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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bethesda in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Old Spring House & Pool of Bethesda

 
 
Old Spring House & Pool of Bethesda Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 29, 2014
1. Old Spring House & Pool of Bethesda Marker
Inscription. Originally, the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center was a rural farm with a small pond fed by a natural spring. The picture to the right is the original spring house located on the property. the pool and the tiny stream reminded the President of the biblical Pool of Bethesda (see picture below) in Jerusalem (John V.2). "Bethesda" means "House of Mercy." Between 12/7/38 and 1/30/39 a total of eight parcels were purchased by the U.S. Government for a total of 266.421 acres. National Naval Medical Center deeded 24.01 acres to NCP & PC in 1942 leaving the current acreage of 242.38.
 
Location. 39° 0.088′ N, 77° 5.759′ W. Marker is in Bethesda, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Rockville Pike. Touch for map. Marker is on the campus of Naval Support Activity Bethesda at 8901 Wisconsin Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Bethesda MD 20889, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. National Naval Medical Center in the 1940s (within shouting distance of this marker); National Naval Medical Center (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); "All are Welcome to the Healing Plaza" (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Walter Reed Memorial
Old Spring House & Pool of Bethesda Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 29, 2014
2. Old Spring House & Pool of Bethesda Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Walter Reed Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Centennial Anchor (approx. mile away); The Louis Stokes Laboratories (approx. 0.3 miles away); President Franklin D. Roosevelt (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bethesda.
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesScience & Medicine
 
Spring House — source of future Lake Eleanor image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 29, 2014
3. Spring House — source of future Lake Eleanor
Close-up of photo in the Historical Display Room in Building 1 NNMC
Biblical "Pools of Bethesda" as they look today in Jerusalem image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 29, 2014
4. Biblical "Pools of Bethesda" as they look today in Jerusalem
Close-up of photo in the Historical Display Room in Building 1 NNMC
Lake Eleanor image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 29, 2014
5. Lake Eleanor
Healing Pool of Bethesda image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 29, 2014
6. Healing Pool of Bethesda
It is written in the fifth Chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, beginning with the second verse:

"Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."

As the angel of the Lord stirred the Pool of Bethesda to give it strength and healing, so let those who labor here, fired with the zeal for new knowledge, keep stirring the pool of complacency with the present, to the end that they may bring ever more comfort and healing to their suffering fellow men, and to the greater glory of God.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the driving force behind the creation of the Naval Medical Center, was particularly interested in the small pond fed by natural springs and still exists in front of the tower today. The pond reminded him of the Biblical Pool of Bethesda, a place of healing. The pond was eventually made into small lake and christened Lake Eleanor in honor of Mrs. Roosevelt.
Close-up of sign in the rotunda of Building 1 NNMC
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 2, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 320 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 2, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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