Street Address
9 South Summit Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Mailing Address
506 S Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Hours
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 3 PM
Additional Hours by Appointment
Admissions
Free
Services
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Cafe/Restaurant
Staff
Nansie Wilde, Facilities Manager
phone: 301-258-6160
Karen Lottes, Program Coordinator
phone: 301-258-6160

Description

Local history full steam ahead at the Gaithersburg Community Museum! Located in the restored 1884 B&O Railroad complex in Olde Towne, the museum bridges Gaithersburg’s past and present for visitors of all ages. Exhibits in the Freight House and rail cars explore our rich history and hands-on learning centers for children spark the imagination. The Station, an active commuter stop, houses dining and restroom facilities, and the outdoor interpretive spaces, with the ever-popular rolling stock, offer the possibility of experiencing the sights and sounds of the trains that frequently rumble past the Museum.

Nearby Observatory Park is home to the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory. Operating from 1899-1982, the Observatory was one of six worldwide that measured the wobble of the earth on its polar axis leading to improved navigation and significant scientific discoveries. This outdoor interpretive space highlights the importance of the scientific work conducted here for nearly a century.

Mission

The mission of the Gaithersburg Community Museum is to pique curiosity, invite reflection, foster connections to place, and build community by sharing the cultural history of Gaithersburg in a participatory, accessible, and responsible manner for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.

History

The 1918 Buffalo Creek and Gauley #14 Steam Locomotive in the History Park

The Gaithersburg Community Museum was started in 1988 by the Gaithersburg Historical Association (GHA), a small local historical society made up of community members who were concerned that the history of Gaithersburg might be lost. Originally located in the Train Station, at the time it began the museum collection focused on Gaithersburg history from 1873 to 1950 when it was a small agricultural and commuter town served by the railroad and MD Route 240.

Eventually the museum moved into the freight house and it became a partnership with the City of Gaithersburg. Today, the museum is operated by the City with support from GHA which continues to have ownership over much of the collection. The focus of the museum and its collections has expanded to include the pre-history of the area that was to become Gaithersburg to the present. The City of Gaithersburg has changed a lot since its founding in 1878 - its people, its lands, and its borders are very different. The museum wants to represent that historical spectrum.

The Gaithersburg Community Museum is one of the few heritage museums next to an active railroad station. At any time you can see the MARC commuter train, Amtrak Passenger train, or the CSX freight hauling trains as they make their way to their final destinations.

Permanent Exhibitions

1918 Buffalo Creek and Gauley #14 Steam Locomotive

1918 Buffalo Creek and Gauley #14 Steam Locomotive

C&O Railroad Bay Window Caboose

C&O Railroad Bay Window Caboose

1951 Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Metropolitan Line Budd Car

1951 Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Metropolitan Line Budd Car

Facilities

The museum is part of the historic rail complex in Olde Towne Gaithersburg. The museum is housed in the original Freight House. It also has a 1918 steam engine, caboose, and 1951 RDC. Restrooms and a coffee shop are located next door in the train station.

Governance

The museum is part of the City of Gaithersburg.

ADA

Restrooms

The restrooms are located in the adjacent ticket station.

Wheelchair Accessible

Parking

Restrooms

Services

Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Restaurant