Lewis & Edgar Reed’s One-Room Schoolhouse

Darneston School

An early 1890s class photo taken at Lewis and Edgar Reed’s one-room schoolhouse (Darnestown School).

One of the most amazing photographs in my grandfather’s collection is of the one-room schoolhouse where he and his brother, Edgar, went to school.  The photo was labeled “Darnestown School”.  I cannot say with any certainty where this school was located, but my mother (Lewis Reed’s daughter) thought it was located on Thomas Kelley’s Farm on Route 28 in Darnestown.

In most rural (country) and small town schools, all of the students met in a single room. There, a single teacher taught academic basics to several grade levels of elementary-age boys and girls. The classroom of a one-room schoolhouse probably looked much like your own. The teacher’s desk may have been on a raised platform at the front of the room, however, and there would have been a wood-burning stove since there was no other source of heat. The bathroom would have been outside in an outhouse. It seems a far cry from the modern school world of today, but it was the reality of the rural education system.

Darnestown One room School

Darnestown School. Note the outhouse on left. Photo by Lewis Reed

Source: Germantown MD Wikipedia

 

Flashback: Reed Brothers Baseball Team, circa 1920

Most likely, Rockville’s first experience with baseball was during the Civil War on the fields where Richard Montgomery High School now stands. It was known as “Camp Lincoln” because of the Union encampment there, and Federal soldiers helped popularize the new game they brought from the North. After the Civil War those fields – known as the Rockville Fairgrounds – continued to be a popular place for baseball.

Reed Brothers Dodge had a company baseball team that played on those same fields. The photos below were taken by Lewis Reed on a field at the Rockville Fairgrounds circa early 1920s.

1920s company softball team

Reed Brothers Dodge Baseball Team, circa early 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

1920s company softball team

Reed Brothers Dodge Baseball Team, circa early 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

1920s company softball team

Pat Murray (Parts Dept Manager), keeping score. Photo by Lewis Reed

Reed Brothers Baseball Team

Reed Brothers Baseball Team on field at Rockville Fairgrounds, circa early 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

 

New Blog Feature: Rockville’s Past Through the Lens of Lewis Reed

Lewis Reed Printing Pictures

Lewis Reed (founder of Reed Brothers Dodge) was a well-known photographer in Montgomery County. Many of his photographs are now part of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Historical Society photo archives. He even developed his own photographs.

Looking back at photography from the past is a fascinating experience for me. Since I started this blog, I have had the opportunity to look through my grandfather’s extensive collection of photographs from historical locations in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. Some of the photos are more than 100 years old! 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.

Every now and then the light bulb goes off and a new idea is born. It occurred to me that with the vast number of photographs in his albums, that this blog would be a great place to highlight some of them. With that in mind, I will be spotlighting photographs from his albums occasionally that may not pertain to Reed Brothers Dodge.

I have no formal history training, just a general interest in local history where I grew up. I will not try to be an historian; I will post a photo and supply a few sentences of context. All of them will in some way will offer a visual history of a part of Rockville’s past. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Dodge Brothers March

Sing a song of old Detroit, for she’s the flashing, dashing pioneer of motor glory …

Dodge Brothers March

Dedicated by Victor Herbert to the Late Mr. Horace E. Dodge in Respectful Appreciation of His Generous Efforts Towards the Advancement of American Music; Published Especially for Dodge Brothers.

I love this march and the history behind it — it is such a typical success story of the early part of the 20th century. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) owes much of its prestige to half of the auto-building Dodge Brothers, John and Horace. It was Horace, the more mechanically-inclined of the two — and a decent enough amateur musician, by all accounts — that helped pay for a permanent conductor hired in 1918 to give the symphony world-class status. More importantly, he contributed $150,000 toward the cost of a new concert hall and led the successful fund-raising campaign for the building. Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, which opened in October 1919.

The Symphony was what finally smoothed the way into Detroit high society for Horace. Prior to that, the brothers were repeatedly blackballed — they were hard-drinking brawlers who didn’t much care what other people thought of them. (Their first major success was in manufacturing parts for Henry Ford’s assembly line. John Dodge was asked why the brothers abandoned that lucrative work to make their own cars. “Think of all those Ford owners who will someday want an automobile,” he snarked.) By the time the brothers suddenly died in 1920 — both from complications of the influenza then raging world-wide, although Horace’s condition was precipitously undermined by John’s death—such was their renown that none other than Victor Herbert paid tribute with “The Dodge Brothers March.”

The Dodge Brothers company distributed both the sheet music and, according to one source, 100,000 recordings of the piece.

Below are the lyrics and sound recording (without voice) of the march:

DODGE BROTHERS MARCH LYRICS

From the hills of San Jose San Jose 
To the lights of gay Broadway gay Broadway
Sing a song of old Detroit
For she’s the flashing dashing pioneer of motor glory
Born of thunder steel and flame
All the world now hails her name hails her name
Here’s to Dodge and old Detroit
We pledge the glory of their fame

From the hills of San Jose San Jose
To the lights of gay Broadway gay Broadway
Sing a song of old Detroit
For she’s the flashing dashing pioneer of motor glory
Born of thunder steel and flame
All the world now hails her name hails her name
Here’s to Dodge and old Detroit
We pledge the glory of their fame

What better way to tap into the soul of an era than through music?  It’s a lot of fun, actually. Click here to download and listen to the Dodge Brothers March 1920.

References:
The Dodge Brothers: The Men, The Motor Cars, And The Legacy
Johns Hopkins University, Levy Sheet Music Collection, Box 075, Item 028
The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922

1976 Showroom & Car Lot

1970s Reed Brothers Dodge showroom

A 1976 Dodge Charger displayed on showroom floor

I found these two gems while looking through some of my old photo albums. The top photo shows what appears to be a 1976 Dodge Charger displayed on the showroom floor at Reed Brothers. Usually, the flashiest of the new models, spit-shined to perfection, would be displayed inside the showroom. Banners touting the new models were also strung up in the showroom.

In the second photo, nothing screams 1970s like the line of beige and baby blue cars all lined up in rows on the side lot. Across the road is the big barn that said, “MILK FOR THOMPSON’S DAIRY” on the field that is now the new urban development known as King Farm. I remember Lawson King’s dairy cows. Lots of them! They used to graze in the fields just a few feet from the roadway right across the road. At its peak, King Farm was the largest milk producer in the area and had been in agricultural use for nearly 75 years before it was approved for development in 1996.

1970 Reed Brothers Dodge car lot

Cars lined up awaiting prospective buyers

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