Poolesville, Maryland

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Poolesville is a town in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States with a population of approximately 5000 people. The name of the town comes from the brothers John Poole, Sr. and Joseph Poole, Sr. who owned land in what is now Poolesville. With suburban growth spreading closer to the town, it is quickly becoming a suburb of Washington, DC.[citation needed]



Poolesville is governed by five commissioners elected in staggered 4-year terms. Commissioners are not paid. The commissioners elect among themselves a president (known informally as "the mayor") and vice president. A Town Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the town. Six Boards and Commissions assist the commissioners: the Planning Commission, Parks Board, Board of Elections, Sign Review Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Ethics Commission.[1]


In 1760, brothers John Poole, Sr. and Joseph Poole, Sr. purchased 160 acres (0.65 km2; 0.25 sq mi) acres in the area that is now Poolesville. Thirty-three years later, John Poole, Jr. used a 15 acre (6 kmĀ²) tract that he inherited from his father to build a log store and subdivided the tract, selling portions to a number of other merchants. The settlement grew from there and was incorporated in 1867.[2]

During the Civil War Union military leaders realized that the shallow fords of the Potomac River posed a threat to the capital city. At certain times of the year the Potomac River is shallow enough to cross and thus thousands of troops were moved to both Darnestown and Poolesville. The Corps of Observation was established just outside of Poolesville and soldiers were stationed near the river to watch for Confederate incursions into Maryland. During the winter of 1861-1862 it is estimated that 20,000 Union troops were stationed in or around the town. There were no battles fought in Poolesville; however, the infamous Battle of Ball's Bluff was fought nearby on October 21, 1861. Hundreds of Union soldiers who were stationed in Poolesville were killed in this battle that was badly managed by inexperienced Union generals.[citation needed]

There were several Confederate raids into the town during the war and the Confederate Army invaded Maryland by crossing the Potomac near Poolesville in both 1862 and 1864. The old Poolesville Methodist Church cemetery contains the remains of approximately twenty soldiers who either were killed in action at Bulls Bluff or who died of illness while in camp.[citation needed]

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