Derailed Trolley: Montrose Rd & Rt 355

Derailed trolley - Montrose & 355

Derailed trolley at Montrose Road and Rockville Pike. Photo by Lewis Reed

This special post is a part of the blog feature called, “Rockville’s Past Through the Lens of Lewis Reed”.  I wanted to share these photographs, because they offer a visual history of a part of Rockville’s transportation past.

Traveling in snow was sometimes hazardous to trolley cars, as evidenced by this trolley which derailed the train tracks and plowed into a telephone pole at Montrose Road and Rockville Pike. Lewis Reed was there to capture the accident from two different perspectives using a five-by-four box camera which produced images on a glass plate.

In populated areas, street cars kept speeds to 12 mph (6 mph at intersections), but in open country they could get up to 40 mph.

Derailed trolley - Montrose & 355

Derailed trolley through dense woods at Montrose Road and Rockville Pike. Photo by Lewis Reed

Early 1900s Frederick Fair Parking Lot

1914 Frederick Fair Parking Lot

Frederick Fair Parking Lot, circa 1914. Photo by Lewis Reed

This fascinating scene of hundreds of vintage cars parked in the Frederick Fair parking lot was taken by Lewis Reed.

The Frederick County Fair is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the state of Maryland dating back to 1822 when it was known as the Cattle Show and Fair. Over the years the fair has changed names several times. Today, the Frederick County Fair is officially named the Great Frederick Fair. The GREAT Frederick Fair is celebrating 154 years in 2016 (Sept. 16-24).


Dodge Car “Cathedral Lights”

1917 Rockville Garage

1917 Rockville Garage

Until 1920, Dodge sported a set of six hexagonal windows in the back of each passenger cabin on both their Touring and Roaster models. These were called “cathedral lights” and became the first trademark feature to make Dodge vehicles stand out from the rest. This 1917 photo of Lewis Reed’s Rockville Garage shows an early Dodge Motor Car parked in front with the exclusive Dodge Brothers cathedral-style rear curtain windows.

1960s Full Service Gulf Station

Reed Brothers Dodge 1968

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station

This is a circa 1968 photo of the Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gasoline station. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s and there were probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs. A Coca Cola machine is visible in front of the white Dodge Dart parked in front of the service bay. The sign in the grass to the right of the blue ’58 Plymouth (Belvedere?) reads, “We’re Making Deals on Gulf Tires”.

The office/sales area occupied the right corner, facing the adjacent road Rockville Pike.  Attached to the office are two quick service bays with roll-down doors. Each bay of the bays served a specific purpose. One bay contained a hydraulic lift to raise cars for the servicing of tires, lubrication, and underside parts.  A central in-floor drain to catch water runoff during car washes was utilized in the second bay.  The station also contained a men’s and women’s restroom. A concrete ramp on the left led up to the second floor Auto Glass and Body Repair Shop.

The below 1940 architectural plan and rendering of a Gulf service station epitomize the defining design characteristics of this service station type.

1940 architectural plan and rendering of a Gulf service station

1940 architectural plan and rendering of a
Gulf service station

Reed Brothers Dodge was the first Gulf gasoline dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first gas station consisted of a single pump. Later, in addition to gas, they carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries, complimentary road maps, free air and water, and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs.

July 4, 1922: First MCPD Posing in Front of Reed Brothers Dodge

This blog entry is posted today to commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery County Police Department. It was 94 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.

Montgomery County Police Department

Pictured left to right: Earl Burdine, Lawrence Clagett, Guy Jones, Chief Charles Cooley, Leroy Rodgers, and Oscar Gaither. Photo by Lewis Reed

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