BEALLSVILLE, MD—Park neighbors of the Darby Store in the Beallsville area will notice activity at the site this week as the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Montgomery County Department of Parks prepares to move the historic structure about 27 feet back from the intersection of Routes 28 and 109 in accordance with approvals from the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.
“We’re moving the store back from the street to help preserve the structure, which has already been damaged by a turning truck and is in danger of being hit again,” said Montgomery County Department of Parks Cultural Resources Planner Julie Mueller.
The Darby Store is located at 19811 Darnestown Road in Beallsville. The Department of Parks purchased the property in 2004 through its Legacy Open Space program. The cost of the purchase was $670,000. It will cost about $320,000 to move and stabilize the store. The stabilization and move have taken several years to plan due to site constraints and permit issues.
This week, the Department of Parks will brace the store to get it ready for the move and raise it off its existing foundation. The store will remain hoisted for about three weeks. A new foundation for the store is expected to be poured by June. It is anticipated that the store will be moved onto its new foundation shortly thereafter once the new foundation has cured.
“We will be completing some basic rehabilitation work after the move,” added Mueller.
The Department of Parks will install a new roof, complete some interior stabilization work and exterior painting after the move. The Department of Parks has already completed work to prepare the site. Parks archaeologists conducted an archaeological dig at the site in July 2009 in the area where the new foundation will be excavated and parks staff installed a new well in February 2011 so the store, which never had running water, will have plumbing.
The Darby Store and its neighboring house represent the prominence of the local merchant in a rural turn-of-the-20th-century farming community. Although stores such as the Darby Store were once found throughout Montgomery County, few remain today.
For more information on cultural resources in Montgomery Parks, visit www.ParksCulturalResources.org.
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Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks