Spencerville/Brown’s Corner

Spencerville counted 100 residents and Brown’s Corner did not yet exist when T. H. S. Boyd published his History of Montgomery County in 1879. Boyd found Spencerville land “productive and yielding excellent crops of wheat, corn, and hay. Land worth from thirty to eighty dollars per acre.” He went on to list the principal white males – Postmaster W. H. Spencer, Carpenter James Barnes, Nurseryman William H. Phair, Farmers H. S. Chaney, Louis H. Duvall, Joseph Harding, W. P. Miller, George Reigle, and three Stablers, Asa M., Caleb, and F. The numbers seem small, yet Spencerville loomed large for the time, as big or bigger than Bethesda, Damascus, Germantown, Laytonsville, Norbeck, Olney, and the Sandy Spring village itself.

At the crest of Parr’s Ridge above Brown’s Corner the small Oakley public school opened in 1889 and educated area youngsters until 1933. In the 1950s the ridge was crowned with another landmark, a WSSC water tower, against which a local wag leaned a sign saying, “This rocket will never get off the ground.”