Kids sitting in the John Poole House, the oldest building in Poolesville. Credit: Sarah Rogers

This weekend, Heritage Montgomery will host the 24th annual Heritage Days: a two-day event where more than 30 historic and recreational sites across Montgomery County will be open for visitors.

Sarah Rogers, Heritage Montgomery’s director, said this is an opportunity for people to “go explore,” and “learn about the history, culture and natural resources available here in the county.”

Typically, smaller sites may only be open on particular days, while larger ones vary in admission prices.

Rogers explained this weekend is an opportunity to explore local museums that people may not be able to see otherwise.

“If there’s a historic building people drive by on the way to work and it’s always closed, it’s probably open this weekend,” Rogers said.

Among the highlights, the Washington Revels, a multi-generational performing arts community, will close out its weeklong Juneteenth Celebration with the Festival of Freedom on June 25 at Glen Echo Park in Bethesda. The celebration will honor the Howard University students and residents who helped desegregate the Glen Echo Amusement Park in 1960.


The Festival of Freedom will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include live music, family-friendly activities, storytelling and carousel rides.

Other free Heritage Days events include churning butter at the MOOseum in Boyds, touring the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville, visiting the oldest continuously operated general store in Poolesville and seeing the natural habitats at the Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase.

More historic destinations, which will be open from noon to 4 p.m., include:


Cabins and museums
Button Farm Living History Center depicts plantation life in the 1850s with gardens, animals, cemeteries and restored buildings where enslaved people were held. Visitors can also see the Oakley Cabin in Olney on Saturday or the Harper Cabin in Wheaton on Sunday, both of which housed Black communities in the 1800s.

Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory
Visitors can view astronomical history at The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory. This observatory was built in 1899 as part of an international project with five other cities around the globe to track the Earth’s wobble on its polar axis.

Restored schoolhouses
The Seneca Schoolhouse Museum will offer a look at a restored one-room schoolhouse in Poolesville, and the Boyds Negro School is holding tours and activities. On Saturday, the Smithville School Museum and Education Center in Silver Spring will have desks and chairs set up, replicating its period of operation from 1927 to 1952.


Old Germantown
See the early 20th century agricultural railroad town and the 1922 Germantown Community Bank, which is now a museum. Exhibits at the museum include baseball pitcher Walter Johnson and the Civil War in Germantown.

A full breakdown of the weekend’s events can be found here.

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