Philanthropy in Action
Remembering the Rosenwald Schools

"Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools:
A Force for Change"
with Stephanie Deutsch and Dorothy Canter
Tuesday, March 9 @ 2:00 p.m.
Stephanie Deutsch and Dorothy Canter will discuss the life of Julius Rosenwald, an innovative and visionary philanthropist, and plans to honor his legacy with the creation of the Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park. They will highlight the schools for African American children that he helped fund throughout the South with particular emphasis on the schools that were built in Maryland.
“Civil War Trails: Not Just for History Buffs”
with Drew Gruber
Tuesday, March 16 @ 2:00 p.m.
Civil War Trails aren't just for history buffs! Join Drew Gruber, Executive Director of Civil War Trails, to hear about this multi-state program that connects visitors to often-unheard stories about the Civil War. As a community-driven resource this program reaches audiences of all ages, putting them into the shoes of the generals, soldiers, civilians, and enslaved people that experienced the deadliest war in U.S. history. With over 1,350 sites across six states and signage that is consistently being updated to tell new and diverse stories, thought-provoking experiences abound when you explore this open air museum.
If you have questions about accessing History Conversations, please contact Matt Gagle, Director of Programs, at

Providing these programs for free is only possible with your support! Please show your appreciation by clicking the button below to make a donation.

Thank you!
Gibson Grove Community Documents
Newly Digitized Resources Now Available
As part of our ongoing initiative to make local history more accessible to the public a new collection ("Gibson Grove Community Documents") has just been added to the digital repository, sharing information on the African American community of Gibson Grove.

Gibson Grove was founded in 1880 by Robert and Sarah Gibson, a formerly enslaved couple. By 1895 nine other families had joined them and together they forged their own community. Learn more by exploring newly digitized documents that contain:

  • Transcripts from interviews with members of the community, conducted by Dr. Alexandra Jones (Archaeology in the Community) that document their memories of daily life in Gibson Grove
  • An event program from the Gibson Grove AME Zion Church's Founder's Day Bicentennial, including a short history of the community, photos, info on special honorees, advertisements, and more
  • A research paper written by Paige Whitley detailing the central pillars of the community: church, school, and benevolent society
Robert and Sarah Gibson
Complementing this new collection is an existing collection of meeting minutes from the Order of Moses benevolent society associated with Gibson Grove, dated 1904-1914. Explore all ten years on the digital repository.

*For more information on this community and the current efforts to save the historic Morningstar Moses Hall and Cemetery site from destruction, visit the Friends of Moses Hall website.*
Are you looking to conduct research online using Montgomery History's resources? Watch our video with best practices and how-to tips when using the digital repository and Past Perfect online.
New Acquisition for Textile Collection
Rare Clopper Mill Blanket
Thanks to a recent donation from Amanda Becker, in honor of Mike Dwyer, there is a new addition to Montgomery History's textile collection! This blanket, made during the early part of the 19th century, is one of the only known wool products from Clopper Mill. It originates from The Woodlands, the Clopper house in Gaithersburg that existed at the current site of the visitor center at Seneca Creek State Park. Woven of undyed wool in a twill weave, the maker has covered the navy selvage with a brown woven panel at top and bottom, applied with decorative embroidery in light turquoise wool, creating a charming finish.

The blanket is now in the freezer, where all textiles, and especially wool, are treated before being brought into collection storage. Freezing is an excellent way to kill any larva or organisms that are hiding in the textile, including those invisible to the naked eye.

You too can act as a collections manager from your own home! If you have had something in storage for a long time, or have found evidence of moths in a closet, put the material(s) you want to save in a sealed plastic bag and leave it in the freezer for a week or two. Then vacuum out the drawer, box, or closet thoroughly before returning the textiles to storage; this will ensure any organisms are killed. Do not leave the material in the plastic bag permanently! This is only meant to keep moisture off the object while it's in the freezer.
Glen Echo's Dentzel Carousel
Exciting History Throughout 2021
Montgomery History, in partnership with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture is hosting a four-part lecture series in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park.

If you missed the first lecture on February 24 that detailed the Civil Rights protests that led to the park's integration in 1961, you can catch up by watching the recording on our website or clicking "play" on the button below. Plus, when you visit our website you can watch a behind-the-scenes tour with National Park Ranger Kevin Patti and view information on the three upcoming lectures.
In Memory of Nina Honemond Clarke
Teacher, Principal, Advocate, and Community Treasure
It is with great sadness that Montgomery History learned of the recent passing of Nina Honemond Clarke. Mrs. Clarke was a treasure to the community in numerous ways. Born in 1917, the Montgomery County native was born and raised on Peach Tree Road. She was educated within a segregated school system, graduating as valedictorian of her class from Rockville Colored High School in 1934. She earned her teaching certificate from Bowie State Teacher’s College, her bachelor’s from Hampton Institute, and later went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Boston University, with a specialization in reading and language arts. 
During a 36-year tenure in MCPS she taught at the segregated Quince Orchard School and at the Sandy Spring consolidated elementary school, amongst others, and kept life-long contact with many of her students. She also served on the professional committee appointed by the School Board to plan the integration process in 1954-1955. She later became one of the first Black principals in the desegregated system, first serving as assistant principal at Brookhaven Elementary School in 1967 and then as principal at Aspen Hill Elementary School from 1968 until her retirement in 1973.  
After retiring, she and Lillian B. Brown documented the long history of glaringly unequal Black schools -- though underscoring the remarkable resilience and dedication of its Black teachers. The colleagues co-authored A History of the Black Public Schools in Montgomery County, Maryland (1978)
Nina Clarke dedicated her life to serving the community. After her retirement, she continued educating both children and adults about her experience within the segregated school system. Her interest in local history and genealogy led her to publish two more books: History of the 19th Century Black Churches in Maryland and Washington D.C., and Chips Off the Old Block, an exploration of Copeland family lineage.

She also volunteered for Montgomery History (then the Montgomery County Historical Society) beginning in 1991, guest curating an exhibit on African American heritage in the county. She continued her association with the organization after the exhibit closed as a docent and member of the Speakers Bureau. In 2003 she shared her memories in two oral history interviews which reside at the Jane Sween Research Library. You can also read more about her accomplishments in our online exhibit detailing public school desegregation in the 1950s through the words of six women who were there.
A virtual service will be held this Friday, March 12 at 11:00 a.m. through Snowden Funeral Home.