The calendar is entitled, “Broken Down Heroes”, which showcases twelve months of old abandoned, but not forgotten vehicles found in fields across the U.S. The calendar is in high resolution black and white and highlights the artistic nature of the photographs by noted photographer Bob Christy. Also included throughout are significant and unusual dates in automotive history. The inside back cover features a 2-page “The EDSEL is on its way!” photo essay.
The top part of the calendar features a photograph of Lewis Reed and a snippet of history. At the bottom of the calendar there is a photograph of the 1936 Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station and the original 1915 Rockville Garage. (click on image twice to enlarge)
This amazing calendar like no other – it’s more like a coffee table book than a calendar and a must have for old car enthusiasts. The 2015 printed calendar is available now for purchase on norris-banonis.com.
Looking back at photography from the past is a fascinating experience for me. I have no formal history training, just a general interest in local history where I grew up. This special post is a part of a new blog feature called, “Rockville’s Past Through the Lens of Lewis Reed”. It doesn’t have anything to do with Reed Brothers Dodge, but it does have a lot to do with it’s founder, Lewis Reed. With photography for a hobby, one that began even before automobiles were around, Lewis Reed had amassed an extensive collection of photographs from historical locations in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia.
With that said, I will not try to be an historian; I will simply highlight some photos and supply a few sentences of context. I will begin with some images of Black Rock Mill … through the lens of Lewis Reed.
Black Rock Mill was built by Thomas Hillary and has stood along the banks of Great Seneca Creek as a landmark since its construction in 1815-1816. The mill was in working operation for over a hundred years until a flood in 1920 destroyed a dam on Seneca Creek and damaged the mill. Today, it a unique survivor of the many mills in Montgomery County harnessing the water-power of the creeks to grind wheat and corn into flour. It is one of only two mills standing in Montgomery County Maryland. (click on images to enlarge)
As far as can be determined, Lewis Reed’s collection of Black Rock Mill photographs are probably some of the earliest known.
Lewis Reed was a well-known photographer in the county and many of his early photographs are now part of the Montgomery County Historical Society photo archives. The Jane C. Sween Library was recently given a collection of 280 glass plate negatives, showing Montgomery County in the early 20th century.
A photo taken by Lewis Reed appeared below in an undated Montgomery County Courier newspaper.
For now, the mill sits idle but majestic on the Seneca Creek, a reminder of a long time ago. Black Rock Mill is owned by MCPS and is open to the public during daylight hours. There are also hiking trails all around it since it sits within the parks system. This is a very large structure and is one of the best preserved old mills in Montgomery County. It also sits directly alongside a creek and the interior of the building has flood markers on the walls. At least one flood took over 2/3 of the building.
Directions: From Germantown, go south on Germantown Road/Md 118 for 2.5 miles, turn right onto Black Rock Road and go about 3 miles to the mill on the right at Great Seneca Creek. The mill is located in Seneca Creek State Park.
Work continues on the Bainbridge Shady Grove apartments, which was home to former Reed Brothers Dodge dealership. The Used Car sign, still standing on King Farm Blvd is the last remaining remnant of the dealership’s former life.
Demolition at the site was conducted May 2013 to make way for a mixed use development. When the state widened the roads in 1970, Reed Brothers Dodge relocated from its original facility at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike (now Veterans Park) to a new 26,000 square foot showroom and Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep service complex located at 15955 Frederick Road in Rockville, Maryland. Reed Brothers Dodge stood at this location for more than 40 years.
The “Light Dodger,” sculpture by Tj Aitken has hit a major milestone and is planning a celebration! The full scale armature will be erected for the first time!
The 20-foot sculpture and the Hemi Street Lamps are to be installed next spring at Bainbridge Shady Grove Apartments at the entrance to the Shady Grove Metro Station to commemorate Reed Brothers Dodge and the dealership’s history.
Lewis Reed’s Rockville Garage sold more than just Dodges. During the early years, Reed Brothers represented several franchise nameplates along with Dodge, including Oldsmobile, Hudson and Essex. The Hudson and Oldsmobile were sold at Reed Brothers from roughly 1917 through 1921.
In 1930. Reed Brothers added the Plymouth line. The first Plymouth was built in 1928 and Plymouths were sold at Reed Brothers until 1969, when the brand was given to the Chrysler dealers.
Below is new car showtime as fair-goers get their first glimpse at the latest models that Rockville Garage had to offer. Identified by the triangle logo on the grill and the number of passengers seated in it, the car below appears to be a 1918 Hudson Super Six Seven Passenger Touring.
The first advertisement below, distributed by the Oldsmobile Sales Company in the Sunday, June 29, 1919 edition of The Washington Post is probably one of the first ads in which the Rockville Garage appeared. Dealers are listed in fine print at the bottom: note Rockville Garage, Rockville, Md, highlighted in yellow. (click on image to enlarge)
This blog entry is posted today to commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery County Police Department. It was 92 years ago on July 4, 1922 that the MCPD was first established. In those days, Montgomery County was farm country, sparsely populated, automobiles sharing dirt roads with horse-drawn wagons. But it was changing into a proper suburb, and there needed to be a police department.
Posing in front of Reed Brothers Dodge on July 4, 1922 Chief Charles Cooley, center, and his men of the first mounted unit of the Montgomery County Police Force, were on their first day of duty. (click image to enlarge)
The MCPD consisted of five officers and a Chief. Each of the officers was issued a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a .38 Smith & Wesson handgun, a black jack, law book and was allotted $300.00 a year for the upkeep of their motorcycle.
Source: Montgomery County, Two Centuries of Change by Jane Sween