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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Potomac in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Traveler's Impressions of Montgomery County

1861 - 1865

 
 
Traveler's Impressions of Montgomery County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
1. Traveler's Impressions of Montgomery County Marker
Inscription.  If you were a marching soldier, what would have been your impression of Montgomery County during the Civil War?

While the built environment may not have impressed travelers, the variety of natural resources in this area garnered admiration. Sergeant Henry C. Lyons of the 34th New York Volunteer Infantry, while stationed in Poolesville, sent samples of both paw-paw and persimmon seeds to his home in South Pulteney, New York. Lyons directed his brother to plant seeds in the spring of 1862, "I will be up there by the time they are large enough to make a shade for me to lie under." Sadly, Lyons died at the Battle of Antietam later that year.

Interest in plants went beyond just being a local curiosity. With medical supplies and drugs becoming increasingly scarce as the war progressed, reliance on natural remedies increased. The bark and root of the persimmon, for example, was used as an astringent to clean wounds and to cure kidney problems and diarrhea. For hungry soldiers, the natural environment offered an additional source of food. Trees such as the pawpaw provided seasonal fruit that could be enjoyed on a nice sunny
Traveler's Impressions of Montgomery County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
2. Traveler's Impressions of Montgomery County Marker
day under a full leaf canopy.

"A ride from Rockville to Great Falls on the Potomac, though passing through an old settled country, is suggestive of the frontier of Iowa or Missouri. Dwellings are scarce and rude in their construction... Within and without the houses there is nothing like taste displayed.... The country is sparsely settled. A ride of ten miles this morning from Rockville to the river did not disclose a dozen houses.... I traveled over a mile before I found anybody who could correct me in the error of my way." -- New York Times 9 October 1861.
 
Erected by Montgomery Parks.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & ForestryWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 39° 3.966′ N, 77° 18.291′ W. Marker is in Potomac, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from River Road (Maryland Route 190) 1.6 miles east of Seneca Road (Maryland Route 112), on the right when traveling east. Marker is in Blockhouse Point Conservation Park along River Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14750 River Road, Potomac MD 20854, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Life During Encampment in Montgomery County (here, next to this marker); Lockhouse 22
Edward's Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
3. Edward's Ferry
View of Edward's Ferry, in Harper's Weekly November 9, 1861.
Close-up of image on marker
HarpWeek
(approx. 1.2 miles away); Watering the Canal (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rowser’s Ford (approx. 1.3 miles away); Washington's Canal (approx. 1.3 miles away in Virginia); a different marker also named Rowser's Ford (approx. 1.9 miles away in Virginia); Crossing the Potomac at Rowser's Ford (approx. 1.9 miles away in Virginia); Seneca (approx. 1.9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Pawpaw (Asimina triloba). Wildflower in Focus, Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown, Maryland Native Plant Society. (Submitted on June 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

2. Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

3. Travelers' Impressions of Montgomery County. MontgomeryParks.org (Submitted on June 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Beall Home Darnestown image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
4. Beall Home Darnestown
as depicted by Union General D. H. Strother
Close-up of image on marker
Cornell Universty Library.
Poolesville image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
5. Poolesville
The view of Poolesville, MD in 1862
Close-up of photo on marker
Montgomery County Historical Society
Hyattstown image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
6. Hyattstown
Scenes of Hyattstown, published in 1895, but illustrated during the war.
Close-up of image on marker
Frank Leslie's
Henry Lyons image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
7. Henry Lyons
Photograph of Henry Lyons, ca. 1860
Close-up of photo on marker
Pulteney New York, Office of Historian
Persimmon and Pawpaw image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2014
8. Persimmon and Pawpaw
Botanical drawings of persimmon (left) and pawpaw plants (right).
Close-up of drawings on marker
National Agricultural Library
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 22, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on June 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 18, 2020