The Metropolitan Branch and Takoma Park
This section of the trail is on the border of two physiographic provinces, the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Region, display traces of two 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 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 to the Early Cambrian Period (Approximately 500 million years ago), There was life for 3 billion years before this time but this period generated the earliest abundance of diverse fossils that represent the lineages of almost all modern animals, sparking scientists to define this time as the Cambrian Explosion.
During the Cambrian Period this area was separated from North America by an ancient ocean and was closer to or even part of Africa. Gradually, over 200 million years, the land collided with North America and created the Appalachian
The land continues to change today. Although most changes are too slow to observe in a lifetime, others such as erosion around Sligo Creek and Rock Creek, can be seen after a strong rainstorm.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) completed the Metropolitan Branch in 1873, creating a westward railway connection from Washington, DC to the main line of the B&O. Ten years later Takoma Park began developing as on of DC's first commuter suburbs. The Community straddled the DC/Maryland border, expanding in both directions from the train station. Businesses appeared on 4th Street near the rail crossing and soon after at Carroll and laurel Avenue following the introduction of of trolley lines running into DC and down to Sligo Creek. By 1913, Takoma Park was the largest city in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) 🚂 series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
Location. 38° 58.94′ N, 77° 1.273′ 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. Between the
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Belle Ziegler Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Living in Takoma 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 447 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 14, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 24, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.