The Metropolitan Branch & Takoma Park
This section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail is on the border of two physiographic provinces, the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Region, displaying traces of two very different times on Earth.
The Coastal Plain stretches south and east from where you are standing to the Atlantic Ocean. This area of the Coastal Plain is composed of gravel, sand, and silt from the Lower Cretaceous Period (150 million years ago), the last period of the dinosaurs and the first period of flowering plants.
The Piedmont Region extends north and west through Silver Spring to Catoctin Mountain. This region is much older, dating back too the Early Cambrian Period (approx. 500 million years ago). Life on Earth existed for 3 billion years before this time, but this period generated the earliest abundance of diverse fossils that represent lineages of most modern animals, leading scientists to define this time as the Cambrian Explosion.
During the Cambrian Period, this area was actually separated from North America by an ocean and was close to or even part of Africa. Gradually, over 200 million years, the land collided with North
The Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad completed the Metropolitan Branch in 1873, creating a westward railway connection from Washington, D.C. to the main line of the B&O. Ten years later, Takoma Park began developing as one of D.C.'s first commuter suburbs. The community straddled the D.C./Maryland border, expanding in both directions from the train station (below). Businesses appeared on 4th Street near the rail crossing and soon after at Carroll and Laurel Avenues following the introduction of trolley lines running into D.C. and down to Sligo Creek. By 1913, Takoma Park was the largest city in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Today, the Metropolitan Branch Trail runs for 8 miles from Silver Spring, Maryland to Union Station in Washington, D.C., connectinig numerous vibrant and historic neighborhoods like Takoma Park.
The site of the Montgomery County campus, across the street, had two previous incarnations as the 140-room North Takoma Hotel (left) in 1892 and the Bliss Electrical School (right) in 1908.
Erected by City of Takoma Park, Maryland.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Natural Features • Railroads & Streetcars
Location. 38° 58.943′ N, 77° 1.275′ W. Marker is in Takoma Park, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Takoma Avenue just south of Albany Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 Albany Ave, Takoma Park MD 20912, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Living in Takoma Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Belle Ziegler Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Walt Penney Field (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jesup Blair House (approx. ¼ mile away); Silver Spring Experienced by a Mother and Child, 1861-1865 (approx. ¼ mile away); The Blair Family and their Silver Spring Homes (approx. ¼ mile away); The Blair Family and the Civil War (approx. ¼ mile away); Founding of Takoma Park (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Takoma Park.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker, which had different formatting and slightly different content.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 133 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.