Bethesda holds a special place in history. It has been given the status of a census designated place which differentiates it from other population centers.
The story of Bethesda is exciting and very deep. This trivia will however offer a brief insight on Bethesda and how it became as it is today. This article is an effort to explain how a quiet country station actually transformed into one national leader for education, achievement and also high quality of life in a matter of a few decades only.
The Early Province Of Maryland
A number of early landowners in Maryland were referred to as absentee landlords who had very little interest in improving their territories or living on them. Land ownership was very much expensive because there was a tax on holding land regardless of the productivity of the land. This particular aspect made settlement in Maryland quiet expensive because other towns were taxing lands in proportion to productivity.
Tenant farmers were usually considered the solution to the expensive land holding and mostly Scottish, Welsh and English farmers were the first ones to till the soil in Maryland. Tobacco happened to be the key crop in the region and has a history of cultivation for more than a full century. Because tobacco extracted all the nutrients in the land quickly, colonists pushed northwest to find fertile soil and this migration actually led to the first ever land grant in Bethesda in the year 1694.
Suburban Growth in Bethesda
William Darcy was one of the most notable names in Bethesda owning one of the limited commercial establishments in the region. William was also a postmaster and the roads between the turnpikes leading from Georgetown to Fredrick were known as Darcy’s store. A few years later Robert Franck took over William Darcy’s responsibilities as a postmaster and relocated the post office. Franck also truncated the name of the biblical Pool of Bethesda to Bethesda and won the anecdote a very concrete place in the history of the town.
The railroad charter was cleared in 1873 and in the same year a railroad line from northwest-southeast came into existence in the area. The train was what offered the very first opportunity to allow suburban development in the county and allowed residents from Washington DC to come and enjoy the fresh air in the region. It also gave a chance to urban business entrepreneurs to carve suburban subdivisions in the property and real estate adjacent to the rail.
In 1910, B&O Railroad arrived in Bethesda. This was a freight only train but it certainly did bring commercial growth in the area and new coal yards, planning mill, lumber yards and also ice plants came into existence at the Bethesda station.
The Modern Day Bethesda
It won’t be wrong to say that it was the advancement in transportation that actually transformed the wayward countryside into the bustling metropolis Bethesda has become today. In 1912 after the railroad setup had been consolidated in the region, a new community at 185 acres of land was set up by Walter E. Tuckerman for those who wanted to experience a raised standard of living in the region.
Between 1930s and 1940s Bethesda’s population doubled and so did the opportunities in the area. Haphazard appearances of the commercial areas were aligned with the modern day infrastructure and plazas were erected to accommodate the every growing commercial need.
Bethesda experienced a boom in its development after World War II. The first metro station for the county opened in 1984 and it was then that Bethesda becomes one of the most sought after communities in the region as it now offered exponential growth for commercial and residential setups.