Farming and Labor in Montgomery County

Farming and Labor in Montgomery County (HM1ZGA)

Location: Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Montgomery County
Buy Maryland State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 39° 9.837', W 77° 7.849'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites


Local farmers attempted to maintain their agricultural operations despite disorder caused during the Civil War. Out of necessity, planters paid particular attention to weather and planting information provided by Almanacs and newspapers. The Rockville Sentinel supplied regular updates on how Mother Nature actually affected routine farming practices and crop production in Montgomery County:

Our farmers during the past week have been quite busy planting corn, their oat seeding having been finished.... The destruction of much of the fencing in this county by the troops lately stationed in it, together with the wet weather, has necessarily interfered very much with many in getting in their oat and corn crops at the usual time. (20 May 1862)

By 1864, sources of labor were of a much interest as the weather. Because of the war, the available number of both young white men and enslaved laborers was dwindling. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln in January 1863, freed only the those enslaved in states that had seceded from the Union. It did not apply to border states like Maryland that remained loyal to the Union. Yet some enslaved were not willing to wait for a government proclamation to seek freedom:

The slaves have been leaving our [Montgomery] county in so continuous a
stream as to leave most of our farmers in the vocative (or lacking) for help to save their fodder, corn, and other outstanding crops. From present indications, the agriculturalists of our county well be compelled to abandon their pursuits altogether, or circumscribe them within such narrow limits as to minister to their own domestic wants.
(Baltimore Sun, 30 September 1863)

Farmers, like Edwin Muncaster who maintained 45 bondspeople in this very property in 1860, had "great apprehensions....that serious loss may occur from scarcity of labor necessary to secure the various crops." On this 800 acre farm, enslaved men, women, and children worked fields of wheat, Indian Corn, Irish potatoes, rye, and hay. In time, hired hands and tenant farmers were employed to ensure peak cultivation of these cash crops." (Baltimore Sun, 28 June 1864)
Placed ByMontgomery Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 6th, 2017 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 315906 N 4337132
Decimal Degrees39.16395000, -77.13081667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 9.837', W 77° 7.849'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 9' 50.22" N, 77° 7' 50.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 18400 Muncaster Mill Rd, Gaithersburg MD 20877, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Bussard Farmhouse
0.03 miles
Agricultural History Farm Park
0.12 miles
0.2 miles
Nike Missile Local Park
2.4 miles
Oakley Cabin
3.32 miles
Layton House
3.38 miles
Rolling Ridge
3.42 miles
Olney House
3.57 miles
3.6 miles
The Early Years
3.66 miles
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?