Rockville is a city and the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. The 2010 census tabulated Rockville's population at 61,209, making it one of the largest communities in Maryland and the third largest location in Montgomery County, after Silver Spring and Germantown.
Rockville, along with neighboring Gaithersburg and Bethesda, is at the core of the Interstate 270 Technology Corridor which is home to numerous software and biotechnology companies as well as several federal government institutions. The city also has several upscale regional shopping centers and is one of the major retail hubs in Montgomery County.
|The Mayor and Council of Rockville|
Downtown Rockville in 2001, the Montgomery County Judicial Center in 2010, the Rockville Town Square in 2010, the Beall-Dawson House in 2005, and downtown Rockville in 2008.
"Get Into It!"
Location in Montgomery County and the U.S. state of Maryland
Location within the U.S. state of Maryland
Rockville (the United States)
|• Mayor||Bridget Donnell Newton (I)|
|• City||13.63 sq mi (35.30 km2)|
|• Land||13.59 sq mi (35.21 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)|
|Elevation||451 ft (137 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5,032.08/sq mi (1,942.90/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
20847-53 & 20857
|Area codes||301, 240|
|GNIS feature ID||0586901|
Situated in the Piedmont region and crossed by three creeks (Rock Creek, Cabin John Creek, and Watts Branch), Rockville provided an excellent refuge for semi-nomadic Native Americans as early as 8000 BC. By the first millennium BC, a few of these groups had settled down into year-round agricultural communities that exploited the native flora, including sunflowers and marsh elder. By AD 1200, these early groups (dubbed Montgomery Indians by later archaeologists) were increasingly drawn into conflict with the Senecas and Susquehannocks who had migrated south from Pennsylvania and New York. Within the present-day boundaries of the city, six prehistoric sites have been uncovered and documented, along with numerous artifacts several thousand years old. By the year 1700, under pressure from European colonists, the majority of these original inhabitants had been driven away.
The indigenous population carved a path on the high ground, known as Sinequa Trail, which is now downtown Rockville. Later, the Maryland Assembly set the standard of 20 feet for main thoroughfares and designated the Rock Creek Main Road or Great Road to be built to this standard. In the mid-18th century, Lawrence Owen opened a small inn on the road. The place, known as Owen's Ordinary, took on greater prominence when, on April 14, 1755, Major General Edward Braddock stopped at Owen's Ordinary on a start of a mission from George Town (now Washington, D.C.) to press British claims of the western frontier. The location of the road, near the present Rockville Pike, was strategically located on higher ground making it dry year-round.:6–9
The first land patents in the Rockville area were obtained by Arthur Nelson between 1717 and 1735. Within three decades, the first permanent buildings in what would become the center of Rockville were established on this land. Still a part of Prince George's County at this time, the growth of Daniel Dulaney's Frederick Town prompted the separation of the western portion of the county, including Rockville, into Frederick County in 1748.
Being a small, unincorporated town, early Rockville was known by a variety of names, including Owen's Ordinary, Hungerford's Tavern, and Daley's Tavern. The first recorded mention of the settlement which would later become known as Rockville dates to the Braddock Expedition in 1755. On April 14, one of the approximately two thousand men who were accompanying General Braddock through wrote the following: "we marched to larance Owings or Owings Oardianary, a Single House, it being 18 miles and very dirty." Owen's Ordinary was a small rest stop on Rock Creek Main Road (later the Rockville Pike), which stretched from George Town to Frederick Town, and was then one of the largest thoroughfares in the colony of Maryland.
On September 6, 1776, the Maryland Constitutional Convention agreed to a proposal introduced by Thomas Sprigg Wootton wherein Frederick County, the largest and most populous county in Maryland, would be divided into three smaller units. The southern portion of the county, of which Rockville was a part, was named Montgomery County. The most populous and prosperous urban center in this new county was George Town, but its location at the far southern edge rendered it worthless as a seat of local government. Rockville, a small, but centrally located and well-traveled town, was chosen as the seat of the county's government. At the time, Rockville did not have a name; it was generally called Hungerford's Tavern, after the well-known tavern in it. After being named the county seat, the village was referred to by all as Montgomery Court House. The tavern served as the county courthouse, and it held its first such proceedings on May 20, 1777.
In 1784, William Prather Williams, a local landowner, hired a surveyor to lay out much of the town. In his honor, many took to calling the town Williamsburg. In practice, however, Williamsburg and Montgomery Court House were used interchangeably. Rockville came to greater prominence when Montgomery county was created and later when George Town was ceded to the federal government to create the District of Columbia.
It was first considered to officially name the town Wattsville, after the nearby Watts Branch, but the stream was later considered too small to give its name to the town. On July 16, 1803, when the area was officially entered into the county land records with the name "Rockville," derived from Rock Creek. Nevertheless, the name Montgomery Court House continued to appear on maps and other documents through the 1820s.
In November 1833, guests of the Old Hungerford Tavern were playing cards in the card room when they saw the Leonids meteor shower above. The guests threw their cards in the fire and knelt in prayer to ask for God's forgiveness.
By petition of Rockville's citizens, the Maryland General Assembly incorporated the village on March 10, 1860. During the American Civil War, General George B. McClellan stayed at the Beall Dawson house in 1862. In addition, General J.E.B. Stuart and an army of 8,000 Confederate cavalrymen marched through and occupied Rockville on June 28, 1863, while on their way to Gettysburg and stayed at the Prettyman house. Jubal Anderson Early had also crossed through Maryland on his way to and from his attack on Washington. In 1913, on the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a statue near the Rockville courthouse dedicated to Confederate soldiers from Montgomery County. The monument was removed in 2017 as part of a wave of removals of Confederate monuments and memorials in response to the 2015 Charleston church shooting, and is now located in White's Ferry.
In 1873, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad arrived, making Rockville easily accessible from Washington, D.C. (See Metropolitan Branch.) In July 1891, the Tennallytown and Rockville Railway inaugurated Rockville's first trolley service connecting to the Georgetown and Tennallytown Railway terminus at Western Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue.
The newly opened railroad provided service from Georgetown to Rockville, connecting Rockville to Washington, D.C. by trolley. Trolley service operated for four decades, until, eclipsed by the growing popularity of the automobile, service was halted in August 1935. The Blue Ridge Transportation Company provided bus service for Rockville and Montgomery County from 1924 through 1955. After 1955, Rockville would not see a concerted effort to develop a public transportation infrastructure until the 1970s, when the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began work to extend the Washington Metro into Rockville and extended Metrobus service into Montgomery County. The Rockville station of Washington Metro began service on July 25, 1984, and the Twinbrook station began service on December 15, 1984. Metrobus service was supplemented by Montgomery County's own Ride On bus service starting in 1979. MARC, Maryland's Rail Commuter service, serves Rockville with its Brunswick line. From Rockville MARC provides service to Union Station in Washington D.C. (southbound) and, Frederick and Martinsburg, West Virginia (northbound), as well as intermediate points. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service from Rockville to Chicago and Washington D.C.
The mid-20th century saw substantial growth in Rockville, especially with the annexation of the Twinbrook subdivision in 1949, which added hundreds of new homes and thousands of new residents to the city. In 1954, Congressional Airport closed, and its land was sold to developers to build residences and a commercial shopping center. The shopping center, named Congressional Plaza, opened in 1958. These new areas provided affordable housing and grew quickly with young families eager to start their lives following World War II.
During the Cold War, it was considered safer to remain in Rockville than to evacuate during a hypothetical nuclear attack on Washington, D.C. Bomb shelters were built, including the largest one at Glenview Mansion and 15 other locations. The I-270 highway was designated as an emergency aircraft landing strip. Two Nike missile launcher sites were located on Muddy Branch and Snouffer School Roads until the mid-1970s.:163
From the 1960s, Rockville's town center, formerly one of the area's commercial centers, suffered from a period of decline. Rockville soon became the first city in Maryland to enter into a government funded urban renewal program. This resulted in the demolition of most of the original business district. Included in the plan was the unsuccessful Rockville Mall, which failed to attract either major retailers or customers and was demolished in 1994, various government buildings such as the new Montgomery County Judicial Center, and a reorganization of the road plan near the Courthouse. Unfortunately, the once-promising plan was for the most part a disappointment. Although efforts to restore the town center continue, the majority of the city's economic activity has since relocated along Rockville Pike (MD Route 355/Wisconsin Avenue). In 2004, Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo announced plans to renovate the Rockville Town Square, including building new stores and housing and relocating the city's library. In the past year, the new Rockville Town Center has been transformed and includes a number of boutique-like stores, restaurants, condominiums and apartments, as well as stages, fountains and the Rockville Library. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's headquarters is just south of the City's corporate limits.
The city is closely associated with the neighboring towns of Kensington and the unincorporated census-designated place, North Bethesda. The Music Center at Strathmore, an arts and theater center, opened in February 2005 in the latter of these two areas and is presently the second home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville Civic Center Park has provided diverse entertainment since 1960. In 1998, Regal Cinemas opened in Town Center:217 and the city annexed 900 acres of land.
The city also has a brass band in the British style.
In 1975, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald's caskets were reinterred at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville, Maryland where his father, Edward, and a number of Key family members had been buried.
Historic structures on the Register in and around downtown Rockville are:
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.57 square miles (35.15 km2), of which, 13.51 square miles (34.99 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rockville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Rockville is in hardiness zone 7a, meaning that the average annual minimum winter temperature is 0 to 5 °F (−18 to −15 °C). The average first frost occurs on October 21, and the average final frost occurs on April 16.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The median income for a household in the city as of 2015 was $100,239. As of 2007, the median income for a family was $98,257. Males have a median income of $53,764 versus $38,788 for females. In 2015, the per capita income for the city was $49,399. 7.8% of the population and 5.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.9% of those under the age of 18 and 7.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
As of the census of 2010, there were 61,209 people, 23,686 households, and 15,524 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,530.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,749.3/km2). There were 25,199 housing units at an average density of 1,865.2 per square mile (720.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.4% White (52.8% non-Hispanic white), 9.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 20.6% Asian, 5.3% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.3% of the population.
There were 23,686 households of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.5% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.08.
The median age in the city was 38.7 years. 21.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.1% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 14% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.
According to the city's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|2||Montgomery County Public Schools||2,500|
|3||U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission||2,391|
|6||Lockheed Martin Information Systems||1,500|
|7||Booz Allen Hamilton||1,282|
|8||Charles E. Smith Life Communities||1,050|
|9||United States Pharmacopeial Convention||560|
|10||City of Rockville||517|
The current mayor of Rockville is Bridget Donnell Newton.
Rockville was incorporated in 1860, but its early records were destroyed by Confederate soldiers in July 1864.
Rockville's mayors include:
|William V. Bouic||1888-1890||Democratic|
|Daniel F. Owens||1890|
|William V. Bouic||1890-1891|
|Hattersley W. Talbott||1892-1893|
|John G. England||1894-1896|
|Spencer C. Jones||1898-1901|
|Hattersley W. Talbott||1901-1906|
|O. M. Linthicum||1920-1924|
|Charles G. Holland||1924-1926|
|J. Roger Spates||1926-1932|
|G. LaMar Kelly||1946-1952|
|Dickran Y. Hovsepian||1954-1958|
|Alexander J. Greene||1958-1962|
|Frank A. Ecker||1962-1968|
|Achilles M. Tuchtan||1968-1972|
|Matthew J. McCartin||1972-1974|
|William E. Hanna, Jr.||1974-1982|
|John R. Freeland||1982-1984|
|Viola D. Hovesepian||1984-1985||Appointed mayor|
|Steven Van Grack||1985-1987||Independent|
|Douglas M. Duncan||1987-1993||Democratic|
|Rose G. Krasnow||1995-2001|
|Susan R. Hoffmann||2007-2009|
|Phyllis R. Marcuccio||2009-2013||Independent|
|Bridget Donnell Newton||2013–Present|
Rockville has a four-member City Council, whose members, along with the mayor, serve as the governing body of the city. The councilmembers for the 2015 to 2019 term are Beryl L. Feinberg, Virginia Onley, and Mark Pierzchala.
Rockville is served by Montgomery County Public Schools. Public high schools in Rockville include Thomas S. Wootton High School, Richard Montgomery High School, and Rockville High School. Prior to integration in 1961, black students were educated at George Washington Carver High School in Rockville.
The Montgomery College (MC), main campus is located within Rockville and enrolls more than 15,000 students as of March 2019. The college is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Additional Institutions of higher education in Rockville include the University of Maryland University College (main campus is in Adelphi, Maryland), The Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus (main campus is in Baltimore, Maryland), and the Universities at Shady Grove, a collaboration of nine Maryland public degree-granting institutions, all have Rockville addresses, but are just outside the city limits.
The Rockville Memorial Library is available to the residents of Rockville. The Rockville Memorial Library offers services for books, databases, newspapers, magazines as well as internet access.
The Washington Metro Red Line rail system can be accessed at Rockville station and Twinbrook station. The Brunswick Line of the MARC commuter rail system runs to and from Washington, D.C., and can be accessed at Rockville Station. Amtrak trains also serve Rockville.
Bus service connects Rockville directly to the regional transit hub at Baltimore–Washington International Airport, and to downtown Baltimore via the Maryland Transit Administration ICC Bus and the Baltimore Light Rail.
Rockville has one sister city:
It has a "friendship relationship" (a step preliminary to a sister-city relationship) with another city:
The inhabitants of the City of Rockville, Montgomery County, are a body corporate by the name of 'The Mayor and Council of Rockville,' and by that name may have perpetual succession, sue and be sued, and have and use a common seal. (Res. No. 8-78; Res. No. 24-60)
"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" is the second and final single released by U.S. rock band R.E.M. from its second studio album Reckoning. The song failed to chart on either the Billboard Hot 100 or the UK Singles Charts.
The song was written by Mike Mills (credited to Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe), in 1980, as a plea to his then girlfriend, Ingrid Schorr, not to return to Rockville, Maryland, where her parents lived. Schorr, who later became a journalist, has written about her amusement with the factual inaccuracies about her relationship with Mills and the background of the song that often appear in books about the band. Peter Buck has stated that the song was originally performed in a punk/thrash style, and that it was recorded for this single in its now more-familiar country-inspired arrangement as a joke aimed at R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs.Over time, Mike Mills has taken over lead vocals instead of Michael Stipe when the band has played the song live. On R.E.M.'s appearance on VH1 Storytellers in 1998, Mills performed the song solo on piano. A live version of the song was released as the B-side to "Leaving New York" in 2004 and on R.E.M. Live in 2007.Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) is an American video game developer and a division of Bethesda Softworks based in Rockville, Maryland. The company was established in 2001 as the spin-off of Bethesda Softworks' development unit, with Bethesda Softworks itself retaining only a publishing function. The studio is led by Todd Howard as executive producer and Ashley Cheng as studio director. BGS operates three satellite studios, one in Montreal and two in Texas, and employs 400 people as of July 2018.Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks LLC is an American video game publisher based in Rockville, Maryland. The company was founded by Christopher Weaver in 1986 as a division of Media Technology Limited, and in 1999 became a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media. In its first fifteen years, it was a video game developer and self-published its titles. In 2001, Bethesda spun off its own in-house development team into Bethesda Game Studios, and Bethesda Softworks became a publisher. It also publishes games by ZeniMax Online Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames and Tango Gameworks.Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. is a hospitality franchisor based in Rockville, Maryland, United States. The company, which is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, owns several hotel brands ranging from upscale to economy. As of March 31, 2019, Choice Hotels franchised 7,005 properties in 41 countries and territories worldwide, with approximately 568,112 rooms.George Washington Carver High School (Rockville, Maryland)
George Washington Carver High School and Junior College was the high school for black children in Rockville, Maryland prior to the integration of public schools with its founding in 1927 until its area schools were integrated.Gordy Coleman
Gordon Calvin "Gordy" Coleman (July 5, 1934 – March 12, 1994) was a professional baseball first baseman. He played in Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds and helped the Reds win the 1961 National League pennant, and was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1972.
In nine Major League seasons, he appeared in 773 games, totaled 98 home runs, 387 runs batted in, and compiled a .273 batting average.Joanna Guy
Joanna Guy (born August 4, 1991) is a former Miss Maryland titleholder and Miss America Competition 2013 Top 10 Finalist and Talent Award winner. A Cornell University graduate from Swanton, Maryland, she currently resides in Durham and is an MBA student at Duke University.Julie Palakovich Carr
Julie Palakovich Carr (b. April 22, 1983) is an American politician who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 17 (Gaithersburg and Rockville), in November 2018. District 17 is also represented by Senator Cheryl Kagan and Delegates Kumar Barve and James W. Gilchrist.Latvian Museum
The Latvian Museum in Rockville, Maryland has as its mission the preservation and communication of Latvian history and culture and the history of Latvians in the United States. The Museum is housed in facilities that include the national headquarters of the American Latvian Association as well as the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran church and Latvian Saturday school which serve the Latvian American community in the greater Washington D.C. area.Mack Hollins
Mack Hollins (born September 16, 1993) is an American football wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at North Carolina.Mike Curtis (American football)
James Michael "Mike" Curtis (born March 27, 1943) is a former professional American football player for the Baltimore Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins, who played 14 seasons from 1965 to 1978 in the National Football League. He was a four-time Pro Bowler in 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1974. He was considered one of the meanest players of his era. Although sacks were not official during the time he played, Curtis was a good blitzer, recording 22 sacks, including one in which a famous photograph was taken of Curtis tackling Roman Gabriel's head. Curtis also picked off 25 passes and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1970 by a panel of 101 sportswriters.Mike McKay (politician)
Mike McKay (born March 5, 1969 in Rockville, Maryland) is a Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates currently representing District 1C (Allegany & Washington counties).Mike Rebhan
Michael H. Rebhan (September 28, 1967 – February 27, 2019), born in Rockville, Maryland, was a college baseball player for the Georgia Bulldogs baseball team.Montrose Christian School
Montrose Christian School is a private Christian school in Rockville, Maryland, operated by the Montrose Baptist Church, Maryland's second largest Southern Baptist church. It educates around 370 students. Its first Senior High School class graduated in 1986.Rockville High School (Maryland)
Rockville High School (RHS) is a four-year high school in Rockville, Maryland, United States. The school was founded in 1968 and its current building was completed in August 2004. Rockville High School is based in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 2009, enrollment was 1,243 students. Enrollment increased to 1,476 by the 2017-2018 school year. Earle B. Wood Middle School is the only feeder school for RHS.
The original building underwent renovation starting in the 2002-2003 school year, and was completed by the start of the 2004-2005 school year. During the two years of renovation, RHS students attended Northwood High School.Rockville Mall
Rockville Mall was an indoor shopping mall in Rockville, Maryland. Opened in 1972, the mall originated as part of an urban renewal project. Much of it was demolished in 1995, and later replaced with Rockville Town Center.Third Addition to Rockville and Old St. Mary's Church and Cemetery
The Third Addition to Rockville and Old St. Mary's Church and Cemetery is a historic area located at Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland. This area combines 19th century residential scale buildings with a tree-lined narrow street, country church, weathered headstones, Victorian Gothic railroad station, and a brick cast-iron front commercial structure, to create an atmosphere that evokes the era when the station served as the gateway to Rockville. In addition to Victorian Gothic, architectural styles used in residential buildings include Queen Anne, Georgian, and Colonial Revival. St. Mary's Church is significant as the County's first brick Roman Catholic church, and the handsome hardware store is the area's last surviving cast-iron brick commercial structure. The Old St. Mary's Church Cemetery is the final resting place of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda Fitzgerald and his daughter Frances Fitzgerald.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School
Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School or Wootton High School (WHS) is a public high school in Rockville, Maryland. Its namesake is Thomas Sprigg Wootton, the founder of Montgomery County. The school was founded in 1970 and is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. Robert Frost Middle School along with half of Cabin John Middle School feed into Wootton.ZeniMax Media
ZeniMax Media Inc. is an American video game holding company based in Rockville, Maryland, and founded in 1999. The company owns id Software (developer of the Doom, Quake and Rage series), Arkane Studios (developer of Dishonored and Prey), MachineGames (developer of Wolfenstein: The New Order), Tango Gameworks (developer of The Evil Within), publisher Bethesda Softworks with its Bethesda Game Studios (developer of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series) and ZeniMax Online Studios (developer of The Elder Scrolls Online).
Places adjacent to Rockville, Maryland
Municipalities and communities of Montgomery County, Maryland, United States
County seat: Rockville
Special Tax Districts
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties
Largest cities or towns in Maryland
2010 U.S. Census populations
|6||Glen Burnie||Anne Arundel||67,639|
|Counties and |
The District of Columbia itself, and Virginia's incorporated cities, are county equivalents. Virginia's incorporated cities are listed under their surrounding county. The incorporated cities bordering more than one county (Alexandria, Falls Church and Fredericksburg) are listed under the county they were part of before incorporation as a city.