Summit Hall, a 251-acre ridge-top farm in the heart of Gaithersburg, was officially named and patented in 1857 by John T. and Sarah DeSellum. The topography and 500-foot elevation with its panoramic view has attracted settlers since colonial times and probably inspired the name. Today the property encompasses 57 acres of traditional rolling green lawns, reflective ponds, swimming pool, miniature golf course, and activities building. The historic resources include a two-story part-log house which may date back to the colonial Logtown era, an 1860s tenant house, a 19th century family cemetery and grainary, and a log smokehouse believed to be the oldest standing structure in Gaithersburg.
The history of the property dates back more than two centuries beginning as part of a large tobacco plantation in the 1750s, as the small community known as Logtown in the 1770s, as the prosperous farm occupied by the Confederate Army briefly in 1864, and as a model of scientific farming, astronomy, and agronomy in the 20th century.
The first local owner was Baltus Fulks, a shoemaker, who owned lots in Logtown in the early 1770s. By 1828, his daughter and son-in-law Cathrine and James DeSellum had purchased Fulks' lots and amassed additional lands to total 242 acres. Their children John T. and Sarah DeSellum inherited the farm in 1847 and experienced the Civil War plundering of Jubal Early's Confederate Troops. John DeSellum also parceled off property for a schoolhouse, the Ascension Church, and the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory. The Fulks/DeSellum family ownership of Summit Hall continued when Ignatius T. Fulks purchased the property in 1886. Summit Hall was sold to Frank and Zoe Wilmot in 1936. During the Wilmot's ownership, their son William created one of the first commercial turf farms in the United States at Summit Hall. The City of Gaithersburg purchased this 57-acre historic farm in 1982 and established Summit Hall Farm Park which is the crown jewel of the City of Gaithersburg park system.
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