Home > History of Wine > “Free from the excessive humidity of other Washington suburbs”: Our new home in Chevy Chase View

“Free from the excessive humidity of other Washington suburbs”: Our new home in Chevy Chase View


ChevyChaseView1

I normally do not write about my private life outside of any wine related activities.  However, I am very excited that after ten years of living in Silver Spring we are moving to Chevy Chase View.  You might have noticed that the combined process of buying a new house then selling our current house is occupying a significant portion of my time.  For the next several months it will continue to be hard to maintain my normal schedule of research and writing.  So if there are gaps in my tasting notes or less historical posts you now know why!

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Chevy Chase View is a town located north of Bethesda and south of Kensington, just outside of the Beltway.  It came into existence in 1909 then was first platted in 1910. Construction during the first dozen years was slow, resulting in just four houses.  Despite the lack of construction parcels of land were actively sold and bought.  One large parcel, upon which our house would eventually be built, was purchased by investor Charles E. Wire in 1916.  In 1923 there was a wave of new activity led by real estate developer Harry M. Martin and Charles E. Wire.  It was in this year that Charles E. Wire resubdivided the eastern portion of his large parcel in Chevy Chase View.  If the names Martin and Chevy Chase sound familiar that is because Harry M. Martin developed the land around Chevy Chase inside of the Beltway.  These parcels are known as Martin’s Additions.

Plat 124. Chevy Chase View, Harry E. Smith and John L. Whitmore. 1910. Maryland State Archives.

Plat 124. Chevy Chase View, Harry E. Smith and John L. Whitmore. 1910. Maryland State Archives.

Some 20 houses were eventually built that year in 1923.  Harry M. Martin ran a series of advertisements in The Evening Star and The Washington Post.  The altitude of Chevy Chase View was regarded as providing cooler temperatures, less humidity, and great views.  The Kensington Railway offered alternative transportation if one did not want to drive into the city.  The houses were all on large lots each with water, sewerage, and electricity.  The very next year Chevy Chase View became a special taxing zone which laid the foundation for the charter and regulations that now govern it.  Over the decades both citizens and political committee members have preserved the original feel with the large wooded lots.  Chevy Chase View was incorporated as a town in 1993.  As a town, it is rather unique for there are only some 300 single-family homes, a swimming pool, and four churches.

Chevy Chase View advertisement by H. M. Martin. May 20, 1923. The Evening Star.

Chevy Chase View advertisement by H. M. Martin. May 20, 1923. The Evening Star.

Our house was built in 1923 then expanded and fully renovated in 2000.  For us this offers the perfect blend of original features such as windows, doors, floors, and hardware along with modern conveniences like dual-zone forced-air heating and air conditioning.  There is a large dining room where I will be able to host wine tastings.  For the storage of wine there is a basement and for my Madeira, there is a walk-up attic.  The house itself sits on a large lot.  With both covered and uncovered decks along with a flat backyard, I cannot wait to host my first wine party this summer.

Categories: History of Wine
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