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Dorothy's Woods

Dorothy Thomsen Barnes was born in 1922, soon after her parents bought a small house at 419 Elm Avenue. Dorothy and her friends grew up playing in the woods behind their house. She described those years in an oral history recorded in 2001

“We raced and ran through the woods behind our houses. We walked to school through a meadow of daisies and grasses and little tiny trees. Now it's a wooded area, of course, with houses built after they cut [Woodland Avenue] through.”

The school was J. Enos Ray Elementary, named for the influential Prince George's politician and long-time chair of the Democratic State Central Committee. It opened in 1929 as the first school on the Prince George's side of Takoma Park. Local parents considered it a blessing in the days when the next nearest county school was in Mt. Rainier and there were no buses. “I don't know how we would have gotten there,” Dorothy explained.

But the woods was more than the shortcut to school, it became the favored play space...

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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.