Boyds, Maryland

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Boyds, Maryland is an unincorporated community in rural Montgomery County, Maryland, located about 20miles(30min) north of Washington, DC.[1] Its ZIP Code is 20841.

According to the United States 2010 Census, the ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) for the town of Boyds covers an area of about 26 square miles (67 km2) and has a population of 10,460.[2] Black Hill Regional Park, and most notably Little Seneca Lake, and Seneca Creek State Park in nearby Gaithersburg are part of Boyds.


The community was named for Colonel James Alexander Boyd (1823–1896), a Scottish immigrant who was a construction engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O). He built a temporary village to house construction workers as the B&O built the Metropolitan Branch line after the Civil War. The railroad line began service in 1873. A mill, stores and other businesses were established in the area after the railroad station opened. The B&O opened a brick railroad station in 1887, and demolished it in 1927 to make way for installation of a second track. A wooden station was built as a replacement, but was later taken down.[3] Commuter Rail service (chiefly to Washington, D.C.) is still provided at Boyds by the MARC system.

James Boyd established dairy farms in the area and lived in the town until his death in 1896.[4]

Boyds has until recently been a predominantly rural area. The first phase of modern development occurred in the 1980s, following the creation of the man-made Little Seneca Lake. However, since the 2000 Census, there has been enormous population growth in the zip code - particularly in the areas bordering built-up Germantown and Clarksburg. Large, multi-thousand home developments such as "The Vistas," near the intersection of Route 118 and Richter Farm Road, have rapidly replaced farmland and forest.

More recently, there has been some discussion as to the exact southern boundary of Boyds. Survey maps show that the town's southern boundary runs along Little Seneca Creek. Since the new multi-thousand home developments lie south of this creek, this means that technically these new communities are part of Germantown. In addition, these communities have long been part of Germantown's Master Plan. So, although, the ZIP code of these new communities continues to be 20841 which is served by the Boyds post office, they are not actually part of the town of Boyds.

The racial demographics are: 38.6% white, 9% Hispanic, 13.8% black, 35.3% Asian, 3.3% mixed or other.

Boyds Negro School[edit]

The Boyds Negro School, located at 19510 White Ground Road, was the only public school made for African Americans who lived in the area from 1896-1936. It is also considered a Maryland Historic Site. It is a small, one-room school house, containing a small number of desks, a blackboard, and an authentic potbelly stove, as well as a framed picture of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Subjects taught in the school included spelling, cooking, reading, singing, and weaving.[5] The school was renovated by the Boyds Historical Society in 1989. They filled the building with furnishings which helped make the school look like it did in the early 1900s. It was renovated again in 2006 when termites caused major damage to the wooden floor boards. It reopened on June 28, 2008, one of Montgomery County's annual heritage days.[6] The school is currently open to the public the last Sunday of every month, from 1:00-3:00 PM April through October or upon request.[7]

Boyds Mercantile and Stores[edit]

The first Boyds Country Store was opened in 1873 (the same year that the railroad was connected to the town) and run by Mr. James E. Williams. It served not only as a market of goods for both citizens and passers-bye in Boyds, but also as a meeting place for the townspeople in the afternoon. Colonel Boyd built a second store across the road in 1895. It housed the general store and post office on its first floor and a town hall on the second floor along with a dance hall. As time went by, the town hall became smaller and smaller as the building was used for additional purposes until it was finally torn down for salvageable lumber in the early 1940s. In the evenings families would gather on the front porch of the general store; the parents talking and their children playing out on the lawn in front of the store. After the first country store became vacant in 1946, it was bought in an auction by Mr. Brice P. Selby. He was known to often keep his customers on tab, resulting in not much profit for him and his store. However, he was well known as a kind and generous soul. A third store, known as the Boyds Country Market, exists on Barnesville road across from the site of the old town hall. It was built by Mr. Will Williams in 1933. The first two grocery stores, as well as the town hall, old Hoyle's Mill, and a hardware store were all destroyed in the development of the surrounding area.

A small post office was located at the back of the country store from the early 1930s until 1974, when it was relocated to a new building on Barnesville road, where it still sits today.[8]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Boyds, Maryland
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Soderberg, Susan C. (1998), The Met: A History of the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad, Its Stations and Towns, Germantown, MD: Germantown Historical Society, pp. 51–53 
  4. ^ Clan Boyd Society, International. "Colonel James Alexander Boyd." Accessed December 10, 2008.
  5. ^ Coleman, Margaret: Montgomery County: A Pictorial History, 1984
  6. ^ The Gazette
  7. ^ Boyds Historical Society
  8. ^ Virts, Arthur: Boyds: a Character Study, 2008

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°11′01″N 77°18′46″W / 39.18361°N 77.31278°W / 39.18361; -77.31278