Lewis Reed Photos: Remembering Trolley Cars of Rockville’s Past
This special post is a collection of early trolley car photos that were taken by Lewis Reed in the early 20th century. I wanted to share them because they offer a visual history of a part of Rockville’s transportation past.
With photography for a hobby, one that began even before automobiles were around, Lewis Reed had amassed a large library of photographs of buildings, farm carts drawn by oxen, trolley cars, and other historic spots in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. Many of his early photographs are now part of the Montgomery County Historical Society photo archives.
Below are some vintage (circa early 1900s) trolley car photographs from Lewis Reed’s collection (click on photos to enlarge):
The route of the Rockville trolley car started at the Washington terminus at Wisconsin and M streets in Northwest D.C., went up through Rockville along Rockville Pike and Montgomery Avenue to Laird Street and back again. From 1900 – 1935, the trolley cars went past Reed Brothers Dodge as they traveled up Rockville Pike.
A car barn is the streetcar equivalent of a garage for buses. It’s a covered facility in which streetcars were stored overnight, cleaned and given light repairs before the next day’s run. The car barn for the trolleys at the time was the second Western Avenue car barn for the streetcars that served the Georgetown-Tenelytown-Bethesda-Rockville line. It was located at on west side of Wisconsin at between Harrison and Jennifer. It was demolished and later replaced by a purpose-built bus garage which is still in use by WMATA. The National Capital Trolley Museum was instrumental in helping to identify this car barn.