Place:Brookeville, Montgomery, Maryland, United States


Alt namesBrookvillesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS24001088
Coordinates39.181°N 77.058°W
Located inMontgomery, Maryland, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Brookeville is a town in Montgomery County, Maryland, located north of Washington, D.C., and north of Olney. Brookeville was settled by Quakers late in the 18th century and was formally incorporated as a town in 1808. Historically part of the local agricultural industry, since the 1950s Brookeville has developed rapidly into a suburban community of Washington, D.C. following the construction of the Georgia Avenue toll road. The population was 134 at the 2010 census.

Brookeville is notable as the "United States Capital for a Day" during the War of 1812 when British troops burned Washington D.C., and President James Madison sought refuge in Brookeville on August 26, 1814. During the American Civil War, Brookeville, along with nearby Sandy Spring, was a stop on the underground railroad.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Quakers Richard Thomas and his wife Deborah Brooke founded the town of Brookeville in 1794, and named it after her family. The town was established on land inherited by Deborah Brooke from her father Roger Brooke IV, son of an influential Quaker landholder, James Brooke. At the time, Brooke was the largest landholder in what would become Montgomery County. Thomas also set up a mill, along the Reddy Branch, which cuts through the town.[1] Caleb Bentley opened a store and a post office in 1802, becoming the first postmaster of Brookeville. The town's charter was approved in 1808, though not formally issued until 1890.[2]

Brookeville served as a market town for the agriculture industry in the surrounding area. During the 19th century, Brookeville was home to several mills, the Brookeville Academy (initially a boys' school), a post office, blacksmith's shop, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Salem Methodist Protestant Church, and a number of shops.[3] Newlin's Mill, located on the west side of town, processed high-quality castor oil and ground limestone for plaster. Thomas Mill was located on the east side of town.[2] To transport goods more easily to markets in Washington, D.C., a prosperous farmer established a company in 1849 to build a toll road to connect Brookeville to the Seventh Street Pike. The turnpike was sold to the State of Maryland in 1914, and later became Georgia Avenue.

Brookeville was also home to Thomas Moore, Jr. who, along with Caleb Bentley, was instrumental in creation of the United States Department of Agriculture. Moore is also credited as the inventor of the first refrigerator, and coining the term. He created a portable contraption to transport butter and other products to sell at markets in Washington, D.C. His products commanded a high price, due to the extra freshness of the products at the market. Moore lived near the town, at Longwood Manor, which was built in 1817.[4]

War of 1812

During the War of 1812, when the British burned parts of Washington, D.C., the Federal government and troops fled the capital. President James Madison first fled to Virginia, but then turned north. He arrived in Rockville at 6 p.m. on August 26, 1814, expecting to find General William H. Winder and his troops. They already proceeded on towards Baltimore. Madison continued on eastward and arrived in Brookeville on horseback. Madison reportedly carried with him a strongbox, which contained the entire U.S. treasury.[4] On the night of August 26, he stayed in the home of Caleb Bentley, whose wife Henrietta Thomas was close friends with Dolley Madison.[1]

Madison stayed up all night, dispatching orders, while soldiers remained on guard outside. After the British left Washington, they sailed to nearby Baltimore, where they attacked Fort McHenry and were repulsed. Upon hearing that news, Madison returned to Washington.[4] Madison wrote a note to his wife that morning.

Late 19th century

The Oakley Farm, located on the western edge of Brookeville, thrived during the 18th and 19th centuries. Log cabins, dating from the 1820s, were built on the Oakley/Dorsey farm, to house slaves and later free black families. The Oakley Cabin is now maintained by the Montgomery County Department of Parks. A number of other 18th and 19th century cabins still exist on private property in the Brookeville area.

During the American Civil War, George B. McClellan sent Union troops (First and the Ninth Corps) through Brookeville, on their way to Antietam. This was one of three groups of troops that came from different directions towards Antietam. The Quakers played an instrumental role in aiding escaped slaves on the underground railroad. Nearby Sandy Spring was an important stop. Historians suggest that the Madison House was also used as a stop on the underground railroad during the Civil War. Part of the Madison House once served as the town's post office. A false stone wall in the room hid a staircase that descended in two directions, including into a hidden area in the basement where escaped slaves could hide.[5]

20th century

In 1910, the Salem United Methodist Church was built to replace another church that was destroyed by fire, and the church cemetery has been there since the mid-19th century. By 1900, the mills and shops had shut down, and Brookeville remained a residential town. In 1915, the Bentley family sold the Madison House to Roger Brooke, a leader of the Quaker community. The house later changed hands, owned for some time by Elisha Hall, a principal at the Brookeville Academy, banker Remus Riggs, and Gene Archer, a NBC television personality.[5]

The automobile gave people more mobility and changed the market, with the nearby town of Olney taking prominence over Brookeville.[6] Since the 1950s, Olney has rapidly developed, putting pressure on the community. The Brookeville Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Brookeville's historic designation has helped it retain historic character.

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