The story of Takoma Park begins in 1883 when B. F. Gilbert purchased 90 acres of hilly woodlands straddling the District of Columbia-Maryland border and laid out Washington’s first railroad suburb, ideally situated for the families of federal workers. Envisioning a healthful and forward-looking community, Gilbert also arranged for leaders of the health-minded Seventh-day Adventist Church to move to Takoma Park. By the early 20th century, the town was well established, and residents were creating traditions to pass on to those who followed, including an Independence Day celebration that is one of the oldest in the state.
Activism has been a hallmark of the community since a 1965 plan to build a freeway through the heart of the town. This sparked a citizen-led protest that stopped construction and led to the creation of historic districts on both sides of the D.C.-Maryland boundary line. The city’s reputation as a feisty and culturally diverse community continues to be a source of pride, attracting artists, writers, academics, musicians, craftspeople, and new residents from countries around the world.
The vision and adaptability inherent in Takoma have crafted a unique community, rich with continuity as well as an incubator for cultural change. In Takoma, past is present, and future.
Excerpts from Images of America by Historic Takoma, Inc. For more info: Historic Takoma
Takoma Boundary Stone
One of the District’s boundary stones at sits at 6980 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD, near the intersection of Maple Ave and Carroll St, NW. Boundary stones are the oldest federal monuments and represents the unity of DC and MD in Takoma.
Roscoe the Rooster
Roscoe was the community’s beloved rooster that wandered the streets of Takoma in the 1990’s. Roscoe was a free spirit that defied the authorities and found sanctuary with business owners and residents alike. Emblematic of the community in which he lived, this famous fowl was memorialized in a bronze sculpture that can be found on Laurel Avenue today.