|Scope & Content
This collection contains records of the Montgomery County Historical Society, including photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, meeting minutes, material on maintenance and renovations to facilities and property, governance, grant and fundraising materials, promotional material for events and exhibits, various publications, and visitor registers.
The MCHS was founded in 1944 by Lilly Stone, longtime Montgomery County resident with an interest in local history, who invited a group of like-minded history enthusiasts to her home in Potomac for a meeting. The Society was officially formed on August 23, 1944 and a Constitution was drawn up shortly after. Meetings were held monthly in members' residences or at the Bethesda Elementary School and included speakers on local history in addition to Society business. By 1952, the Society was searching for a permanent home, and purchased "Glenview" mansion in Rockville. Unable to maintain the expenses, MCHS sold that property to the City of Rockville in 1957, though continued to lease space for meetings. In 1965, MCHS was able to acquire the historic Beall-Dawson house and set about returning it to its Federal-era state through furnishings, renovations, and landscaping. The B-D House served as the main headquarters for all Society operations-- including the offices of the Librarian, Historian, and Curator--until the properties at 111 and 113 W. Montgomery were obtained in the 1970s. Throughout the mid- to late twentieth century, the Society continued to enlarge its scope and local influence, hosting multiple events and exhibits every year dedicated to promoting and educating the community about the history of the county. MCHS became a non-profit organization and began hiring professional staff in the 1980s. The organization today manages serveral buildings on its Rockville campus: the Beall-Dawson museum and the Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine, the Jane C. Sween Research LIbrary and Special Collections, an administartion building for offices and meetings, and a collections storage building. MCHS also manages the Montgomery County Archives in Gaithersburg, as well as hosting the activities of the Genealogy Club and a Speakers Bureau.