Beall-Dawson Historical Park

Beall-Dawson Historic House Museum 

The Beall-Dawson House was built circa 1815 for Upton Beall and his wife and daughters. Beall, from a prominent Georgetown family, was Clerk of the Court for the county, and he wanted a home that would reflect his wealth and status. In 1815 Rockville was a small rural community, despite being the county seat and an important cross-roads town. Beall’s large brick Federal-style home, built overlooking Commerce Lane (now West Montgomery Avenue), was designed to impress both inside and out.

Beall’s daughters lived in the house their entire lives, and were later joined by a cousin, Amelia Somervell Dawson, and her family. The house remained in private hands until the 1960s, when it was purchased by the City of Rockville and became the Montgomery County Historical Society’s headquarters.

Today, although all but one of the outbuildings are gone, the house itself still contains most of its original architectural features, including the indoor slave quarters located above the kitchen. The museum is furnished in the style of the early 19th century, and the tour interprets the lives of both the upper-class white family and the enslaved African Americans who lived here, as well as life in 19th century Rockville. Two rooms on the second floor are used as changing exhibit galleries, showcasing the Historical Society’s collections. Click here to find out about the current exhibit.

 

Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine

This one-room doctor’s office was built in 1850 for Dr. Edward Elisha Stonestreet of Rockville, who had just graduated from the University of Maryland medical school; he served as one of the town’s doctors until his death in 1903. During the fifty-one years of Dr. Stonestreet’s practice, medical knowledge and technology underwent many radical changes. The Stonestreet Museum contains a small office vignette, and changing exhibits that highlight our extensive 19th and early 20th century medical collections including books, instruments and tools, pharmaceutical items, and more.

The office was originally situated in the front yard of the Stonestreet home on East Montgomery Avenue. Some years after the doctor’s death the office was moved to the Rockville fairgrounds (now Richard Montgomery High School), and it was thus spared demolition during the city’s urban renewal project in the mid 20th century. In 1972, Dr. Stonestreet’s office was donated to the Montgomery County Historical Society and moved to the grounds of the Beall-Dawson House.

On the second Sunday of each month, first person interpreter Clarence Hickey portrays Dr. Stonestreet for the regular tours.

 

 

Location
103 West Montgomery Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850

Hours and Tours
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00-4:00. Both guided and self-guided tours are available.
Closed major holidays.

Summer visitors: Please be advised that the Beall-Dawson House is not air-conditioned.  We do our best to provide air flow through the house, but it does get warm in the house; plan your visit accordingly.  (The Stonestreet Museum and the Library are air-conditioned.)

In the case of inclement weather, we follow the public school system on weekdays, and the county Recreation Department on weekends.  If the county schools are closed, or the Recreation Department cancels weekend activities, the museums and library are closed.  (County Recreation Inclement Weather Line: 204-777-6889)

Fees
Adults: $5
Students and seniors: $3
Children under 6: free
MCHS members: free

What You'll Find
A visit to the Rockville campus of the Historical Society includes a tour of both the Beall-Dawson House (including any special exhibits) and the Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine. Our tours are docent-led, and generally last 45 minutes to an hour; no tours are begun after 3:30 (3:15 during December). For groups of 8 or more people, please schedule tours in advance by calling our administrative offices at (301) 340-2825.
Summer visitors please note: the Beall-Dawson House is not air-conditioned.
The Rockville campus is also home to the Jane C. Sween Research Library, our main research facility.

Access
The main part of the Beall-Dawson House first floor is reached by several steps. Non-motorized wheelchairs can be conveyed into one of the first floor rooms, and the museum shop. The second floor is not handicapped accessible, but notebooks explaining the second floor tour and any special exhibits are available for anyone who cannot make it up the stairs.
The Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine has three steps leading up to the door; most of the one-room museum is visible from the entrance, however.
Handicapped accessible restrooms are available in the research library.

Directions
Click here for directions to the Beall-Dawson Historical Park.