Learn About The History Of Wheaton MD

The History of Wheaton, MD

Wheaton is a special census-designated region in Montgomery County in the State of Maryland, United States. The place got its name from US Army career officer named Frank Wheaton (1834-1903). He was a volunteer in the Union Army from Rhode Island during the American Civil War. Here is a brief history of Wheaton.

From Three Great Roads

The precursor of Wheaton was Leesborough a 1820's small sized business district that rose close to an intersection of three roads. The first road was Brookville Pike or Washington-Brookeville Pike (but later changed to the current name of Georgia Avenue). The road connected Washington D.C. and Brookeville, Maryland. The second road was Veirs Mill Road which changed to New Cut Road during the civil war. This road connects Rockville and Virginia Ferry. The last of the three roads was Old Bladensburg Road (now known as MD Route 193 or the University Boulevard). Since then, this road has connected Bethesda, Georgetown, Kensington, Chevy Chase, Silver Springs, Bladensburg, and Wheaton.

Mitchell's Crossroads

The Leesborough business district subsequently came to be known as the Mitchell's Crossroads in the decade of 1860s. This referred to Mitchell's Tavern that was located at the northeast corner Brookeville Pike (now known as Georgia Avenue) and the University Boulevard. Mitchell's Tavern was already 100 years old at the start of 1865 and stood strong until the fire destroyed it in 1940.

The Modern Era

In the aftermath of the Civil War, George F. Plyer became the area's postmaster. In October 1869, Lieutenant Plyer, a Civil War veteran himself, renamed the place's post office to honor General Frank Wheaton, his commanding officer. General Wheaton had successfully led his division in defending Washington D.C. from the Confederates led by General Jubal Early. What ensued came to be known as Fort Stevens Battle of 1864.

For many years in the aftermath of the civil war, the Wheaton area mostly lay unused except some isolated agricultural outposts and small businesses. At the turn of the 20th century, growth was really slow with business establishments beginning to crop along major roads.

The initial attempt to develop the place was made in 1922 by Dr. Atkinson who built the only gas filling station and an apartment at the northwestern corner of the crossroads intersection. Dr. Atkinson was originally from Washington. In several years that followed beginning in 1928, he built several other stores at the location where Anchor Inn stands now. A baseball diamond was built at the same location close to where Exxon station stands today. Other stores and restaurants were built in the area laying the foundation of modernizing the area.

After World War II, the capital region began to rise rapidly with the first modern post office being opened in the area in 1947. Beginning in 1948, Wheaton had already established itself as part of modern-day suburbs of the Washington D.C. By 1958, Wheaton was home to over 400 business establishments, a number that has exponentially increased since then. Today the area is an unincorporated town governed locally civic government of the Montgomery County. The Triangle Lane region has since become an essential commercial center.