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Gaithersburg, Maryland
—  City  —
View of Rio Shopping Center, in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Location in the State of Maryland
Coordinates: 39°7′55″N 77°13′35″W / 39.13194°N 77.22639°W / 39.13194; -77.22639
Country United States
State Maryland
County Montgomery
Founded 1802
Incorporated April 5, 1878
 - Mayor Sidney A. Katz
 - City 10.2 sq mi (26.3 km2)
 - Land 10.1 sq mi (26.1 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 350 ft (106 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 58,744
 Density 5,816.2/sq mi (2,250.7/km2)
 Metro 5,358,130
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 301
FIPS code 24-31175
GNIS feature ID 0593389

Gaithersburg is a city[1] in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. As of 2008, the city had an estimated total population of 58,744, making it the fourth largest city in the state behind Baltimore, Rockville, and Frederick.[2] Gaithersburg is located at 39°8' North, 77°13' West, to the northwest of Washington, D.C., and is considered a suburb and a primary city within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Gaithersburg was incorporated in 1878.

Gaithersburg is urbanistically diverse, encompassing a historic Old Town, multiple new urbanist communities, high-rise apartments, and suburban subdivisions.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is headquartered in Gaithersburg[3]. Other major employers in the city include IBM, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services business area headquarters, MedImmune (recently purchased by AstraZeneca), and Sodexo.

The city is also the location of the 220th Military Police Brigade of the United States Army Reserve.



Gaithersburg began in 1765 as a small agricultural settlement known as Log Town near the present day Summitee Hall on Ralph Crabb's 1725 land grant "Deer Park", gaining the name Gaithersburg a few years later. The northern portion of the land grant was purchased by Henry Brookes, and he built his home 'Montpelier' there in the late 1780s or early 1790s. His son-in-law, Benjamin Gaither, inherited a portion of that land, and by the 1850s the area had ceased to be called log town and was known to inhabitants as Gaitherburg.[4]

The Forest Oak Post Office, named for a large tree in the town, was located in Gaither's store in 1851. However, when the railroad was built through town the new station was called Gaithersburg, an officially recognized name for the community for the first time. The town incorporated under its current name in 1878. Gaithersburg boomed during the late 1800s and churches, schools, a mill, grain elevators, stores, and hotels were built. Much of this development focused around the railroad station.[4]

In 1873 the B&O Railroad constructed a station at Gaithersburg, designed by Ephraim Francis Baldwin as part of his well-known series of Victorian stations in Maryland. Rapid growth occurred shortly thereafter, and on April 5, 1878 the town was officially incorporated as the City of Gaithersburg. In 1899, Gaithersburg was selected as one of six global locations for the construction of an International Latitude Observatory as part of a project to measure the Earth's wobble on its polar axis. The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory is (as of 2007) the only National Historic Landmark in the City of Gaithersburg. The observatory and five others in Japan, Italy, Russia, and the United States gathered information that is still used by scientists today, along with information from satellites, to determine polar motion; the size, shape, and physical properties of the earth; and to aid the space program through the precise navigational patterns of orbiting satellites. The Gaithersburg station operated until 1982 when computerization rendered the manual observation obsolete.


Gaithersburg is located at 39°7'55" North, 77°13'35" West (39.131974, -77.226428)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.2 square miles (26.3 km²), of which, 10.1 square miles (26.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it is water. The total area is 0.69% water.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 52,613 people, 19,621 households, and 12,577 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,216.2 people per square mile (2,013.3/km²). There were 20,674 housing units at an average density of 2,049.7/sq mi (791.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.2% White, 15% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 13.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 8.6 from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. 19.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.3% of Gaithersburg's population was foreign-born.

There were 19,621 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.14 the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 37.7% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $74,883 and the median income for a family was $86,422 as of a 2007 estimate[7]). Males had a median income of $44,331 versus $35,861 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,323. 9.1% of the population and 4.9% of families were below the poverty line. 7.2% of those under the age of 18 and 11.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Gaithersburg has an elected, five-member City Council, which serves as the legislative body of the city. The Mayor, who is also elected, serves as president of the council. The day-to-day administration of the City is overseen by a career City Manager, currently Angel Jones.

Gaithersburg City Hall

Its current mayor is Sidney A. Katz. (1998-). Previous Mayors include:

  1. George W. Meem 1898–1904
  2. Carson Ward 1904–1906
  3. John W. Walker 1906–1908
  4. E. D. Kingsley 1908–1912
  5. Richard H. Miles 1912–1918
  6. John W. Walker 1918–1924
  7. Walter M. Magruder 1924–1926
  8. William McBain 1926–1948
  9. Harry C. Perry, Sr. 1948–1954
  10. Merton F. Duvall 1954–1966
  11. John W. Griffith 1966–1967
  12. Harold C. Morris 1967–1974
  13. Susan E. Nicholson, May-September 1974
  14. Milton M. Walker 1974–1976
  15. B. Daniel Walder 1976–1978
  16. Bruce A. Goldensohn 1978–1986
  17. W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. 1986–1998
  18. Sidney A. Katz 1998 -

The departments of the city of Gaithersburg and their directors include:

  • Office of the City Manager, Angel Jones
    • Assistant City Manager, Vacant
    • Assistant City Manager, Tony Tomasello
  • Finance and Administration, Harold Belton
  • Planning and Code Administration, Gregory Ossont
    • Neighborhood Services, Kevin Roman
    • Community Services, Crystal Carr
    • Animal Control, Lisa Holland
    • Planning Department, Lauren Pruss
    • Permits and Inspections, Wesley Burnette
  • Information Technology, Peter Cottrell
  • Parks, Recreation, and Culture, Michele McGleish
  • Police, Mark P. Sroka of the Maryland State Police (temporary)
  • Public Works, Jim Arnoult


Gaithersburg train station


The primary spine of Gaithersburg's road network is Frederick Avenue, which runs generally north-south through the middle of the city and connects Gaithersburg to Frederick, Rockville and Washington, DC. The most important east-west cross streets are Diamond Avenue and Quince Orchard Road.

Interstate 270, runs approximately parallel to Frederick Avenue and connects Gaithersburg with the Capital Beltway. Interstate 370 begins in Gaithersburg and is the western terminus of the currently-under-construction Intercounty Connector, which when complete will provide a direct link to Interstate 95 near Laurel.


Gaithersburg is connected to the Washington Metro via Shady Grove station, which is located just outside the city limits and is the north-western terminus of the Red Line.

Maryland's MARC system operates commuter rail services connecting Gaithersburg to Washington, DC with two stations in the city, at Old Town Gaithersburg and Metropolitan Grove, and a third station - Washington Grove - just outside city limits.

Bus service in Gaithersburg consists of Metrobus routes operated by WMATA and Ride-On routes operated by Montgomery County, as well as paratransit service provided by MetroAccess.

Additionally, the State of Maryland is considering construction of a light rail or bus rapid transit line from Shady Grove Metro station to Clarksburg, Maryland called the Corridor Cities Transitway. If built, the transitway would have several stations in Gaithersburg.


The mainline of CSX Transportation bisects Montgomery County and runs as many as 50 trains a day through the center of Gaithersburg. The MARC trains run on the CSX tracks, as do Amtrak trains, which go through Gaithersburg but do not stop.

The Montgomery County Airpark (IATA airport code: GAI) is a short distance outside Gaithersburg city limits. It serves general aviation purposes and is the only airport in Montgomery County. For commercial airline service, Gaithersburg residents use Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport or Baltimore-Washington International Airport.


Gaithersburg is served by Montgomery County Public Schools.

Elementary schools that serve Gaithersburg include:

  • Brown Station Elementary School
  • Candlewood Elementary School
  • Diamond Elementary School
  • Darnestown Elementary School
  • Dufief Elementary School
  • Fields Road Elementary School
  • Flower Hill Elementary School
  • Gaithersburg Elementary School
  • Goshen Elementary School
  • Jones Lane Elementary School
  • Judith A. Resnik Elementary School
  • Laytonsville Elementary School
  • Rachel Carson Elementary School
  • Rosemont Elementary School
  • South Lake Elementary School
  • Stedwick Elementary School
  • Strawberry Knoll Elementary School
  • Summit Hall Elementary School
  • Thurgood Marshall Elementary School
  • Travilah Elementary School
  • Washington Grove Elementary School
  • Watkins Mill Elementary School
  • Whetstone Elementary School

Middle schools that serve Gaithersburg include:

High schools that serve Gaithersburg include:


Gaithersburg is primarily served by the Washington, DC media market.


Gaithersburg is home to Gazette Newspapers, a publisher of weekly community newspapers in suburban Maryland, including the Gaithersburg Gazette. The Town Courier newspaper is based in Kentlands and focuses on Gaithersburg's west side neighborhoods, in addition to publishing Rockville and Urbana editions.

Television and Internet

  • Gaithersburg's city government operates Gaithersburg Television, which focuses on the city issues and is streamed online.
  • The non-affiliated blog Gaithersblog focuses on Gaithersburg politics and news.
  • Gaithersburg: Then & Now is a photographic tour of the city's history.

Famous people from Gaithersburg

References and footnotes

  1. ^ "Gaithersburg", as place name, is used for more than just the City of Gaithersburg.\ Many unincorporated parts of Montgomery County near Gaithersburg have mailing addresses of "Gaithersburg". At the extreme, there are some properties on the south side of Damascus — several miles north of Gaithersburg, and north even of Montgomery Village, Germantown, Laytonsville and Clarksburg — which have Gaithersburg mailing addresses. For example, the intersection of Log House Road and Woodfield Road (Maryland Route 124) is more than five miles outside the Gaithersburg city limits. This article is, however, about the City of Gaithersburg.
  2. ^ Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Maryland, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008, U.S. Census Bureau, released 01 July 2009. Retrieved 01 July 2009.
  3. ^ Technically, although NIST's mailing address is in Gaithersburg, and the City of Gaithersburg surrounds NIST's property, the land where NIST is situated is not incorporated into the City of Gaithersburg. Instead, it is in an unincorporated part of Montgomery County. Owing to the piecemeal manner land has been added to Gaithersburg over the years, there are multiple such unincorporated enclaves within the perimeter; see the City's Zoning Map for details (3MB PDF)
  4. ^ a b Offutt, William; Sween, Jane (1999). Montgomery County: Centuries of Change. American Historical Press. pp. 166–167. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^

External links


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