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November 24, 1883

Founding of Takoma Park

Takoma Park traces its origins to the 24th day of November in 1883 when Benjamin Franklin Gilbert signed a deed for 90+ acres of land surrounding the B&O railroad stop then called Brightwood.

This undeveloped land sat on the border of Maryland and DC seven miles north of the heart of the federal government. Here Gilbert launched his vision -- a new kind of living experience where federal workers could escape the miasmas of life in Washington for their own home in the fresh country air, yet still an easy commute to their jobs.

His bet paid off. Over the next two decades, Gilbert (and his friends) bought dozens of additio nal parcels to expand the tiny suburb newly renamed Takoma Park. He carved out streets and created parks. A master promoter, Gilbert persuaded a range of residents from federal clerks and immigrant laborers to wealthy bankers to join him in his experiment of a Sylvan Suburb.

When Gilbert died in 1907, the town had been incorporated under the laws of Maryland while retaining even closer connections with the nation's capital. Most important, he had set a independent-minded tone that encouraged residents to do it ourselves.

Here's to our founder, Benjamin Franklin Gilbert!

Street Address:
7328 Carroll Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 5781
Takoma Park, MD 20913

When visiting Historic Takoma, please walk, bike or take public transportation. Metered parking is available either in the City lot adjacent to the TPSS Coop, or in front of the Carroll Avenue businesses.