Potomac, Maryland

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Potomac is a census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, named for the nearby Potomac River. The population was 44,822 at the 2000 census. The Potomac area is known for its very affluent and highly-educated residents. In 2009 CNNMoney.com listed Potomac as the fourth most affluent town in the United States.[1] Potomac is also the seventh most top-educated American small town according to Forbes.[2] Many Potomac residents work in Washington, D.C..

Contents

History

The land which is now Potomac Village was first settled by Edward Offutt in 1714 after he was granted a 600-acre (2.4 km2) land grant "Clewerwell" by Lord Baltimore. His grant of land was by the Tehogee Indian Trail, an Indian trade route built by the Canaze Indian nation in 1716. Throughout the 18th century, what became known as Offutts Crossroads was a small, rural community which served planters and travelers. In the 19th century, a few small dwellings had been built along with a tavern established in 1820.[3] By the time of the Civil War, the community contained two general stores, a blacksmith shop, and a post office which served a community of 100.

Offutts Crossroads was renamed Potomac in 1880 by John McDonald. An Irishman and veteran of the Civil War, McDonald settled in Potomac around that time. He petitioned for the name change since postal officials were asking for brief names and there were already several other communities in the area with the name "crossroads".[4]

By the turn of the 20th century, Potomac experienced a period of growth. Thomas Perry, an operator of a nearby general store, built a house on the corner of Falls and River Roads in 1902. More residential structures were built on the northern section of Falls Road throughout the 1920s and 1930s. During the 1950s, Potomac was one of many communities in Montgomery County to experience suburbanization. Potomac quickly transformed from a rural farming community to a suburban community from the mid to late 20th century.

Numerous original buildings within Potomac Village have been demolished for the construction of strip malls and modern office buildings. However, in the surrounding area, many of the old farmhouses remain, though some are confined within suburban developments.

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