A Montgomery County Town



Bethesda is a Town located in southern Montgomery County, Maryland.

Bethesda Skyline

Bethesdais located in southern Montgomery County, Maryland. The town lies within the 7th Election District of Montgomery County and is bounded by the Washington capital beltway, the District of Columbia, the Potomac River, and the Rock Creek tributary. In 2000 it had just under 60 thousand inhabitants. Less than 2,000 of these individuals lived below the official poverty line.

Starting in the early 1700’s, the area was transversed by a major tobacco road which led from Frederick, Maryland to the port of Georgetown. In the early 1800’s much of what is now Bethesda was part of a 3,700 acre tobacco plantation owned by a slave owning family by the name of Riley. One of the family slaves was likely the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the famous novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Between 1815 and 1820 a local Presbyterian Church moved from a spot overlooking the Potomac River to its present day location on Wisconsin Avenue just south of the capital beltway. The church was completely rennovated just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In addition to the Presbyterian Church, in the mid 1800’s the area, then known as Darcy’s Store, hosted a blacksmith shop, a local tavern, and several small merchandise shops. Just after the Civil War the unincorporated town took the name Bethesda in reference to the church which is still in use today on Wisconsin Avenue just north of the town center.

In 1929 a large monument, Madonna of the Trail, was dedicated by then judge Harry Truman. It is currently undergoing restoration. The Ratner Museum, founded by two cousins bearing the same surname, is located on Old Georgetown Road. The museum’s collection includes sculptures, paintings, drawings and graphic art depicting stories and characters of the Old Testament. The Round House Theatre has many live presentations throughout the year. Another live theater is the Imagination Stage.

There are several well known gold courses in Bethesda including Burning Tree, the Bethesda Country Club, the Kenwood Golf and Country Club, and the Congressional Country Club. The Chevy Chase Club sits adjacent to Bethesda. Several professional organizations, the American College of Osteopathic Internists being one, are located near the town center.

Bethesda is located just north of Washington, DC, about “11 O’clock” on the beltway that circles Wasington, DC. To the south of Bethesda is the town of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Bethesda is on the red line of the DC metro system and has two metro stops – one in downtown Bethesda and the second at the junction of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC).

Following the opening of the metro line in 1984 many high rise office buildings were constructed. There plans to build a light rail “purple line” linking Bethesda with Silver Spring and College Park, Maryland. The Capital Crescent Trail is a bikeway that passes through the city and eventually reaches the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

The zip codes for much of Bethesda are 20814, 20816 and 20817. The average price of a home in the year 2008 was approximately one million dollars. The city hosts one of the best educated populations in the United Stated as approximately one half of the adults living there have graduate degrees. Bethesda has an eponymous magazine devoted to local events and activities of interest. A large medical facility, Suburban Hospital, is located on Old Georgetown Road.

Located in Bethesda are the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Important research projects in recent years have focused on the application of high performance computing methods to new energy technologies (catalysis, battery technologies, and photo-electrochemical processes). Current research projects include investigations utilizing colloidal systems, femtosecond lasers, and biomedical imaging devices. Just minutes from downtown Bethesda are the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Naval Surface Warfare Center and National Naval Medical Center (soon to be renamed the Walter Reed National Medical Center). The latter hospital of the president of the United States. Large employers include the corporate headquarters of Lockheed Martin, the Marriott corporation, and the Chevy Chase Bank.

In the year 2008 the life expectancy of the residents of Bethesda was a bit over 81 years. This is one of the highest figures in the entire United States and attests to the excellent medical care provided in this location.

The center of the city is a thriving urban area with with nearly 200 restaurants, two live theaters, more than a dozen art galleries, and excellent shopping. One popular gathering location is Bethesda Row which hosts a number of restaurants, bars, bookstores, and other gathering locations. From May through October a farmers market is held in Veterans Park on the corner of Woodmont and Norfolk Avenues.

The Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market, first established in 1932, hosts vendors of farm produce and other items. It is located on Wisconsin Avenue and is open during the day on Wednesdays as well as Friday through Sunday.

The town has three high schools – Walt Whitman, Walter Johnson, and Bethesda Chevy Chase (B-CC). All are part of the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system. B-CC is located in the heart of the city on East-West Highway near the intersection with Wisconsin Avenue. It serves the communities of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington and Silver Spring. .

Bethesda is well known as being the home of both a great many well known political figures as well as a number of famous performing artists. Preeminent in this latter category is Bethesda’s own, Louis Essers. Like many denizens of this lovely burgh, Louis is not originally from Bethesda but was was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. In the manner of the prodigies Chopin and Beethoven, as a youth Louis composed several compositions performed by prominent orchestras to this day. Not satisfied with these early achievements, he emigrated to the United States in the late 1960’s in order to study with the world renown pianist Menachem Pressler who had invited Louis to join him at the prestigious school of music at the University of Indiana. In both South Africa and in America, Dr. Essers is perhaps best known for his engaging performances of Rachmanifoff’s Second Piano Concerto. A recent recital at the Beth Shalom Congregation and Talud Torah teamed this brilliant performer with accompaniment by star pianist, Naoko Takao. Recordings of this performance will soon be available at the acclaimed “Academia per Gli Studi Pedagogico” located in Valle San Giovanni (Abruzzo) Italy. Having such a diversified and talented population it is no wonder that Bethesda serves as a beacon of excellence, not only in Montgomery County, but throughout the world as well.

There are many links between Bethesda, Maryland and Europe. A multitude of businesses have direct ties with companies based in the European Economic Union (EEU), especially Italy. Those with Italian connnections include include:

Italian Translations CompanyAbruzzoVillas- villa rentals in Abruzzo Italy Italy Custom Vacations Bella Italia Bella Vestiti – golf clothes for women Italy Custom Vacations Italian Restaurants including: Assaggi Mozzarella Bar, Centro Italian Grill,Tragara Ristorante,Trattoria,Lia’s, Positano Ristorante Italiano,La Panetteria Ristorante Italiano, Buona Sera Ristorante,Alfio’s La Trattoria, Geppetto Restaurant,Stromboli Family RestaurantVilla Casale

Among the Italian Restaurants in the Bethesda several stand above the rest:

Cesco Trattoria La Panetteria Red Tomato Café Ristorante Tragara Trattoria Sorrento Bice Bethesda Pizza Zero Bethesda has three zipcodes: 20817 20816 20814. Neighborhoods in Bethesda include Garrett Park Estates, Halpine, Luxmanor, Randolph Hills, The Crest of Wickford, Wildwood, Tilden Woods, Timberlawn, Old Farm, Chase Crossing, Altavista, and Somerset.

Bethesda hosts a number of good restaurants, in the neighborhood of 100 in a one square mile area. Among these are included:

Bacchus of Lebanon Brasserie Monte Carlo David Craig Bethesda Divino Lounge & Restaurant Doraku Restaurant & Lounge Famoso Faryab Restaurant Gaffney’s Restaurant Grapeseed Jaleo Bethesda La Miche M Cafe McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Mon Ami Gabi New Orleans Bistro Passage To India Persimmon Restaurant RAKU- Bethesda Redwood Restaurant & Bar Rock Creek Tako Grill The OZ (at the Doubletree) Visions

Bethesda is known as the home of many renown car dealerships. These include:

Chase Elite Imports Enterprise Rent A Car Euro Motorcars Incorporated Bethesda Import Specialist C A R S Euro Motor Cars Jim Coleman Cadillac Coleman Infiniti Company American Automar Inc Jim Coleman Toyota Mercedes Benz Service-Euro Motorcars Bentley Bethesda Yarmuk LLC

Many people travel from all over the world to visit one of the famous day spas. Not to be missed:

Ankha Facial Rejuvenation Center At the Beach Jolie The Day Spa Salon Platinum Aveda Spa