7700 Scotland Drive, Potomac, MD 20854

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Join the Maryland House and Garden Pilgramage for a tour of some of Montgomery County's homes and gardens!


Scotland and Montgomery County Prior to European colonization, the land now known as Montgomery County was approximately 500 square miles of virgin forests crossed by the creeks and small streams that feed the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. A few small villages of native Americans known as the Piscataway tribe, from the Algonquian people, were scattered across the southern portions of the county. In 1634, two ships, the Ark and the Dove, brought the first English settlers to Maryland, including the son of “Lord Baltimore,” who had been granted rights to the land by the King of England. Three enslaved Africans were also aboard. By 1664, Black enslavement was written into Maryland law and would persist in the county until 1864 when voters approved a new state constitution abolishing slavery. The constitution took effect on November 1, which is now celebrated in Maryland as Emancipation Day.


In 1867, former enslaved person Henry Dove was one of twenty signers of the Black declaration of educational independence for the county. Though he could neither read nor write, he left his mark on the document that pledged all financial support necessary for a school for Black children. This led to the construction of a school at the community Dove co-founded, now known as Scotland in Potomac, circa 1880. Scotland, however, was one of the last communities to be connected to modern amenities such as running water, public sewer, and trash collection. After a nationally prominent community effort called “Save Our Scotland” launched in 1965, the local government was forced to end many discriminatory policies at Scotland and the more than forty other Black communities that formed in the county after the Civil War. Today, Montgomery County is one of the most diverse regions in America. Properties on this tour represent the evolution of the river-front region, from its agrarian past to becoming one of the most affluent communities in the nation.


Proceeds from this tour will benefit the 2nd Century Project for the Scotland African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which was catastrophically flooded in 2019. The project will restore and expand the original structure, which is listed on the Maryland Registry of Historic Sites and celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2024.


The Scotland Community Reception /Luncheon: Congregants of the Scotland AME Zion Church will prepare and serve an authentic southern fried chicken luncheon as a fundraiser from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Bette Thompson Scotland Neighborhood Recreation Center at 7700 Scotland Drive, which is just off Seven Locks Road. Descendants of the founders of the Scotland community, the first location that people of color owned land in Potomac, MD, will share their history.

Luncheon fee: $20 per person.



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