The village that would eventually become Darnestown grew at the intersection of what are now Darnestown Road and Seneca Road in the second half of the 1700s. The town was named after William Darne, aman who married into the first European family to own land in the area. He wasa civic leader, serving as a judge, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and as director of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The name of the community changed from Mount Pleasant until 1803 when people started calling it Darnes in honor of the leading citizen.
The land around Darnestown was originally used by the European settlers for growing tobacco and corn. It became a strategic location for the Union Army during the Civil War. Leadership realized that the area was a possible crossing point for a Confederate invasion, so they stationed 18,000 troops there and Major General Nathaniel P. Banks made his headquarters at a farm about halfway between the canal and Darnestown, where he could observe the Potomac River from high ground.
One of the main economic draws to Darnestown was the freight traffic of the C&O Canal, but that peaked in 1871, and the canal eventually closed permanently in 1924. Darnestown was also bypassed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Metropolitan Branch in 1873. Between those two factors, Darnestown’s growth was limited for almost a century and several nearby villages nearly became ghost towns. Then, in the 1960s, wealthy families began buying farmland in the area for living quarters and horseback riding, and soon the population tripled.
Dr. Dana Ball loves Darnestown, MD and the beauty of this part of Montgomery County. Our pediatric dental practice is located in Rockville, just fifteen minutes away along MD-28, and we love treating our pediatric patients from Darnestown. Dr. Ball chose to build her pediatric dental office on Shady Grove Road for easy access for families from all over MoCo. Give us a call today to reserve an appointment for your child, and we can make a customized plan for how to keep your child’s teeth in great condition.
Darnestown Park is a great place to bring the kids to get some fresh air and have fun! They’ll enjoy romping around the playground, and there’s plenty of shade to stay cool most hours of the day. The park also features tennis courts, a softball field, a small multi-use field,and a covered picnic shelter that can be reserved for events.
If your kids are a little older and enjoymuseums, you’ll find Darnestown Heritage Park at the intersection of DarnestownRoad and Seneca Road. It’s a small county park that functions as an outdoormuseum, telling the history of Darnestown with a series of historical markers.Not far from the Black Rock Mill is Seneca Creek State Park, where there aretrails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. It’s a beautiful place tovisit, and Dr. Ball and her family enjoy spending time at the park. The locksinthe old canal can be used for kayaking, biking, hiking, and observingwildlife, with the Dierssan Waterfowl Sanctuary located at towpath marker 20between Violette’s Lock and the Pennyfield Lock.