Tracing the Community : Black History
by Gloria McKinney 1998
I grew up in Cabin John as did my mother, grandmother, and my great-grandmother. I was always amazed when I would go into the city (Washington, DC) and tell people where I was from. The reply was usually the same: “You must be rich, “or” I didn’t know black people lived in Montgomery County.” Quite the contrary, Montgomery County has thousands of black families who have lived here for generations and Cabin John is no exception.
Prior to the Civil War, we were slaves. In Cabin John, we weren’t the slaves of large plantations owners like other southern states because there weren’t any plantations. Rather, we were the slaves of farmers and businessmen. After the Civil War, business was booming in Cabin John with the construction of the Washington Aqueduct (the C&0 Canal), the Cabin John Bridge, and the Cabin John Hotel …
… Most of the property located on Conroy Road (now Seven Locks) between River Road and Conduit Road (now MacArthur Blvd.) was owned by two men, J.D.W. Moore and Robert W. Stone. Both Stone (owner of the now Tri-State Stone Company) and Moore (a landowner and farmer) employed our families to work and live on their property. Several log cabins dotted the fields and woods of this area.
The First School
In 1880 with so many black children and families living on his property J.D.W. Moore purchased a half-acre of land from Robert Stone for the sum of $10 to erect a school for the children. On June 12 of that same year, Cabin John had its first school established for black children, called the Moore school …