Photo by Michael Ventura

If people’s homes are often an expression of their personalities, the Bethesda area—from Chevy Chase to Potomac—has its share of out-sized personalities with the homes to match.

In Montgomery County, million-dollar homes are almost a dime a dozen. In fact, more than 21,000 owner-occupied homes currently have assessed values of at least $1 million.

There are communities sprinkled with 20,000-square-foot homes, not just real estate but real estates. Special features, rather than merely size and price, make other homes unique. In our search for extreme homes, here are some of those we found.

Oldest House

Milton/Loughborough House  |  5312 Allandale Road, Bethesda

It sits hidden at a dead end in the shadow of a radio tower off Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda. Amid blocks of faux colonials, this is the real deal. Built circa 1700, it’s 3,400 square feet of antiquity on 2.3 acres.

The house—on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975—was originally a tavern and stagecoach stop built on high ground across the creek from Indian encampments, whose transient occupants left behind their arrowheads for later generations to find.


Once known as Milton, the house was home to Nathan Loughborough, an early 19th-century comptroller of the U.S. Treasury whose son Hamilton, the next owner, gave plots of land to his freed slaves after their emancipation.

Since 1983, it has been home to John Beaty and Anne Mehringer. It seems fitting that Beaty, a financial adviser with Brown Advisory, is a past president of the Montgomery County Historical Society. Mehringer, retired manager of litigation support at Jones Day, a Washington, D.C., law firm, says they have unearthed shards of ceramics and antique bottles over the years, as well as a bullet. And they have been able to do so in relative privacy.

“It’s in a quiet corner in the back end of a neighborhood,” Mehringer says, “and there is enough land around it that you’re not on top of your neighbors.”


A pebble driveway leads to the house, which has been added onto over the years. It now consists of three wings of solid gray stone—with walls 18 inches thick—and, in a concession to modern times, central air-conditioning.

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