commoner who loved a noblewoman.
The story goes that he accidentally killedher guardian, and that he and the noble-woman fled to America, where shebecame gravely ill. As she was dying,the woman told him to bury her withno name so he wouldn’t be caught. Agravesite dated 1816 actually is inscribedto a “female stranger” in Old St. Paul’sEpiscopal Cemetery in Alexandria, Vir-ginia. The novel then has John mourn-ing his wife in a cabin near a creek untilhe died, with the creek and the bridgethat was later built being named for him.
Land records dating back to 1715 sug-gest yet another origin for the name. Theyrefer to what is now Cabin John Creek asCaptain John’s Run. Some suggest thatCabin John is a corruption of “CaptainJohn,” the same Capt. John Smith whofounded Jamestown, Virginia, and jour-neyed along the Potomac River in 1608
near the mouth of the creek that is in
Cabin John. In 2008, the Cabin John Cit-
izens Association celebrated the 400th
anniversary of that voyage with a large
Lock tenders along the Chesapeake
and & Ohio Canal, farmers and aque-
duct workers were among early Cabin
John residents. Major growth began in
1912, when John S. Tomlinson, ownerof the now-defunct American LandCo., bought 600 acres of farmland fora development he called “Cabin JohnPark,” which is synonymous with CabinJohn today. The community formedits citizens’ association in 1919. Inproperty deeds, Tomlinson shrewdlyreserved rights to half of any treasure“which may have been hidden by Johnof the Cabin.” n
We like the quirky, vibrant, artistic vibe of
Cabin John. We love that it’s only a few
miles from the city, but feels a bit rural and
very outdoorsy. Living close to the river is
so magical. We go running and walk our
dog on the towpath. My kids love exploring
the woods and heading down to the canal
stay-at-home mother and photographer
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
One story has it that John, an early settler,
mourned his wife in a cabin until he died.
Another possibility is that Cabin John is a
corruption of “Captain John,” as in Capt.
John Smith of Pocahontas fame, who
founded Jamestown in Virginia and
traveled up the Potomac near the
mouth of the creek that is in