The Town of Chevy Chase, located in Montgomery County, Maryland, began as unincorporated farmland in the late 1800s. In 1890, Senator Francis G. Newlands and his partners founded the Chevy Chase Land Company and began to aggressively acquire land in the D.C. area and southern Montgomery County, MD to develop a residential streetcar suburb. The name, “Chevy Chase,” can be credited as originating from a tract of land called “Cheivy Chace” and has historic associations to a 1388 battle between an English Lord and a Scottish Earl.
Development of the town began in earnest after World War I with the increased use of automobiles. Building lots in what is now Chevy Chase proper began to be filled and the area was incorporated. The 1920s and 30s ushered a boom in growth for the town. Growing population demands caused concerted efforts of improvement, including sidewalks, storm drains, road repair and a tree-planting program in the town’s public spaces.
Today, Chevy Chase is primarily a residential suburb whose planners and citizens keep careful tabs on the effects of growth in their area. The area benefits from its location neighboring the popular shopping district, Friendship Heights, Washington, D.C. and its proximity to Bethesda, a thriving urban district.