Poolesville Historic District
Poolesville, Montgomery County
Within Poolesville Historic District are 33 buildings of local architectural and/or historical significance. This number includes structures representing a diversity of styles, materials, and usages, and includes residential, ecclesiastical, and commercial architecture, as well as an assorted number of small domestic dependencies, such as dairies and smokehouses. With the exception of the present Town Hall, all of the buildings within the district are privately owned. Most of the buildings are private residences, many dating from within the first half of the 19th century, although a few date from the last two decades of the 18th century and about ten from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although many of the earlier buildings have been enlarged and remodeled since their initial construction, they have managed to retain easily observable vestiges of their former appearance and, indeed, through their various stages of updating, physically document the developing sophistication and economic prosperity of their owners.
The boundaries of the Poolesville Historic District encompass an interesting collection of 19th and early-20th century architecture that, in context, has great significance to the social and economic development of this area of Montgomery County. Unfortunately, several fires, most notably those of 1923, 1935, and 1953, have destroyed various buildings, creating wide gaps in the streetscapes. In several instances these empty lots have been commercially developed, using building styles that do not harmonize architecturally or aesthetically with the surrounding village. However, the integrity of the town has been essentially retained and is worthy of attention on both local and state levels. Although Poolesville is primarily an early 19th century village, that for all practical purposes began its existence as a convenient crossroads settlement which served the many surrounding farms, the building of private residences and commercial establishments continued well after the Civil War. This history of the settlement, however, dates to about the middle of the 18th century when various land grants were given to a small number of individuals settling what was then Maryland's frontier. It was these early grants that were, by the close of the 18th century, eventually resurveyed and divided into smaller tracts and individual lots.