Cabin John, Maryland
Tuesday August 07th 2007, 11:57 am
Filed under: Life,Non-Knitting

Judy, I found this: which has one very badly-worded sentence about 2/3 of the way down on the first page about the naming of Cabin John, although, the history on that page is fascinating: for instance, the first settler who stayed and farmed in the area was the great-grandson of a man who arrived in Virginia Colony as a Scottish prisoner of war of the Cromwell government. I did not know that any of the colonists were POWs.

The site does explain something I never knew about the rock quarries on River Road: they were used for building the canal! Makes perfect sense, but I never knew that nor that they were so old. When I was a kid, we were strictly forbidden to get near them; those steep rock faces dove straight down.

I believe the stone entryway of the house I grew up in came from there… (Dad?)

Here’s another, from, giving the various theories–the folklore about a hermit was the story I grew up with–saying that Captain John Smith was the first to explore that part of the Potomac, and that Cabin is probably a corruption of Captain. It says, “The following is a description of the Cabin John area as recorded by Captain Smith in 1608: ‘The river … maketh his passage downe a low pleasant valley overshadowed in manie places with high rocky mountain from whence distill innumerable sweet and pleasant springs … Having gone so high as we could with the bote, we met divers savages in canowes well loaden with flesh of beares, deere, and other beasts whereof we had part. Here we found mighty rocks growing in some places above the ground as high as the shrubby tree .’ ”

I went looking for the CD of photos my friend Karen (of water turtle fame) took, to add to this post, but haven’t found it yet. I now know one place I want to point my camera when I go home to Maryland for Stitches East: I want a shot of that quarry. And the tiny stone house, the old innkeeper’s lodge at Seven Locks Road, that is the oldest building in Maryland, next to that quarry.

I can’t wait to go home. I’m so glad I have Stitches East in nearby Baltimore as an excuse.

10 Comments so far
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You’ll have to come visit me then!

Comment by stephanie wahl 08.07.07 @ 2:37 pm

Hooray for great excuses! I hear they’re shutting down the quarry (or maybe they have already?). Something about people building extremely expensive houses nearby and then complaining it’s noisy. Sheesh!

Comment by Amy 08.07.07 @ 4:39 pm

I second the hooray for great excuses. I hope to be at Stitches East, too!

Comment by Alison 08.08.07 @ 4:47 am

It sounds like a beautiful place. I love finding out unknown history. Makes places more exciting.

Comment by Sonya 08.08.07 @ 6:07 am

Thanks! I too plan to be at Stitches East. I live in Delaware but my son lives in Bethesda.

Comment by Judy Foldi 08.08.07 @ 6:30 am

“Cabin” John was probably taken prisoner at the Battle of Culloden, very common. Yes, lots of nasty immigration stories here in the US that they don’t teach us in school. Many people came over as indentured servants who were never able to buy out their indentures. Not nearly as bad as slavery, but not a pretty picture. American history is always darker, if much more interesting, than we think.
How’s your health? I have some kind of auto immune neurological condition myself, not acting up in the heat, for which I am very grateful. Stay well.

Comment by Valerie 08.08.07 @ 10:50 am

I used to live in DC, and never knew any of this history, and I used to drive River Road all the time.

BTW, I’ve started the Carlsbad scarf in bombyx silk — it’s working wonderfully!

Comment by Renee 08.09.07 @ 9:39 am

Here’s one for you: back in the 1800’s, when the US was admitting one slave state and one free at a time, there were people joining the anti-slavery Mormon church and moving to Missouri, threatening to upset that balance and thereby threatening to outvote slavery in the entire country. Governor Boggs issued an extermination order, stating that all Mormons–men, women, and children–were to be shot on sight and evicted from the state. Not a lot of people get taught in school nowadays just why the Mormons got covered wagons and headed for what turned out to be Utah–it was outside the US boundaries at the time, the US President having written them, “Your cause is just” but that he could do nothing for them.

That extermination order got rescinded only in the 1970’s, after a drunk driver tried to get off manslaughter charges by saying legally he was supposed to kill that mom.

Comment by AlisonH 08.09.07 @ 12:53 pm

I grew up in Carderock Springs off of River Road. Very neat history. We drove by the quarry countless times. Glad to have found your blog Alison!

Comment by Bev 09.09.07 @ 5:44 pm

BEV!!! GOOD to hear from you!!!!

Comment by AlisonH 09.09.07 @ 6:11 pm

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