Planet Suffolk: Bringing together the Suffolks of the world

Suffolk Place, East Village, Montgomery Village, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA

The subdivision of Suffolk Place is located at 39° 210’ 38” N 77° 11’ 34” W in Montgomery Village, Montgomery County, in Maryland.  Montgomery Village is located just north west of Washington, D.C. and is considered a suburb of the metropolitan area of the capital city.

Population:- The population of Suffolk Place, based on 3 persons to each home, is estimated to be about 500.  The population of Montgomery Village in 2011 was estimated to be 45,000.  

How to get there:-

By Road:  From Washington D.C. & the south, head west on US Highway 50/Constitution Ave NW, then merge with Interstate Highway 66. Cross the Potomac River, before taking George Washington Memorial Parkway northbound. Turn right onto Interstate Highway 495/Capital Beltway, then merge with Interstate Highway 270 to Gaithersburg. Turn right into Montgomery Village Ave & head north, then right again into Wightman Road/Snouffer School Road. From there take a left turn into Welbeck Way. Ravenglass Way is on your left, Hawk Run Terrace on your right.

From Baltimore & the east, take Interstate Highway 95 southwestwards, then head west on Maryland State Highway 200. Merge with State Highway 97 southbound, then turn right onto State Highway 115/Muncaster Mill Road, which then becomes Snouffer School Road. Turn right onto Welbeck Way.

No Rail service to Montgomery Village.  The nearest station is at Gaithersburg on the MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) line to Washington, D.C, approximately 4 miles from Suffolk Place.

The nearest major airports are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (32 miles), Washington Dulles International (35 miles), & Baltimore-Washington International (40 miles).

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5 hrs).  Daylight saving time in summer + 1 hr.

Order of contents on this page: (Click on the links below)

History & Derivation of Name

Gaithersburg

Montgomery County

 

History & Derivation of Name

Suffolk Place is an integral part of Montgomery Village and one of its 88 subdivisions.  For our non-American readers it should be explained that “subdivisions” are administrative entities where a county or urban area has been divided in order that the subdivision can be developed separately for housing.  The homeowners normally have to join a residents’ association and form a “community” to arrange the basic services, such as water supply, refuse collection and general management of common areas.

During the 20th century Washington, D.C. rapidly expanded.  The overcrowding made the idea of living on the outskirts increasingly appealing to people.  In the 1950s improved road communications and public transportation made commuting from a distance possible.  The vision for a planned community is credited to architect Charles Kettler, who incorporated Kettler Brothers with his brothers Milton and Clarence in 1952.  The concept was to build a new town located away from metropolitan Washington that would provide all the elements of “the American Dream” for its residents.  It would have the facilities to allow a degree of self-sufficiency, and be made attractive by preserving and enhancing recreational open spaces around a man-made lake.  

The Kettler Brothers looked around Gaithersburg, where the land was conveniently close to Washington.  Since colonial times the land had been cleared and cultivated by small farms and their families.  The first land purchase (the Walker Farm) was from a relative in 1962, and subsequent purchases were made from other surrounding farms.  Since this land was located in the heart of Montgomery County, Maryland, it was named Montgomery Village.  The “village” name was to promote a small town feeling in contrast to the big city influence of Washington, D.C.  In 1966 work began on the housing, the Montgomery Village Foundation was incorporated in October 1966 and the first model homes were opened in August 1967.   

Montgomery Village consists of condominiums, apartments and single family homes.  These are grouped into 25 community associations each being responsible for the maintenance and repair of communal property within their area.  Suffolk Place is one of the 11 “neighbourhoods” (subdivisions) within the East Village community that comprises 1,389 townhouses and homes.  All homeowners are required to be members of their community association, and contribute towards the cost of its upkeep.  Suffolk Place itself is a legal and tax subdivision with 169 family homes and comprises four roads off Welbeck Way that are adjacent to East Village Avenue: Ravenglass Way, Hawk Run Terrace, Hawk Run Court and Ravensdale Court.  
   
There is no obvious theme to the names given to the subdivisions of Montgomery Village.  A few are named after former landowners and early settlers, but most relate to natural features, e.g. The Meadows, Wood Edge, Pleasant Ridge.  However, in 1980 the Keppler Brothers platted and named a subdivision “Essex Place”.  There would seem to be no connection with that county in England, but Essex is also an unincorporated community in Baltimore County, Maryland.  This was begun in 1909 on a similar basis to Montgomery Village, as a place outside the city limits for those residents in Baltimore who wanted to remove themselves from the urban environment to have a family garden, or to pursue some other rural activity such as keeping a few animals.  It may be that the name Essex Place was chosen in recognition of this earlier concept.  Essex Place is in North Village to the west of Goshen Road, not far away from Suffolk Place, which is directly to the east on the other side of Goshen Road.  In the early plans the subdivision to the east of Goshen Road was referred to as “Essex Place II”.  When this was platted in January 1986 the name was changed to “Suffolk Place”.  So it seems that Suffolk Place gets its name from the county in England because that county is adjacent to the county of Essex.  

Although Montgomery Village is an unincorporated area, its boundaries are defined.  The surrounding land on which the village was built originally used the Gaithersburg address although the Village is now outside that city’s limits.  Montgomery Village is recognised as a census-designated place, and a populated place.  In 1998 the Village began using its own zip code, 20886.

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Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg was settled as Log Town in 1765 as the centre of a small agricultural community.  The original name is indicative of the local resource.  In 1783 in Montgomery County, 70% of the dwellings identified for tax assessment were constructed of log.  A 100 acre plot of land was inherited by Benjamin Gaither, who moved to the area in 1802, where he built his home and ran a blacksmith’s business at the post station known as “Forest Oak”.  The Gaither family bought up several other plots, and by the 1850s the settlement around Forest Oak was known to its inhabitants as “Gaitherburg”.  With the coming of the railroad in 1873, the name Gaithersburg was adopted for its station.  The town incorporated under this name in 1878.  It remained a predominantly rural farm town until the 1970s when the overspill from Washington, D.C. reached it, and the Interstate 270 made commuting to the capital city a viable proposition.  As the population grew, Gaithersburg began taking on a suburban feel, leaving its farming roots behind.  It is now considered a suburb and a primary city within the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C.

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Montgomery County

This county is situated just to the north of Washington, D.C. and southwest of the city of Baltimore.  It is one of the most affluent counties in the United States.  

Prior to European settlement, this land was covered in forest and crossed by creeks and small streams.  A few small villages of the Piscataway, members of the Algonquian people, were scattered across the southern portions of the county.  Captain John Smith was probably the first European to explore the area during his travels in 1608 along the Potomac River and throughout the Chesapeake region.

These lands were claimed by Europeans for the first time when Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, was granted the charter for the colony of Maryland by Charles I of England in 1632.  It was not until 1688 that the first tract of land in what is now Montgomery County was granted by the Calvert family to a wealthy and prominent early planter, Colonel Henry Darnall.  However, the early landowners were little more than speculators, securing grants from the colonial leadership so that they could sell their lands in pieces to settlers.  The first actual settlers were English and Scottish tobacco planters who came to present-day Montgomery County from the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1710s.  By 1715 tobacco plantations dependent on slave labour dominated the local economy.  In the mid 18th century, settlers of German origin migrated from Pennsylvania and introduced the small family-run farms with diversified crops.  Towns did not exist in Montgomery County until the late 18th century.  The earliest was Georgetown, platted in 1751, which was located at the furthest point on the Potomac River that ocean-going ships could navigate.

In 1695 this territory became part of newly created Prince George’s County.  The western part of this county was separated to become Frederick County in 1748 which included the present land of Montgomery County.  In September 1776 the Maryland State legislature divided Frederick County into three counties: Frederick, Washington and Montgomery.  Montgomery County was named after General Richard Montgomery (1738-1775).  He was an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army.  During the American Revolutionary War he became a Major General in the Continental Army.  He is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada, where he was killed leading an attack on Quebec City.

In December 1791, 36 square miles of Montgomery County, including Georgetown, were ceded to the federal government to establish the new District of Columbia, along with portions of Prince George’s County, Maryland.  The proximity of the national capital led to wealthy government officials and administrators establishing country estates in Montgomery County during the 19th century.  This process has continued with the county now being within the commuter belt of Washington, D.C., and part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.

The county seat of Montgomery County is Rockville, to the southeast of Gaithersburg.  Four land patents in this area were obtained by Arthur Nelson between 1717 and 1735, but there was no settlement as such, only scattered houses and taverns.  In 1776 when the county was created, the most populous urban centre was Georgetown, but its location at the far southern end of the county made it unsuitable for the seat of local government, so the tiny settlement around Hungerford’s Tavern was selected as the county seat.  Thereafter, it was referred to as Montgomery Court House.  In 1784 William Williams, a local landowner, hired a surveyor to lay out a town that was unofficially called Williamsburgh.  In July 1803 the Maryland Assembly passed Acts re-surveying the area around Montgomery Court House, and gave it the name “Rockville” derived from nearby Rock Creek.  On 10th March 1860 Rockville was formally incorporated.

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