DID YOU KNOW?
Walter "Big Train" Johnson
The famous pitcher for the Washington Senators baseball team, Walter Johnson. called "Big Train" because his fastball was so fast and straight, retired to a dairy farm in Germantown in 1935 with his mother and five children (his wife had passed away). In his 21 years with the team he had become know as the fastest pitcher of all time, chalking up a record that put him as one of the first five inducted into the Basball Hall of Fame. He threw 3,497 strikeouts and had 113 shut-out games. He pitched a nine-inning no-hit game against Boston in 1920. He lived in Germantown until his death in 1946 from a brain tumor. He was so respected by the local community that they elected him a County Commissioner 1942-46. There is a statue of him in front of the Nationals stadium.
The train running through Montgomery County and Germantown was "the way west" for all cargo from both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore after it was built in 1873. This track still carries about 16 freight trains a day and 9 trains each way on the MARC Brunswick Line. For more information see our newly updated and re-published "The Met: A History of the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad, Its Stations and Towns" in our Sales Catalog.
"Take Me Home Country Road"
The song "Take Me Home, Country Roads" made popular by John Denver in the 1970s was inspired by our very own Clopper Road.
Singer/songwriters Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff (Fat City) were driving to a family reunion along Clopper Road in the fall of 1970 and to pass the time they made up a song about winding roads in the country. Denver met up with them in December after Danoff and Nivert opened for him at the Cellar Door in Georgetown and they stayed up all night re-writing and re-arranging the song. John Denver first sang the song at the Cellar Door on December 30, 1970 and recieved a standing ovation. He then went on to record "Take Me Home, Country Roads" on the album "Poems, Prayers & Promises" that came out the spring of 1971 -- and the rest is history.