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Twinbrook History

Higgins Cemetery

The Twinbrook Sector Plan encompasses land that was settled in the 18th century. In the 1760s, settlers James and Luraner Higgins established a farm and plantation and raised 10 children. A private in the Montgomery County Militia who fought in the Revolutionary War, Higgins and his wife later were buried on their farm. The quarter-acre graveyard is documented on maps and deeds of the mid-19th century.

Though the Higgins Farm no longer exists, the Higgins Family Cemetery, in the 5700 block of Arundel Avenue, has been preserved. The Higgins Cemetery holds at least 11 graves including James Higgins, who died in 1816, along with other family members. It also may include their slaves. The Higgins Cemetery was incorporated into the Spring Lake Park subdivision, which created small residential lots in 1891.

Trains and Streetcars

The subdivision of Spring Lake Park was representative of the changes wrought on the landscape by the railroad. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) – one of the oldest railroads in the United States — opened its Metropolitan Branch in 1873. The line ran from Washington, D.C., through Rockville, to Point of Rocks, Md., and points west.

Developers bought land along the railroad line in hopes of establishing suburban communities for commuters working in Washington, D.C. The rural nature of the area also changed with the introduction of a streetcar line in 1900. The Washington & Rockville Electric Railway Company connected Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown district to Rockville. The streetcar ceased operation in 1935.

Why "Twinbrook?"

The Twinbrook name was first used in 1946 when developers identified two streams on land located between the railroad and Veirs Mill Road. The original Twinbrook, west of Twinbrook Parkway and within the modern municipal boundaries of Rockville, was developed in the late 1940s and 1950s. The Twinbrook sector plan covers 157 acres east of the Twinbrook Parkway, located outside the city of Rockville.

1960s and 1970s

In the 1960s, industry grew faster than any other type of land use in Rockville. With the arrival of light industry and, later, biotechnology offices, along Wilkins Avenue and Parkway Drive, the Twinbrook sector was dominated by commercial uses. The 1970 arrival of the 15-story Parklawn Building marked another significant arrival to Twinbrook. Located on Fisher Lane, the building housed the federal Health Education and Welfare Agency (now known as the U.S. Public Health Service and the Federal Drug Administration). To help employees commuting to the Parklawn Building, the Twinbrook Metro station opened in December 1984.

Today

The Twinbrook Sector Plan aims to build off the area’s proximity to Metro’s Red Line and revitalize the area by creating a distinct community with a mixture of new jobs, retail outlets, and technology-oriented businesses.

Date of last update: January 24, 2008