IN THE MID-1880s, businessman
Henry W. Copp had a vision of the perfect summer getaway for work-weary
Washingtonians. He formed the Metropolitan Investment and Building Co.
in 1886, purchasing 500 acres between
what are now Kensington and Rockville,
on land bordered by Rock Creek and the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
The name of his town: Garrett Park,
in honor of B&O President Robert W.
Garrett, one of his company’s sponsors.
It was to be, according to an 1887 bro-
Construction boomed in the 1890s:
chure about lots for sale, “what Tuxedo
Park is to New York, Bryn Mawr to Phil-
adelphia, and Hyde Park to Chicago.”
Garrett Park, quaint and unassuming,
tect John T. Freeman and well-known
landscape designer William Saunders
mapped out the town in the style of a
quaint English village, limiting com-
mercial development and drawing many
street names, such as Kenilworth and
Waverly avenues, from the novels of Sir
Thirty-three houses, requiring down pay-
ments of $5 to $25, went up along with
the Garrett Park Chapel (now Town Hall)
and the railroad station, where MARC
trains stop today. By 1900, 175 people
were living in the town’s 37 homes.
Development continued in 1924,
formed Maddux, Marshall, Moss & Mal-
lory and began building new afford-
able housing. The “four M’s” built 50
homes in less than 10 years, including
the “Chevy” houses that you can still
find scattered throughout the commu-
nity. (The town’s website points to 10926
Clermont Ave. and 4517 Clermont Place
as good examples.) For an extra cost,
these tiny homes came with a Chevrolet
already parked in the driveway.
By the 1930s, most transportation
and 1890, was
routes passing through Garrett Park,
including the B&O, Kensington Trol-
ley and the Garrett Park bus line, had
either been eliminated or their service PHOTO
a general store.
Today, it houses
Bistro, the Town
Hall and the
BY MADALINE DONNELLY
WHAT’S IN A
In the mid-1880s, businessman
Henry W. Copp purchased 500 acres
between what are now Kensington
and Rockville and named his new
town in honor of B&O Railroad
President Robert W. Garrett.
our towns | GARRETT PARK