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A Shocking Tale – and you are there!

Learn history as Michael Robinson takes on the persona of Superintendent of Police Almarin Cooley Richards. Superintendent Richards was involved in the election of 1860 as a “Wide Awake”, a group of enthusiastic Lincoln supporters. During the inauguration of 1861 he rode alongside the new President’s carriage as a parade marshal. A good Republican, he received a patronage position as a financial clerk at the post office shortly thereafter and became an Alderman for the 3rd Ward in 1862. When President Lincoln needed a new Chief of Police in 1864 he rewarded Richards’ loyalty with that position. When Superintendent Richards learned that General Grant and President Lincoln would be at Ford’s Theater, Richards felt it paramount that he attend the play “Our American Cousin.”

Please enjoy the show and bring your questions for Michael Robinson! Mr. Robinson has thoroughly researched early Washington to bring you this realistic portrayal of an eyewitness to history.

We will meet in the Octagon Room of the St. Paul’s Methodist Church, directly across from Town Hall parking lot. Enter the Octagon Room from the Mitchell Street doors.

Come for cookies, coffee and conversation at 7 p.m. The program begins at 7:30.


The Shopping Center at Connecticut and Knowles now includes a Gallery of Historic Photos. We’ve been working with Neil Burka in our Archives to select photos, displaying a sense of Kensington’s history. He has created a super-size gallery on the north side of Hardware City building, with one photo on the front of the Urgent Care building. Please come by and enjoy them.

Kensington Veterans Reception Honors Local Heroes

The first ever Kensington Veterans Reception, held on November 16th at Kensington Town Hall, brought together over a dozen men who had served in all branches of the United States military from World War II through the present. Attendees were able to view the display of local veterans’ photos and mementos curated by the Kensington Historical Society, meet fellow veterans, and share stories of their time in the service. It was a true privilege for all to honor the experiences of the men and women who have served their country in so many ways. Active duty men and women from Kensington were also recognized at the event.

Please visit the display, which will remain at Kensington Town Hall through the month of November. The Town Hall is located at 3710 Mitchell Street, Kensington, MD. The display is in the second floor lobby, turn left after entering the building.

The reception was organized by the Town of Kensington and the Kensington Historical Society, and sponsored by the Kensington Service Station and Kensington Row Bookshop. Special thanks go to Sheila Dinn, town resident, for organizing the event and to Sigrid Doherty and Mary Buckingham of the Historical Society for curating the display materials.

We hope to make this a yearly event so please stay tuned!

Presentation on One- and Two-Room Schoolhouses in Montgomery County, Nov. 15

Still Standing: One- and Two-Room Schoolhouses in Montgomery County and the Stories They Tell About the Early Days of Public Education

Speaker: Ralph Buglass

Please join us for a presentation on the one- and two-room schoolhouses still standing in Montgomery County. Photos accompany the history of this early form of public education in the county, including the nearly century-long practice of school segregation. The closest remaining schoolhouse for Kensington is the two-room building in Ken-Gar at 4111 Plyers Mill Road which has been renovated to become the Leonard D. Jackson Ken-Gar Community Center.

Kensington Historical Society Meeting – Open to All
Tuesday, November 15th
Coffee at 7:00, Meeting at 7:30 followed by the program
Kensington Town Hall
3710 Mitchell Street, Lower Level

Presentation on Streetcars, Tuesday, Oct. 4

Just imagine, the first trolleys in Washington DC began in 1862 during Lincoln’s presidency. Historian John DeFarrari, author of Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, D.C. will illustrate his talk at Tuesday night’s Kensington Historical Society meeting with a slide show. He has delighted audiences with his thorough knowledge of this period of local history in Washington.

Please join us on the lower level of the Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell Street at 7 p.m. for coffee, cookies and conversation. Our program will begin at 7:30 p.m.. Mr. DeFarrari will have his books for sale for those who wish to purchase one. The meeting is open to the public.

Sept. 10 Concert Rescheduled for Oct. 1

The concert for Sept. 10, Ruthie Logsdon & Greg Hardin, has been rescheduled for October 1 because of the predicted heat and humidity.

Model Train Show Returns to Kensington!

The Kensington Train Show is back with model trains, live music, and kids activities this weekend! The event benefits the Kensington Historical Society and the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation.

When: Sept. 10 and 11, 2016, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington

Price: $5 Adults; $2 Kids; $10 Family

More Info:

Concert Series Continues

The 2016 Free Summer Concert Series continues! Join us every Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Howard Avenue Park across from the Farmers’ Market at the Kensington Train Station. All our concerts are free and open to everyone, and the music appeals to all. Here’s what we have for the remainder of the season. You can also download a flyer to post for yourself and others.

August 6——-Janine Wilson & Max Evans ~ Rock/roots/blues

August 13——Train Time ~ Rockabilly & old time country

August 20——Ellen Cherry ~ Spunky pop

August 27——Dede Wyland & Ira Gitlin ~ World renowned bluegrass and country musicians

Sept. 3———Silver Strings MD ~ Folk, traditional, & contemporary

Sept. 10——-Ruthie Logsdon & Greg Hardin (of Ruthie & the Wranglers) ~ Country

Sept. 17——-GP Jams ~ Eclectic folk pop

Sept. 24——-Blue Book Value ~ Rhythm & blues swing band

2016 KHS Concert Schedule

Summer Concert Series Continues – July Concerts

The Concert Series is in full swing so be sure to come by on Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Howard Avenue Park across from the Farmer’s Market at the Kensington Train Station. The musicians are shaded by the beautiful new pergola! This is dedicated to the late Wat Stewart, founder of the concert series. The audience is shaded by new trees at the park. The July concerts scheduled so far include:

July 2 – Mystic Warriors: World music from the Andes

July 9 – Scrub Pines: Traditional Americana

July 16 – SmithJackson: Folk, Rock Pop & Bluegrass

July 23 – Rita Clarke & the Naturals: Rhythm & Blues

July 30 – Sisters Uke & Friends – Fun, friendly, ukulele music

The History of Winemaking in Maryland – KHS Spring Program

On May 17th, the Kensington Historical Society welcomed Laura Rhode from Knob Hall Winery who described the history of winemaking in Maryland. Approximately 30 audience members in attendance at the Town Hall event learned that in 1662 Cecil Calvert (aka Lord Baltimore and son of Governor Charles Calvert) established 200 acres of vineyards in St. Mary’s County. The wine was made predominantly from European grapes, but the business failed as tobacco farming took precedence. In 1823, John Adlum of Havre de Grace, Maryland began experimenting with North American wine-native grapes, producing the Catawba varietal. His authorship of Memoir on the Cultivation of the Vine in America and the Best Mode of Making Wine earned him the appellation as “Father of American Viticulture”. In 1933, Philip Wagner, a Baltimore Sun columnist, wrote the definitive book on wine-making in America entitled Grapes Into Wine, considered a classic to this day. Mr. Wagner opened the Boordy Vineyards in 1945 and hybridized grapes as a novel wine making technique. Fast-forwarding to the 21st century, wine production has surpassed tobacco production in Maryland. This was due in part to Governor Parris Glendening’s 2001 Tobacco Buyout which reduced growth of this crop by 81%. Today in Maryland there are more than 50 wineries, eight of which are located in Montgomery County. After a lively question-and-answer period, the audience sampled and purchased the many fine wines produced by Knob Hall Winery, more information of which can be found at