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Object ID 1000.117.01
Title 3626 Raymond Street / Section Three Exhibit
Object Name Exhibit
Creator Evelyn Gerson
Description "3626 Raymond Street: History of a House"

"Section Three of The Village of Chevy Chase: History of a Community"



3626 Raymond Street / Section Three exhibit produced by Evelyn Gerson for the Chevy Chase Historical Society.

Exhibit first on display for Chevy Chase Historical Society Gala at 3626 Raymond Street. An expanded version (transcribed here) was created for Section Three's 100 Year Anniversary.


In 1907, the Chevy Chase Land Company deeded Lot 12 in Section Three to Fred J. Leonard. Leonard and his wife, Laura, owned the tract for several years before building an Arts and Crafts four-square-design home on the western half of the land. In 1917, one year after the home's construction, he sold the property to Mr. Allan E. Walker. Since this transaction, thirteen other families, including the current owners, have called 3626 Raymond Street home.



October 29, 1917
Fred & Laura Leonard sell their newly-built home to Allan Walker



July 27, 1918
Allan & Maude Walker sell to Margaret Carroll



July 16, 1929
More than ten years later, Margaret & George Carroll sell to Joy Wills


March 24, 1944
After almost fifteen years of ownership, Joy & Davis Wills sell to Henry Johnson


March 31, 1944
Owning the home for about a week, Henry Johnson sells it to Merritt & Dorothy Lockwood


June 19, 1944
Three months later, the home passes ownership from the Lockwoods to H. Roland Swift


March 8, 1945
Less than a year later, H. Roland Swift sells the home to Sara Duff


August 11, 1955
After living in the home for over 10 years, Sara & Charles Duff sell to Rufus & Dorothy King


September 4, 1956
Rufus & Dorothy King sell the home to Downy & Ellen Rice, Jr. Almost three weeks later, the deal must have fallen through because the Rices sell back to the Kings (September 21, 1956).


February 26, 1957
Rufus & Dorothy King sell the home to Gordon & Margaret Stewart


June 27, 1962
Over five years later, Daniel & Sara Steinberg buy the home from the Stewarts.


June 20, 1968
After almost six years of living in the home, the Steinbergs sell to Arthur & Cynthia Fern. Deed records show that in January of 1982, Cynthia becomes sole owner of the home, and then in 1985, the property becomes part of a trust.


April 29, 1994
Cynthia Fern sells the property to Cheryl Mohr, present owner.


This 1958 ledger from Brookville Market shows that the Stewart family had an expense account with the business while living in this home. The account books also show that the King family remained in the neighborhood, moving a couple of streets over from Raymond to Woodbine.


Photograph (2008.255.29):
Looking East from the Rosemary Street water Tower into Section Three, 1927.
From the Robert A. Truax collection.

This picture, taken from atop of the water tower (once located at the center of the Rosemary Street roundabout) shows the western boundary of Section Three along Connecticut Avenue as well as an eastern view down the entrance of Raymond Street. The houses along Connecticut Avenue are the current addresses of numbers 6707 through 6919, although not all of the structures are presently standing. At the 7000 block of Connecticut Avenue, on the corner of Shepherd Street, a dark wooden structure housed the Chevy Chase United Methodist church but no homes north toward Taylor Street existed.

Postcard (2008.181.18) of Chevy Chase Circle, circa 1911
From the Montgomery County Historical Society.

View down Grafton Street as a streetcar passes Western Avenue.
The fountain, built in honor of the Chevy Chase Land Company's founder,
Senator Francis G. Newlands, was not erected until the 1930s

Photograph (2008.185.08):
Connecticut Avenue Looking South
From Bradley Lane, Circa 1920s
Copied from print lent by
Ara Mesrobian

Notice the Chevy Chase Club's street entrance to the right of the frame, behind the trees.



Photograph (2008.185.06):
View of Connecticut Avenue Looking North from Shepherd Street, Circa 1912.

Most likely, the small white sign in the upper right corner designated the entrance to Taylor Street. Not pictured, but to the immediate right of this frame, would have been the Baptist Church (later to become the Chevy Chase United Methodist Church) and T.W. Perry home at 11 Shepherd Street.


Photograph (1989.13.05):
Capital Traction Company Streetcar on Connecticut Avenue, 1906.
Unknown photographer. Courtesy of William W. Duvall.

Crucial to the Chevy Chase Land Company's successful development of their suburb was an infrastructure that could transport people back and forth from jobs, services, and shopping establishments within the District. The Land Company financed the extension of Connecticut Avenue out to his subdivisions-no small feat with trestle bridges being built over Rock Creek and Klingle Valley-and at the same time partnered with the Rock Creek Railway Company to lay the rails and power lines for electric streetcars. By 1903, the Washington Post reported that streetcars leaving every 15 minutes could transport passengers from the Treasury terminus at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, to Chevy Chase, in about 35 minutes.

In this photo the streetcar is at the corner of East Irving Street, heading south on its way back toward the district. The house in the background, at 5901 Connecticut Avenue, belonged to the Child family, and no longer stands.


Photograph (2008.255.29):
Brookville Road, Looking at the Northeast Corner of Section Three, 1910.
Unknown photographer. Courtesy of the Montgomery Historical Society.

Until the extension of Connecticut Avenue out from the District at the turn of the 20th century, Brookville Road served as one of the major routes connecting farms and homes dotting the countryside from Brookeville, MD to Tennallytown (Tenley Circle), DC. The perspective of this photograph is looking north from in front of La Ferme restaurant.

The property to the right of the road would be the current addresses of 7104-7108 Brookville. Partially hidden in the right-hand side of the frame is "No Gain" (3518 Thornapple Street), the plantation residence built by Zachariah Maccubbin sometime after 1783, and one of the oldest structures in Montgomery County.


Photograph (2008.185.05):
Connecticut Avenue Looking North
From Bradley Lane, Circa 1920s
Copied from print lent by Ara Mesrobian.

Pictured are the cross streets of Rosemary and Raymond, and on the right of the photo, homes presently on the 6800 block of Connecticut Avenue.



Living at 3626 Raymond Street (Formerly, 200 Raymond Street)

Who lived in this home and what did these people do? City directories for both the District of Columbia and Montgomery County, published during the first half of the 20th century, are invaluable sources that give us some clues. These early versions of telephone books list important information such as the occupations of household heads, telephone numbers, and street addresses. Using city directories of this era has its setbacks though, since married women were seldom listed, unless widowed, and it was assumed that they did not work outside of the home.

A lot of important information, however, can be gleaned from this record set. For example, Fred Leonard, original owner of this home, worked as a Service Clerk for the Post Office Department, Allan Walker was President of Fireman's Insurance Company of Washington and Georgetown on G Street, George Carroll sold batteries, and Daniel Steinberg worked for the National Institute of Health.

Moreover, in the case of this home, the number changed from 200 to 3626 some time in the late 1950s-early 1960s, because by 1962, Gordon Stewart was listed at the present address.



Facsimile of A Certificate of Incorporation Of the Citizens' Association of Section Three, Chevy Chase, Maryland, 1912. (1989.02.14)


Facsimile of A Receipt of the Articles of Incorporation by John L. Brunett, Clerk, The Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland , 1912. (1000.117.01h)
The revisions on this working copy were adopted by the Citizen's Association and then filed with the Montgomery County Circuit Court and then forwarded to Annapolis for official retention.


Facsimile of A Petition to Maryland Governor, Phillips Lee Goldsborough, to approve a bill,
"A Special Levy Act for Section III, Chevy Chase, Maryland," 1912. (1000.117.01i)

Twenty-two Section Three residents signed this petition respectfully requesting their local government be allowed to raise revenue for improvements. The fourth name down on the list, F. J. Leonard, owned the undeveloped lot upon which 3626 Raymond Street would be built. Another familiar name, businessman T.W. Perry, lived in a newly-built home at 11 Shepherd Street, now the residence for the pastor of the Chevy Chase United Methodist Church (3805 Shepherd Street).


Photograph (1989.13.01):
Rosemary Circle Water Tower, 1913.
Photo by Lawrence Winnemore,
courtesy of Bill Duvall.

This 130-foot steel and brick water tower stood from 1893-1934. The boy in the picture is Jullien Winnemore.



Madame Khrushchev Visits 3706 Taylor Street, 1959.
The New York Times reported that on Saturday afternoon, September 27, 1959, Nina Petrovna Khrushchev visited the Taylor Street home of State Department employee John Armitage.

Mr. Armitage took Mrs. Khrushchev on a tour of the National Institute of Dry Cleaning in Silver Spring and before leaving, called his wife, Patricia, to let her know they would be unexpectedly dropping by for a visit. Within ten minutes, "she popped some icebox cookies into the oven, began boiling coffee for water…and was greeting the Soviet Premier's wife and a horde of reporters and photographers at her front door."


Photograph (1000.117.01d):
View Down Raymond Street, 1918.
Courtesy Washington Suburban Sanity Commission.

Taken from the Raymond Street intersection with Connecticut Ave, some of Section Three's earliest homes can be seen. On the right are houses that presently occupy the 3800-3700 block, while on the left, the present-day address of 3707 sits on the corner of Raymond and Delaware Streets.


Photograph (2005.25.01):
3626 Raymond Street before Renovation, 1994.
Photo taken by Cherie Mohr.

From this picture we get a sense of what the home's original footprint must have been like in 1916, when Fred and Laura Leonard first moved in.

Recent renovations along with a major addition, designed by the present owner-architect Cherie Mohr, feature state-of-the-art amenities for the modern lifestyle while keeping this home's historical integrity. Open spaces, simple lines, and earth tones evoke the spirit of the early 20th century Art and Crafts movement and remind the visitor how these elements form the foundation for modern building design in America. This seamless integration of old and new has caught the attention of both architects and interior designers, as seen with Home and Design magazine's recent article about this special house.


Photograph (2008.412.16):
Chevy Chase United Methodist Church, 1912.
Photographer unknown. Courtesy of Mrs. Elmer L. Hall.

This brown-shingled chapel housed the Chevy Chase Baptist congregation, but in August of 1912, the Baptists sold the property to the growing Methodist denomination for $3,960. Raymond Street resident, Bruce Bielaski, himself a son of a Methodist minister, solicited his neighbors to see how many would be interested in joining such a congregation right in their own neighborhood. (For a picture of his house at then number 12, see the exhibit photo View Down Raymond Street, 1918. Bielaski's is the white house in the foreground.). Later, the Chevy Chase Land Company donated some more land so that the church could expand its chapel.

A steady growth in membership demanded that the church undergo over eight major expansions and renovations between 1921 and 1958, changing the modest original one-story chapel into the multi-level stone Gothic Revival building that now stands. In 1957, the congregation purchased the abutting property at 3810 Taylor Street, to serve as a parsonage. The next year, they purchased from T.W. Perry, 3805 Shepherd Street, the home pictured in this photo.

The CCUMC and Section Three have had a long symbiotic relationship. Many resident-parishioners and non-congregant neighbors alike attend church functions and fundraisers. Likewise, the Town Council has been using the church's meeting halls off and on since its incorporation. The church also serves as Section Three's polling station.


Then and Now Views of the Intersection of Florida and Raymond Streets.
Then (2005.28.07): Courtesy of Natalie Fern.
Now (1000.117.01a): Courtesy of Evelyn Gerson.

Looking out from the front steps of 3626 Raymond Street, one can see how landscaping and house renovations have changed this intersection over time. The top photo, taken in June of 1981, shows a shadier corner with old trees and low-lying bushes. In the bottom photo, taken almost 25 years later, the afternoon sun casts long, angular, shadows instead that of leafy canopy. The girl in the photo is Natalie Fern.


Then and Now Views of Florida Street.
Then (2005.28.05): Courtesy of Natalie Fern.
Now (1000.117.01b): Courtesy of Evelyn Gerson.

Besides the contrast in seasons, the above view of Florida Street, taken in 1980, shows a thicker landscape of shrubs and trees. The present-day photo reveals new construction and improvements made to the homes flanking the road.


Fire Prevention (1000.117.01c), circa late 1920s.
With homes fairly close to one another, fire could easily sweep through Section Three. As seen with this directory, neighbors organized to mitigate such a disastrous event. In addition to five fire hydrants located on the perimeter of the neighborhood, the Citizens' Committee purchased a community ladder kept at a Delaware Street residence. Residents also planned to sound the church bells to muster the volunteers listed above, who would arrive at the fire with fire extinguishers in hand to help battle the blaze.


Photograph (2008.255.22):
Aerial View of the Southwest Corner of Section Three, circa 1919.
Photo courtesy of Geoff Biddle, Village Manager.

Just beyond the Chevy Chase Club, in the upper-left corner of this photo, appear some of the neighborhood's earliest homes along Bradley Lane and Raymond Street. Although Georgia Street had been surveyed as early as 1905, it does not appear to be paved.


Photograph (2005.28.01):
Crossing Lady at the Intersection of Raymond/Rosemary Streets and Connecticut Ave, 1974-1975 School Year.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Fern.

The unidentified woman in this picture worked at this intersection for years, making sure that neighborhood children safely crossed busy Connecticut Avenue on the way back and forth to Rosemary Hills Elementary School. No matter what the weather conditions, Crossing Lady braved the elements bedecked in a uniform of hat, gloves, and nylons.


Photograph (2005.28.02):
Neighborhood Children Sitting in Front of 3700 Raymond Street, circa 1972.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Fern.

With its closely-knit community, narrow streets, grassy yards, and Gazebo Park, Section Three has always been a wonderful neighborhood for raising children.


Photograph (2008.171.10):
Dorothy & William Duvall of 6814 Brookville Road (Formerly 6314), circa 1923.
Photo courtesy of William Duvall.

In order to market Section Three as an affordable neighborhood for middle-class home buyers, and with an eye on maintaining property values, the Chevy Chase Land Company placed restrictions on the deeds it sold, requiring that bungalows such as this, which sits between Raymond and Shepherd Streets, be set back 30 feet from the curb and comply with a minimum construction cost of $3,000 dollars.


Photograph (2005.28.03):
Neighborhood Children and Barbara Porterfield Standing in Front of 3701 Raymond Street, circa 1970s.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Fern.

Both the landscaping and the façade to this property (presently a yellow house at the corner of Raymond and Florida Streets) have undergone major changes since this photo was taken.


Photograph (2008.270.05):
Francis G. Newlands, US Congress 1893-1903(NV), US Senate 1903-1917(NV), Principal of Chevy Chase Land Company

Drawing upon his silver fortune from the Nevada Comstock Lode, and experience speculating on a small scale in Dupont Circle, Newlands formed the Chevy Chase Land Company, in 1890, with Senator William Stewart of Nevada and Edward J. Stellwagen of the Thomas J. Fisher real estate firm (which would handle most of the mortgages for the properties sold). Using proxies, the three men purchased more than 1,700 acres of farmland from Calvert Street to the Capital Beltway. They then invested


Unfortunately for the venture's original investors, the Panic of 1893 got their suburban development off to a slow start and Newland's nieces called the Chevy Chase project "Uncle Frank's Folly." Not until 1922, did the Land Company cut its investors their first dividend checks, following a post-World War I housing boom.



Re-Subdivision of Section 3, 1907.
Facsimile of Maryland State Archive Plat (1989.30.19.01)
Courtesy of the Village of Chevy Chase Section Three Town Council.

In 1905, the Chevy Chase Land Company surveyed their holding between Bradley Lane and Otterbourne (now Section Five), flanked by Connecticut Avenue and Brookville Road. Intersecting the subdivision are Taylor and Raymond Streets, as well as nascent footprints of Fulton and Georgia Streets, although all of these roads have yet to be named. This subdivision contained a total of 65 large lots.

Two years later, the Land Company decided to further carve up the subdivision in order to make smaller lots and no doubt increase the revenue generated by land sales. As this 1907 plat reflects, the number of lots increased almost three-fold to 193, with one small triangular parcel that would eventually become Gazebo Park. To access these new properties, Delaware, Florida, Shepherd, and Spring Streets are added (by survey, not name), with two northern dead end extensions in place off of Taylor. Note how the survey called for Florida to intersect Spring Street. Throughout the years more re-subdivisions occurred, and presently, 277 families live in this enclave.



Sandborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1916 & 1927.
The Sandborn Map Company of New York published these atlases to help insurance adjustors. Each map contains the footprint of homes in the neighborhood, outlying buildings on the property, and invaluable detail given to the materials used to build all structures. Sanborn maps are also useful in determining the original street numbers for properties.

Comparing the map from 1916 on the right with the one on the left, surveyed in 1927, allows us to see the proliferation of homes during this ten-year period. In the small corner of Section Three between Raymond and Taylor Streets, only 29 homes stood. Over ten years later, this part of the neighborhood exploded with over 50 new homes constructed.



Retrospective of 3626 Raymond Street:

Photograph (2007.30.02):
Taken by George Kinter in 2005, shows the front of this home after renovations.

The following photos are a montage of the back of the home dating, from around 1975, 1994, and 2005. The back has been widened and lengthened to make room for a larger kitchen while what was once a tennis court has been replaced by an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Photographs:
(2005.28.08) Back of 3626 Raymond Street, circa 1975, courtesy of Natalie Fern.
(2005.25.02) Back of 3626 Raymond Street, circa 1994, taken by Cherie Mohr.
(2005.06.01) Full image of 3626 Raymond Street at twilight, after renovations. Photography by Alan Karchmer.


1909 Residents of Section Three and Four joined forces and formed the "Chevy Chase Citizen's Association of Section Three and Four." They met monthly.



Subdivision of Section 3, 1905 (1989.24.18)
Facsimile of Maryland State Archive Plat.
Courtesy of the Village of Chevy Chase Section Three Town Council.

In 1905, the Chevy Chase Land Company surveyed their holding between Bradley Lane and Otterbourne (now Section Five), flanked by Connecticut Avenue and Brookville Road. Intersecting the subdivision are Taylor and Raymond Streets, as well as nascent footprints of Fulton and Georgia Streets, although all of these roads have yet to be named. This subdivision contained a total of 65 large lots.


Re-Subdivision of Section 3, 1907.

Two years later, with most of the lots in its first Maryland subdivision sold, the Land Company decided to open up Section Three. In order to make smaller lots that no doubt increased the revenue generated by land sales, the section's large plots were resurveyed. As this 1907 plat reflects, the number of lots increased almost three-fold to 193, with one small triangular parcel that would eventually become Gazebo Park. To access these new properties, Delaware, Florida, Shepherd, and Spring Streets are added (by survey, not name), with two northern dead end extensions in place off of Taylor. Note how the survey called for Florida to intersect Spring Street. Throughout the years more re-subdivisions occurred, and presently, 277 families live in this enclave.


Re-Subdivision of Section 3, 1916. (1989.24.18):
Facsimile of Maryland State Archive Plat.
Courtesy of the Village of Chevy Chase Section Three Town Council.

In this 1916 plat, Shepherd Street is extended through to Brookville Road and more lots are created, primarily in the northeastern quadrant of the section.


Facsimile of Thomas J. Fisher & Co. Promotional Brochure, 1916. (2008.57.01)

Facsimile of Sales Map, 1916 (2008.27.01b)
Courtesy of the Village of Chevy Chase Section Three Town Council.

The Land Company's idea to offer smaller, more affordable lots in Section Three in order to develop the neighborhood paid off. As seen in this plat which tracked property sales, most of the lots created in 1907 had sold before the 1916 survey, and the newly-created parcels of land from this re-subdivision went quickly. By 1916, the Thomas J. Fisher Company (sales agent for the Land Company) could boast in their promotional brochure, pictured above, that Section Three was "practically sold out."


Documents Related to the Founding of Gazebo Park (1988.02.08, 1000.117.01e, 1000.117.01f)
Courtesy of the Village of Chevy Chase Section Three Town Council.


View of Gazebo (1000.117.01j)
Courtesy of Evelyn Gerson.

In 1924, the sales department at Thomas J. Fisher & Co. informed the Citizen's Committee of Section Three that the Chevy Chase Land Company intended to dedicate "the triangular parcel of ground…bounded by Shepard [sic], Fulton, Florida, and Spring streets" to Montgomery County for the purpose of establishing a public park for the town. But when the County Commissioners requested that the deed be made "without reservations," the Land Company balked.

Several years prior, the Land Company ceded a lot with no zoning restrictions on Bradley Lane (west of Connecticut) to the County so that a public school could be built. Instead, the property changed hands and re-entered the market as real estate that could be used for any purpose-no doubt irritating the Land Company's fastidious civic planners.

Eventually, the terms or the deed between Montgomery County and Land Company were sorted out and the park became the bucolic center of the community. In 1953, the County transferred ownership, and hence, stewardship, of the park to the town.



Question: Why Does Section Three Have So Many Dead End Streets North of Taylor Street?

Answer: Otterbourne (Now Section Five)

Independent from the Chevy Chase Land Company, entrepreneur and land speculator John Frank Ellis purchased 14.5 acres in 1892, subdivided the land, and marketed his development, named Otterbourne as an "addition to Chevy Chase." All this was done before the Land Company even platted Section Three, directly to the south of Ellis' venture. Hence, when the northern portions of Delaware, Florida, Fulton, and Georgia were laid out in subsequent years, they abutted property owned by Otterbourne residents and could not be extended through into Section Five.

Photograph (2008.176.04):
Outside Brookville Pharmacy, 1934.
Photo courtesy of Andrew T. Cummings.

Charley Orme and Donald Bradley take a break outside of 7025 Brookville Road, long enough for this unknown photographer to shoot their image.

Photograph (1000.117.01k):
Outside Brookville Pharmacy, Circa 1930s.
Photo courtesy of Andrew T. Cummings.

Men in the photo unidentified.


Letter of Complaint, 1948 (1000.117.01g).
Frustrated by repeat Halloween pranksters, George Watts on the corner of Brookville and Georgia wrote the following letter to the Montgomery County Police and Section Three Citizens' Committee, dubbing Chevy Chase "a community of Hoodlums."




Bibliography
Boyd's Directory of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC: R.L. Polk & Company), 1918.
Chevy Chase United Methodist Church: 75th Anniversary, 1912-1987.

Elizabeth Jo Lampl and Kimberly Protho Williams' Chevy Chase: A Home Suburb for the Nation's Capital (Crownsville, MD: Maryland Historic Trust Press),1998.

Judith Helm Robinson's "Chevy Chase: A Bold Idea, A Comprehensive Plan" published in Washington At Home, Kathryn Schneider Smith, ed. (Windsor), 1988.

The Town of Chevy Chase: Past and Present, (Montgomery County, MD: Town of Chevy Chase), 2000.