How volunteering helped
one local man forge a
connection with the
past—and the present
Aspen Hill’s Clarence Hickey has made a second
career out of portraying 19th-century Montgomery
County physician Edward E. Stonestreet.
Clarence Hickey moved to
Montgomery County in 1976 to work
as a scientist for the federal government.
He and his wife, Mary, bought a house in
Aspen Hill, joined a church in Bethesda,
sent their two daughters to Wheaton
High. But he never felt fully part of the
community. He was defined more by
his professional career than his personal
That changed after he began to volunteer at the Montgomery County
Historical Society in the mid-’90s.
Eventually he became an expert on Dr.
Edward E. Stonestreet, a family physician who practiced medicine in the
county for half a century starting in
Today, wearing a frock coat and
derby hat, Hickey portrays the doctor
at schools and nursing homes, fairs and
festivals. He even holds “office hours”
on the second Sunday of every month
in Stonestreet’s original office in downtown Rockville, one of the few one-room freestanding medical buildings
left in the entire country.
Now 70, and retired since 2005,
Hickey recalls his career as a federal
employee: “My wife was a teacher, she
worked at Wheaton Woods Elementary, and when we would walk our dog
around the neighborhood, the kids