Past Features

Reading Room Closed on January 16

In anticipation of unpleasant weather on Sunday, January 16 the Reading Room will be closed. We look foward to seeing you on our next open day, February 6.

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First in a Series: From Our Archives – “Buy in Takoma Park”

One of the rewards of opening all the Archives boxes is discovering fascinating items, like this ad from the December 1929 Takoma Enterprise newspaper. 

Takoma Enterprise, December 1929

“Shop Local” isn’t a new concept. Takoma merchant David Feldman was making this plea even before the Great Depression’s full impact was being felt.

We don’t know much about Feldman. We do have a postcard of his store, which stood where Cedar Crossing is today. And his newspaper ads tell us a great deal. His first ad in the July 1928 issue  of the Takoma Enterprise was titled “Compliments from a Foreigner on the Birthday of the United States of America.” 

In December 1930, he references the 25th anniversary  of opening his store on January 25, 1904. Perhaps most poignantly, his December 1932 pleads with customers, “Don’t keep your foot on the gas until you are all the way downtown, but drift up to the curb in front of the one that is our very own and add your bit to local prosperity.” If you have any further information on David Feldman or his story, please  contact us at (To see more Feldman’s ads from the Enterprise, keep reading…)

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2021 Takoma Park Folk Festival

This 2021 Takoma Park Folk Festival on Sunday, September 12 streamed live music while crafters enjoyed an afternoon outdoor showcase. The Festival is a long-standing fall tradition that stretches back more than four decades. Here are Five Things to Know about the Festival. 

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Historic Takoma Reading Room – Open 1st/3rd Sundays

Historic Takoma’s Reading Room is open every first and third Sunday from 1 PM to 4 PM. Visitors will have access to reference books on Takoma and Maryland history, our collection of Takoma Voices and City newsletters, historical journals, and more. We are also hosting the Maryland Reference Collection of the Takoma Park Maryland Library during the library’s renovation. Historic Takoma volunteers will be available to answer questions about the collections and Historic Takoma.

NOTE: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to enter the Reading Room. Visitors are asked to follow County health guidelines, including wearing a mask while in the Reading Room.

May 1890: Mayor Gilbert Calls First Council Meetings

(First in a series featuring items of interest from our Archives.)

From the Charles Heaton Scrapbook, Historic Takoma Archives

This ballot shows the vote tally of the first Takoma Park election on May 5, 1890. Mayor-elect B.F. Gilbert gathered the four councilmen-elect at his home on May 15th for the official swearing-in. After reviewing the Charter of Incorporation as to its effect on future Council actions, the meeting adjourned. 

The original town seal, City of Takoma Park Council Minutes

At a second brief meeting on May 20th, the Council officially adopted the town seal as sketched by Charles M. Heaton, Jr. The seal became part of the official minute book since Heaton was recording the meeting as Secretary. One other item of business authorized payment of $14.50 for election expenses.  

Not until June 24th did the Council turn its attention to the real business at hand, ie. paying for street lighting and sidewalks. This focus helps explain why the very men who formed the Council sought to incorporate in the first place. When the State of Maryland granted Incorporation on April 3, 1890, it limited the “Town of Takoma Park” to land in Maryland. Although this legally split Gilbert’s suburb in two, residents continued to act as one community for decades after.

NOTE: Charles Heaton preserved the tally in a scrapbook he was already assembling. That scrapbook along with his other papers became a key part of the Takoma Park Historical Society, which he helped organize in 1912. It can be accessed online HERE. The City Minute Books are available on the City of Takoma Park website. The index can be accessed HERE.  

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New Video on Spring Park

The Friends of Sligo Creek debuted a six-minute video this month telling the story of Spring Park.  Bruce Moyer leads a virtual tour of the park at Poplar and Elm Avenues, surveying its native plants and trees. 

Filmed by Ed Murtagh, the video also highlights the spring’s history with photos from Historic Takoma’s Archives.  “Sligo History: Spring Park” can be viewed on YouTube.  

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In Appreciation: Normon Greene (1949-2020)

In 1999, Takoma residents asked local artist Normon Greene to create a memorial to Roscoe, Takoma’s beloved rooster and victim of a hit-and-run driver. The bronze sculpture proudly stands under the clock at Laurel & Carroll, forever capturing the spirit of Takoma’s iconic rooster and the town Roscoe called home.

Photo credit: Julie Wiatt

The pairing of the free-ranging rooster and the mostly self-taught sculptor/painter was a perfect match. On August 30, Normon himself passed away of a heart attack at age 70.

Like Roscoe, Normon forged his own path: a journey that took him from Lynchburg VA to Westmoreland Avenue, Takoma Park in 1997. Here he and his wife raised two sons, and Normon discovered his passion for sculpture and painting in bright colors.

Neighbors gifted him with a garage-turned-studio. The city commissioned his sculpture of Chief Powhatan for Spring Park. Much more followed, 90 venues in all — from National Harbor and Baltimore, to local libraries, schools, galleries, and of course, Roscoe.

Beyond his art, Normon helped organize the Westmoreland Avenue Community Organization Read More

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Welcome to Historic Takoma’s new website. We are indebted to students from the University of Maryland College of Information Studies who created a design for us and built the site. Please take some time to explore the site. We welcome your feedback on what you’d like to see on the site (as well as letting us know what isn’t working!). We also need your help in improving the site – if you have an interest and skill in website design we need you!! Please contact us by writing to We look forward to hearing from you.