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Learn more about Gaithersburg

The Neighborhood:

The City of Gaithersburg, is a city located in Montgomery CountyMaryland. Gaithersburg is divided into east and west sections, separated by Interstate 270. The eastern section is the more original portion of town with landmarks and buildings which have existed for some time, especially in the historic central business district of Gaithersburg called “Olde Town”. It also includes Lakeforest Mall, City Hall, and the Montgomery County Fair grounds. The west side is the more modern portion with smart growth techniques and wealthier neighborhoods which embrace New Urbanism. The west includes the award-winning Kentlands community, the Lakelands community, and the Washingtonian Center (better known as The Rio), a popular shopping/business district. Three more New Urbanism communities are under construction which include Crown Farm, Watkins Mill Town Center (Casey East and West), and the massive “Science City”.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is headquartered in Gaithersburg directly west of I-270. Other major employers in the city include IBMLockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services business area headquarters, MedImmune (recently purchased by AstraZeneca), and the Frenchmultinational corporationSodexo. Gaithersburg is also the location of the garrison of the United States Army Reserve‘s 220th Military Police Brigade.


Gaithersburg is located to the northwest of Washington, D.C., as a suburb and a primary city within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is divided by Interstate 270.

A Little History:

Gaithersburg was settled in 1765 as a small agricultural settlement known as Log Town near the present day Summitee Hall on Ralph Crabb’s 1725 land grant “Deer Park”. By the 1850s the area had ceased to be called log town and was known to inhabitants as Gaitherburg.[7]

The Forest Oak Post Office, named for a large tree in the town, was located in Gaither’s store in 1851. However, when the railroad was built through town the new station was called Gaithersburg, an officially recognized name for the community for the first time. The town incorporated under its current name in 1878. Gaithersburg boomed during the late 19th century and churches, schools, a mill,grain elevators, stores, and hotels were built. Much of this development focused around the railroad station. In 1873 the B&O Railroad constructed a station at Gaithersburg. In 1899, Gaithersburg was selected as one of six global locations for the construction of an International Latitude Observatory as part of a project to measure the Earth’s wobble on its polar axis. The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory is (as of 2007) the only National Historic Landmark in the City of Gaithersburg. The observatory and five others in JapanItalyRussia, and the United States gathered information that is still used by scientists today, along with information from satellites, to determine polar motion; the size, shape, and physical properties of the earth; and to aid the space program through the precise navigational patterns of orbiting satellites. The Gaithersburg station operated until 1982 when computerization rendered the manual observation obsolete.

During a 1997 rainstorm, the 295-year-old forest oak tree that gave its name to the Forest Oak Post Office crashed down. The tree served as the inspiration for the city’s logo, which is also featured prominently on the city’s flag.

Gaithersburg remained a predominantly rural farm town until the 1970s when more construction began. As the population grew, with homes spreading throughout the area, Gaithersburg began taking on a suburban and semi-urban feel, leaving its farming roots behind. During the late 1990s and 2000s, it has become one of the most economically and ethnically diverse areas in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area as well as the state of Maryland.


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