Rockville, Maryland

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Rockville, Maryland
City
City of Rockville
Downtown Rockville in 2001, the Montgomery County Judicial Center in 2010, the Rockville Town Square in 2010, the Beall-Dawson House in 2005, and downtown Rockville in 2008.
Downtown Rockville in 2001, the Montgomery County Judicial Center in 2010, the Rockville Town Square in 2010, the Beall-Dawson House in 2005, and downtown Rockville in 2008.
Flag of Rockville, Maryland
Flag
Official seal of Rockville, Maryland
Seal
Motto: "Get Into It"[1]
Location in the U.S. state of Maryland
Location in the U.S. state of Maryland
Coordinates: 39°5′1″N 77°8′54″W / 39.08361°N 77.14833°W / 39.08361; -77.14833Coordinates: 39°5′1″N 77°8′54″W / 39.08361°N 77.14833°W / 39.08361; -77.14833
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
County Montgomery
Settled 1717
Founded 1803
Incorporated 1860
Government
 • Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton (I)[2]
Area[3]
 • City 13.57 sq mi (35.15 km2)
 • Land 13.51 sq mi (34.99 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation 451 ft (137 m)
Population (2010)[4]
 • City 61,209
 • Estimate (2012[5]) 63,244
 • Density 4,530.6/sq mi (1,749.3/km2)
 • Metro 5,306,565
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 301, 240
FIPS code 24-67675
GNIS feature ID 0586901
Website www.RockvilleMD.gov

Rockville is a city located in the central region of Montgomery County, Maryland. It is the county seat and is a major incorporated city of Montgomery County and forms part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The 2010 United States Census tabulated the Rockville's population at 61,209, making it the third largest incorporated city in Maryland, behind Baltimore and Frederick. Rockville is the largest incorporated city in Montgomery County, Maryland, although the nearby census-designated place of Germantown is more populous.[6]

Rockville, along with neighboring Gaithersburg and Bethesda, is at the core of the Interstate 270 Technology Corridor which is home to numerous software and biotechnology companies as well as several federal government institutions. The city also has several upscale regional shopping centers and is one of the major retail hubs in Montgomery County.

History[edit]

The Rockville Town Square, as seen from East Middle Lane in May 2010.

Situated in the Piedmont region and crossed by three creeks (Rock Creek, Cabin John Creek, and Watts Branch), Rockville provided an excellent refuge for semi-nomadic Native Americans as early as 8000 BC. By the first millennium BC, a few of these groups had settled down into year-round agricultural communities that exploited the native flora, including sunflowers and marsh elder. By AD 1200, these early groups (dubbed Montgomery Indians by later archaeologists) were increasingly drawn into conflict with the Senecas and Susquehannocks who had migrated south from Pennsylvania and New York. Within the present-day boundaries of the city, six prehistoric sites have been uncovered and documented, and borne artifacts several thousand years old. By the year 1700, under pressure from European colonists, the majority of these original inhabitants had been driven away.

The indigenous population carved a path on the high ground, known as Sinequa Trail, which is now downtown Rockville. Later, the Maryland Assembly set the standard of 20 feet for main thoroughfares and designated the Rock Creek Main Road or Great Road to be built to this standard. In the mid-18th century, Lawrence Owen opened a small inn on the road. The place, known as Owen's Ordinary, took on greater prominence when, on April 14, 1755, Major General Edward Braddock stopped at Owen's Ordinary on a start of a mission from George Town (now Washington, D.C.) to press British claims of the western frontier. The location of the road, near the present Rockville Pike, was strategically located on higher ground making it dry year-round.[7]:6–9

The first land patents in the Rockville area were obtained by Arthur Nelson between 1717 and 1735. Within three decades, the first permanent buildings in what would become the center of Rockville were established on this land. Still a part of Prince George's County at this time, the growth of Daniel Dulaney's Frederick Town prompted the separation of the western portion of the county, including Rockville, into Frederick County in 1748.

The Beall-Dawson House, on West Montgomery Avenue near Rockville Town Center in January 2005. Built in 1815, the home was owned by Upton Beall, Clerk of the Montgomery County Court.

Being a small, unincorporated town, early Rockville was known by a variety of names, including Owen's Ordinary, Hungerford's Tavern, and Daley's Tavern. The first recorded mention of the settlement which would later become known as Rockville dates to the Braddock Expedition in 1755. On April 14, one of the approximately two thousand men who were accompanying General Braddock through wrote the following: "we marched to larance Owings or Owings Oardianary, a Single House, it being 18 miles and very dirty." Owen's Ordinary was a small rest stop on Rock Creek Main Road (later the Rockville Pike), which stretched from George Town to Frederick Town, and was then one of the largest thoroughfares in the colony of Maryland.

A stone marker on the corner of Vinson Street and Maryland Avenue in May 2010. It was originally placed there in 1803 when Rockville's streets were laid out. "BR" stands for "Beginning of Rockville".

On September 6, 1776, the Maryland Constitutional Convention agreed to a proposal introduced by Thomas Sprigg Wootton wherein Frederick County, the largest and most populous county in Maryland, would be divided into three smaller units. The southern portion of the county, of which Rockville was a part, was named Montgomery County. The most populous and prosperous urban center in this new county was George Town, but its location at the far southern edge rendered it worthless as a seat of local government. Rockville, a small, but centrally located and well-traveled town, was chosen as the seat of the county's government. Thereafter, the village was referred to by all as Montgomery Court House.

Downtown Rockville in 2001.

In 1784, William Prather Williams, a local landowner, hired a surveyor to lay out much of the town. In his honor, many took to calling the town Williamsburgh. In practice, however, Williamsburgh and Montgomery Court House were used interchangeably. Rockville came to greater prominence when Montgomery county was created and later when George Town was ceded to the federal government to create the District of Columbia.[7]

On July 16, 1803, when the area was officially entered into the county land records, however, the name used was "Rockville," believed to be derived from Rock Creek.[8] Nevertheless, the name Montgomery Court House continued to appear on maps and other documents through the 1820s.

By petition of Rockville's citizens, the Maryland General Assembly incorporated the village on March 10, 1860. During the American Civil War, General George B. McClellan stayed at the Beall Dawson house in 1862. In addition, General J.E.B. Stuart and an army of 8,000 Confederate cavalrymen marched through and occupied Rockville on June 28, 1863 while on their way to Gettysburg and stayed at the Prettyman house. Jubal Anderson Early had also crossed through Maryland on his way to and from his attack on Washington. A monument to the Confederate soldier is hidden behind the old courthouse building [9][10] The monument was dedicated on June 3, 1913 at a cost of $3,600.

The Rockville Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station in January 2006. It was built in 1873.

In 1873, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad arrived, making Rockville easily accessible from Washington, D.C. (See Metropolitan Branch.) In July 1891, the Tennallytown and Rockville Railway inaugurated Rockville's first trolley service connecting to the Georgetown and Tennallytown Railway terminus at Western Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue.

This provided service from Georgetown to Rockville, connecting Rockville to Washington, D.C. by trolley. Trolley service operated for four decades, until, eclipsed by the growing popularity of the automobile, service was halted in August 1935. The Blue Ridge Transportation Company provided bus service for Rockville and Montgomery County from 1924 through 1955. After 1955, Rockville would not see a concerted effort to develop a public transportation infrastructure until the 1970s, when the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began work to extend the Washington Metro into Rockville and extended Metrobus service into Montgomery County. The Rockville station of Washington Metro began service on July 25, 1984, and the Twinbrook station began service on December 15, 1984. Metrobus service was supplemented by Montgomery County's own Ride On bus service starting in 1979. MARC, Maryland's Rail Commuter service, serves Rockville with its Brunswick line. From Rockville MARC provides service to Union Station in Washington D.C. (southbound) and, Frederick and Martinsburg, West Virginia (northbound), as well as intermediate points. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service from Rockville to Chicago and Washington D.C.

The mid-20th century saw substantial growth in Rockville, especially with the annexation of the Twinbrook subdivision in 1949, which added hundreds of new homes and thousands of new residents to the city. In 1954, Congressional Airport closed, and its land was sold to developers to build residences and a commercial shopping center.[11] The shopping center, named Congressional Plaza, opened in 1958.[12] These new areas provided affordable housing and grew quickly with young families eager to start their lives following World War II.

During the Cold War, it was considered safer to remain in Rockville than to evacuate during a hypothetical nuclear attack on Washington, D.C. Bomb shelters were built, including the largest one at Glenview Mansion and 15 other locations. The I-270 highway was designated as an emergency aircraft landing strip. Two Nike missile launcher sites were located on Muddy Branch and Snouffer School Roads until the mid-1970s.[7]:163

From the 1960s, Rockville's town center, formerly one of the area's commercial centers, suffered from a period of decline. Rockville soon became the first city in Maryland to enter into a government funded urban renewal program. This resulted in the demolition of most of the original business district. Included in the plan was the unsuccessful Rockville Mall, which failed to attract either major retailers or customers and was demolished in 1994, various government buildings such as the new Montgomery County Judicial Center, and a reorganization of the road plan near the Courthouse. Unfortunately, the once-promising plan was for the most part a disappointment. Although efforts to restore the town center continue, the majority of the city's economic activity has since relocated along Rockville Pike (MD Route 355/Wisconsin Avenue). In 2004, Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo announced plans to renovate the Rockville Town Square, including building new stores and housing and relocating the city's library. In the past year, the new Rockville Town Center has been transformed and includes a number of boutique-like stores, restaurants, condominiums and apartments, as well as stages, fountains and the Rockville Library.[13] The headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service is on Montrose Road while the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's headquarters is just south of the City's corporate limits.

The city is closely associated with the neighboring towns of Kensington and the unincorporated census-designated place, North Bethesda. The Music Center at Strathmore, an arts and theater center, opened in February 2005 in the latter of these two areas and is presently the second home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville Civic Center Park has provided diverse entertainment since 1960. In 1998, Regal Cinemas opened in Town Center.[7]:217. The city also has a brass band in the British style. The REM song "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville", released in 1984, was written by Mike Mills about not wanting his girlfriend to return to Rockville, Maryland.

Geography[edit]

Boundaries of Rockville as of 2004

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.57 square miles (35.15 km2), of which, 13.51 square miles (34.99 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.[3]

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rockville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[14]

Population History[edit]

1940=2,047

1950=6,934

1960=26,090

1970=42,739

1980=43,811

1990=44,835

2000=47,388

2010=61,209

Demographics[edit]

In addition to North Potomac with a 27.59% Asian population and Potomac with close to 15%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rockville is home to one of the largest Chinese communities in Maryland.[citation needed] According to the U.S. Census conducted in 2000, 14.5% of North Potomac's residents identified themselves as being of Chinese ancestry, making North Potomac the area with the highest percentage of Chinese ancestry in any place besides California and Hawaii.[citation needed] According to the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) enrollment demographic statistics, the two high schools in Montgomery County with the highest reported Asian ancestry are Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, MD with a 32.1% Asian population and caters to the communities in North Potomac, Rockville, and Potomac, MD, and Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD with a 23.0% Asian population.[15][16][citation needed] Although North Potomac and Potomac have the highest concentration of Asian population in Maryland, the areas are largely residential and consist of suburban subdivisions. Thus, the more commercially favorable Rockville has become the center for Chinese/Taiwanese businesses since it is the county seat of Montgomery County and has large economic activity along Rockville Pike/Wisconsin Avenue (MD Route 355) in addition to having its own middle class and upscale residential areas. Rockville is widely considered to be a "Little Taipei" due to the area's high concentration of Taiwanese immigrants.[citation needed]

Rockville is also the center of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area's Jewish population, containing several synagogues, kosher restaurants, and the largest of the Washington area's three Jewish community centers, part of a complex which includes a Jewish nursing home, day school, theater, and educational facility. There are also high percentages of Jewish population in the surrounding areas of North Potomac and Potomac, which are largely residential and not as commercially suitable as Rockville. The city also has large Korean and Indian populations.[citation needed]

The median income for a household in the city as of 2007 is $86,085. As of 2007, the median income for a family was $98,257.[17] Males have a median income of $53,764 versus $38,788 for females. The per capita income for the city is $30,518. 7.8% of the population and 5.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.9% of those under the age of 18 and 7.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 61,209 people, 23,686 households, and 15,524 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,530.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,749.3 /km2). There were 25,199 housing units at an average density of 1,865.2 per square mile (720.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.4% White (52.8% non-Hispanic white), 9.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 20.6% Asian, 5.3% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.3% of the population.

There were 23,686 households of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.5% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.08.

The median age in the city was 38.7 years. 21.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.1% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 14% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.

Economy[edit]

Adventist HealthCare, the American Kidney Fund, Choice Hotels, Emergent BioSolutions, Human Genome Sciences, Westat, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Bethesda Softworks and Goodwill Industries are headquartered in Rockville.

Largest employers[edit]

According to the city's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[18] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Montgomery County 4,985
2 Montgomery County Public Schools 2,500
3 Lockheed Martin Information Systems 2,000
4 Westat 2,000
5 Booz Allen Hamilton 1,282
6 Montgomery College 955
7 Quest Software 784
8 BAE Systems 650
9 City of Rockville 540
10 Giant 416

Sports[edit]

Government[edit]

Rockville has a council-manager form of government.[20]

Mayor[edit]

The Rockville City Hall in May 2010.

The current Mayor of Rockville is Bridget Donnell Newton. She is serving her first term as a Rockville mayor. Previous mayors include:[2]

Mayors of Rockville
Name Tenure Party Notes
William V. Bouic[2] 1888-1890[2]
Daniel F. Owens[2] 1890[2]
William V. Bouic[2] 1890-1891[2]
Hattersley W. Talbott[2] 1892-1893[2]
Jacob Poss[2] 1893-1894[2]
John G. England[2] 1894-1896[2]
Joseph Reading[2] 1896-1898[2]
Spencer C. Jones[2] 1898-1901[2]
Hattersley W. Talbott[2] 1901-1906[2]
Lee Offutt[2] 1906-1916[2]
Willis Burdette[2] 1916-1918[2]
Lee Offutt[2] 1918-1920[2]
O. M. Linthicum[2] 1920-1924[2]
Charles G. Holland[2] 1924-1926[2]
J. Roger Spates[2] 1926-1932[2]
Douglas Blandford[2] 1932-1946[2]
G. LaMar Kelly[2] 1946-1952[2]
Daniel Weddle[2] 1952-1954[2]
Dickran Y. Hovsepian[2] 1954-1958[2]
Alexander J. Greene[2] 1958-1962[2]
Frank A. Ecker[2] 1962-1968[2]
Achilles M. Tuchtan[2] 1968-1972[2]
Matthew J. McCartin[2] 1972-1974[2]
William E. Hanna, Jr.[2] 1974-1982[2]
John R. Freeland[2] 1982-1984[2]
Viola D. Hovesepian[2] 1984-1985[2] Was appointed mayor.[2]
Steven Van Grack[2] 1985-1987[2]
  Douglas M. Duncan[2] 1987-1993[2] D-MD[2]
James Coyle[2] 1993-1995[2]
Rose G. Krasnow[2] 1995-2001[2]
Larry Giammo[2] 2001-2007[2]
Susan R. Hoffmann[2] 2007-2009[2]
  Phyllis R. Marcuccio[2] 2009-2013[2] I-MD[2]
  Bridget Donnell Newton[2] 2013-present[2] [2]

Representative body[edit]

Rockville has a four-member City Council, whose members, along with the Mayor, serve as the governing body of the city. The Council members for the 2013 to 2015 session are Beryl L. Feinberg, Virginia Onley, Tom Moore, and Julie Palakovich Carr.

Departments and offices[edit]

The city manager oversees the following departments:

  • Community Planning and Development Services
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Information and Technology
  • Police
  • Public Works
  • Recreation and Parks[21]

Law enforcement[edit]

The city is serviced by the Rockville City Police Department and is aided by the Montgomery County Police Department as directed by authority.[22]

Education[edit]

Rockville is served by Montgomery County Public Schools. Public high schools in Rockville include Thomas S. Wootton High School, Richard Montgomery High School, and Rockville High School.

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy and the Montrose Christian School, among other private schools, are located in Rockville.

Institutions of higher education in Rockville include Montgomery College (Rockville Campus), The University of Maryland University College (main campus is in Adelphi, Maryland), The Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus (main campus is in Baltimore, Maryland), and the Universities at Shady Grove, a collaboration of nine Maryland public degree-granting institutions, all have Rockville addresses, but are outside the city limits.

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

The Red Line of the Washington Metro rail system services the Rockville station and the Twinbrook station. The Rockville station is located at Hungerford Drive near Park Road. The Twinbrook station is located near Rockville Pike and Halpine Road with entrances on Chapman Avenue.

At the same location as the Rockville metro station is Rockville Station on the Brunswick Line of the MARC commuter rail system, which runs to and from Washington, DC.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides intercity train service to Rockville. The city's passenger rail station is located at 251 Hungerford Drive (at Park Road), ZIP code 20850; this is also the location of the MARC station described above.

  • Amtrak Train 29, the westbound Capitol Limited, is scheduled to depart Rockville daily with service to Pittsburgh and overnight service to Chicago.
  • Amtrak Train 30, the eastbound Capitol Limited, is scheduled to depart Rockville at 12:30pm on its return to Washington Union Station.

Sister cities[edit]

Rockville has one sister city:

It has a "friendship relationship" (a step preliminary to a sister-city relationship) with another city:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City of Rockville, Maryland". City of Rockville, Maryland. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv State of Maryland (February 25, 2013). "Rockville Mayors, Montgomery County, Maryland". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  5. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  6. ^ Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Maryland's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting. Accessed 2011.04.12.
  7. ^ a b c d McGuckian, Eileen S. (2001). Rockville: Portrait of a City. Franklin, Tennessee: Hillsboro Press. ISBN 1-57736-235-7. 
  8. ^ "Profile for Rockville Maryland, MD". ePodunk. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ Rockville Civil War Monument - Rockville, MD - American Civil War Monuments and Memorials on Waymarking.com
  10. ^ Confederate Soldier Monument Rockville, Maryland
  11. ^ "Congressional Airport Sold For Dwellings". The Washington Post. April 4, 1954. p. M6. 
  12. ^ Goodman, S. Oliver (May 1, 1958). "New Rockville Shop Center Is Dedicated". The Washington Post. p. C14. 
  13. ^ Transforming Rockville Town Center http://www.rockvillemd.gov/towncenter/
  14. ^ Climate Summary for Rockville, Maryland
  15. ^ http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/regulatoryaccountability/glance/fy2004/schools/04234.pdf
  16. ^ "Winston Churchill High School - #602". 
  17. ^ "Rockville city, Maryland". U.S. Census Bureau. 
  18. ^ City of Rockville CAFR
  19. ^ The Black-Eyed Suzies, Free State's founding team, was founded in November 2009. FSRD welcomes women of all ages and skating levels to participate in this unique sport."
  20. ^ "FAQ - Council-Manager Form of Government". City of Rockville. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  21. ^ "Rockville City Government Organization". City of Rockville. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  22. ^ "Rockville City Police". [dead link]
  23. ^ "Rockville Sister City Corporation". 
  24. ^ "Gazette - Rockville to welcome another Sister City: Jiaxing, China". 

External links[edit]