The Committee for Ethnic Affairs advises the Montgomery County, MD County Executive and County Council on public policy that relates to ethnic affairs; promotes maximum involvement of all ethnic groups in the County in government, business and community affairs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gaithersburg Observatory, Museum Tours Available on Heritage Day

 The Gaithersburg Community Museum and the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory are among 36 historical sites participating in Montgomery County Heritage Days, June 25 and 26, 2011.  This 14th annual event celebrates and showcases the County’s rich history with music, dance, food, and children's activities.  All Heritage Days events are free.

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a number of the sites will highlight Montgomery County’s Civil War connections.  Event organizer, Heritage Montgomery, has created “Life in a War Zone” DVD, “American Music of the Civil War” CD, and a commemorative map of Montgomery County in the 1860s in honor of the sesquicentennial. 

In Gaithersburg, the following will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2011:

The Gaithersburg Community Museum
Noon – 4 p.m.
9 South Summit Avenue
Tour the restored 1884 B&O railroad station, site of the Community Museum, history park and rolling stock.  Current exhibits include a comprehensive timeline of the history of Gaithersburg, “Local Connections to the Lincoln Assassination,” “Scientific Equipment of the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory,” and interactive displays including a bank, school room and general mercantile store.

Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory
Noon – 4 p.m.
100 DeSellum Avenue
Tour the restored building and newly opened interpretive park.  Built in 1899 as one of six around the globe, the Observatory played an important role in the efforts of scientists to determine the wobble of the Earth on its polar axis to aid in navigation.  Ground markers are still used for GPS purposes today.

For more information on the activities in Gaithersburg please contact the Gaithersburg Community Museum at 301-258-6160 or visit 

For more information on Montgomery County Heritage Days please visit  This project is supported by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Montgomery County Government, Comcast Communications, and the Gazette Newspapers.

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