (1914)
- Oakmont (1918)
- Battery Park (1923)
Unincorporated areas are also considered as towns by many people and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local government. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:
- Ashton-Sandy Spring (a combination of the communities of Ashton and Sandy Spring recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
- Aspen Hill
- Cabin John
- Calverton (This CDP is shared between Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.)
- Chevy Chase (Note that this is also the name of an incorporated town)
- Forest Glen
- Friendship Village (This CDP includes the Village of Friendship Heights.)
- Hillandale (This CDP is shared between Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.)
- Kemp Mill
- Montgomery Village
- North Bethesda
- North Kensington
- North Potomac
- Silver Spring
- South Kensington
- Wheaton-Glenmont (a combination of the communities of Wheaton and Glenmont recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
- White Oak
Other unincorporated places:
Montgomery County is approximately bisected northwest-southeast by Interstate 270, a connector linking Interstate 70 with Washington. I-270 divides in North Bethesda with its primary roadway connecting to the eastbound Capital Beltway (Interstate 495), and a spur connecting to southbound I-495 as it approaches Northern Virginia. Another spur highway, Interstate 370, connects Interstate 270 with the Shady Grove Metro station.
A fiercely- and long-contested east-west toll freeway, the Intercounty Connector (Maryland Route 200), also known as the ICC, links Interstate 370 and I-270 with U.S. 29; and Interstate 95 and eventually U.S. 1 in Laurel, Prince George's County. The first portion of the freeway, from I-370 to Georgia Avenue, opened in February 2011, and is now open to I-95.
Roughly paralleling 270 is Maryland Route 355, a surface street known for much of its length as Rockville Pike or simply "The Pike". In its southern reaches it is known as Wisconsin Avenue, while in the north it is known as Frederick Road, or Frederick Ave in Gaithersburg; in the northern half of Rockville (from Town Center north), it is named Hungerford Drive.
Other major routes include Maryland Route 190 (River Road); Maryland Route 97 (Georgia Avenue); Maryland Route 650 (New Hampshire Avenue), Maryland Route 185 (Connecticut Avenue), Randolph Road/Montrose Road, Maryland Route 28 (Darnestown Road, Montgomery Avenue and Norbeck Road), and Maryland Route 27 (Father Hurley Blvd., Ridge Road). U.S. Route 29 parallels the eastern border of the county; first as Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, then Colesville Road, and thence as Columbia Pike through Burtonsville and into Howard County.
The Montgomery County government has strongly supported the use of automated traffic enforcement on county roads. In 2007 this county became the first jurisdiction in Maryland to introduce automated speed cameras on roads with speed limits up to 35 mph, issuing fines of $40 by mail. Red light cameras with fines of $75 are also in use.
A computer system coordinates the setting of 750 traffic lights. In 2009, the computer system failed for a brief period, causing considerable problems.
Montgomery County is served by three passenger rail systems.
The Brunswick line of the MARC commuter rail system makes stops at Silver Spring, Kensington, Garrett Park, Rockville, Washington Grove, Gaithersburg, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, Boyds, Barnesville, and Dickerson, where the line splits into its Frederick and Martinsburg branches.
Both suburban arms of the Red Line of the Washington Metro serve Montgomery County. It follows the CSX right of way to the west, roughly paralleling Route 355 from Friendship Heights to Shady Grove. The eastern side runs between the two tracks of the CSX right of way from Washington Union Station to Silver Spring, and roughly parallels Georgia Avenue, from Silver Spring to Glenmont.
There has been much debate on the construction of two new transitways, both of which are still in the early stages of design. The Purple Line would run "cross-town" connecting nodes in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties near the Beltway; and the Corridor Cities Transitway would provide an extension of the Red Line corridor from Gaithersburg to Germantown and beyond.
The Montgomery County Airpark (FAA GAI, ICAO KGAI), a general aviation facility in Gaithersburg, is the major airport in the county. Davis Airport (FAA Identifier W50), a privately owned airstrip, is located in Laytonsville on Hawkins Creamery Road. Commercial air service is provided at the nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National, Washington Dulles International, and BWI Airports.
Elementary and secondary public schools are operated by the Montgomery County Public Schools. The county is also served by Montgomery College, a public, open access community college. The county has no public university of its own, but the state university system does operate a facility called Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville that provides access to baccalaureate and Master's level programs from several of the state's public universities.
MCPS operates under the jurisdiction of an elected Board of Education. Its current members are:
|Patricia O'Neill (President)||District 3||2010|
|Laura Berthiaume||District 2||2012|
|Christopher S. Barclay (Vice-President)||District 4||2012|
|Judith Docca||District 1||2010|
|Michael A. Durso||District 5||2010|
|John Mannes (Student Member)||At-Large||2013|
|Joshua P. Starr (Superintendent)||2012||-|
Bethesda's Congressional Country Club has hosted the annual AT&T National Golf Tournament as well as the U.S. Open in 2011, marking the third time the event was held there. Previously, neighboring TPC at Avenel hosted the Booz Allen Classic.
Montgomery County is home of the Montgomery County Swim League, a youth (ages 4–18) competitive swimming league composed of ninety teams based at community pools throughout the county.
There are future possibilities of a minor league baseball team forming to play for the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball to represent Montgomery County.
- Although Rockville is the most populous incorporated city in Montgomery County, Germantown, an unincorporated census-designated place, is the most populous locale in the county.
- Morello, Carol; Mellnick, Ted (2012-09-19). "Seven of nation’s 10 most affluent counties are in Washington region". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- US Census Bureau: R1403. Percent of People 25 Years and Over Who Have Completed an Advanced Degree: 2004[dead link]
- American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "Maryland by Place - GCT-PH1-R. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density (geographies ranked by total population): 2000". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- "Montgomery County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". United States Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-01. "Population, 2012 estimate […] 1,004,709"
- "Complete List: America's Richest Counties", Forbes.com, February 2, 2008
- "Montgomery County QuickFacts", September 9, 2009
- Montgomery County, Maryland Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, for the Year ended June 30, 2011
- Offutt, pages 11-13
- Offutt, page 9
- Offutt, pages 18-19
- Offutt, pages 19-21
- Offutt, page 23
- Offutt, page 28
- Offutt, pages 29-30
- Offutt, page 32
- Mary Kay Harper (2009-11-16). "Must have title". Civil War studies.org. The Smithsonian Associates.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Montgomery County, MD Fact Sheet". Census Bureau. 2005-2007.
- "Montgomery County, Maryland: Our History and Government" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- [dead link]
- Spivack, Miranda S. (2007-03-13). "Cameras Deployed To Slow Speeders - washingtonpost.com". washingtonpost.com<!. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- Ashley Halsey III (2009-11-05). "Humming along with technology, until it's not". Washington Post (Washington Post). pp. A1.
- "Davis Airport". Airnav.com. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Montgomery County, Maryland|
- Official website
- Census Incorporated Places and Census Designated Places in Montgomery County, as shown by Maryland Department of Planning
- The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce
- Why Is It Named Montgomery County?
- Montgomery County Documentary produced by WETA-TV
||Frederick County||Howard County|
|Loudoun County, Virginia|
|Fairfax County, Virginia||District of Columbia||Prince George's County|