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Gaithersburg, Maryland facts for kids

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Gaithersburg, Maryland
City of Gaithersburg
The NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory, the Gaithersburg city hall, a row of Gaithersburg townhouses, the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church, the John A. Belt Building, and the Washingtonian Waterfront
The NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory, the Gaithersburg city hall, a row of Gaithersburg townhouses, the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church, the John A. Belt Building, and the Washingtonian Waterfront
Flag of Gaithersburg, Maryland
Official seal of Gaithersburg, Maryland
Coat of arms of Gaithersburg, Maryland
Coat of arms
A green capital letter "G" with a cutout image of a tree inside.
"A Character Counts! city"
Location in Montgomery County and the U.S. state of Maryland
Location in Montgomery County and the U.S. state of Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland is located in Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Location in Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland is located in the United States
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Maryland
County Montgomery
Settled (as Log Town) 1765
Founded 1802
Incorporated (as a town) April 5, 1878
Ascension (to city status) 1968
Named for Benjamin Gaither
 • Total 10.44 sq mi (27.05 km2)
 • Land 10.32 sq mi (26.73 km2)
 • Water 0.12 sq mi (0.32 km2)
350 ft (106 m)
 • Total 69,657
 • Density 6,749.06/sq mi (2,605.78/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 301, 240
FIPS code 24-31175
GNIS feature ID 0593389

Gaithersburg ( gay-THƏRZ-burg), officially the City of Gaithersburg, is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. At the time of the 2020 U.S. Census, Gaithersburg had a population of 69,657, making it the ninth-largest location in the state. Gaithersburg is located to the northwest of Washington, and is considered a suburb and a primary city within the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Gaithersburg was incorporated as a town in 1878 and as a city in 1968.

Gaithersburg is located east and west of Interstate 270. The eastern section includes the historic area of the town. Landmarks and buildings from that time can still be seen in many places but especially in the historic central business district of Gaithersburg called "Olde Towne". The east side also includes Lakeforest Mall, City Hall, and the Montgomery County Fair grounds, and Bohrer Park (a well-known joint community recreation center and outdoor water park for kids and families). The west side of the city has many wealthier neighborhoods that were designed with smart growth techniques and embrace New Urbanism. These include the Kentlands community, the Lakelands community, and the Washingtonian Center (better known as Rio), a shopping/business district. Consumers often come to this area during Black Friday and other shopping holidays for the deals and variety of huge brand name stores like Target and Dick's Sporting Goods, and smaller stores like Francesca's and Blue Mercury. Two New Urbanism communities are under construction, including Watkins Mill Town Center (Casey East and West), and the massive "Science City". The state has a bus rapid transit line, Corridor Cities Transitway or "CCT", planned for the western portion of the city starting at Shady Grove Metro Station and connecting all the high density western Gaithersburg neighborhoods with a total of eight stops planned in the city.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is headquartered in Gaithersburg directly west of I-270. Other major employers in the city include IBM, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services business area headquarters, AstraZeneca, and the French multinational corporation, Sodexo. Gaithersburg is also the location of the garrison of the United States Army Reserve Legal Command.

Gaithersburg is noted for its ethnic and economic diversity; it was ranked second for ethnic diversity among the 501 largest U.S. cities, and first among smaller U.S. cities, by WalletHub in 2021.


North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1919
Downtown Gaithersburg in 1919.
North Frederick Avenue and Brookes Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland, February 19, 1956
Downtown Gaithersburg in February 1956.
Seal of Gaithersburg, Maryland (former)
Seal of Gaithersburg when it was a town.
SunTrust Bank, Gaithersburg, Maryland, August 25, 2015
A Gaithersburg SunTrust Bank in August 2015.

Gaithersburg was settled in 1765 as a small agricultural settlement known as Log Town near the present day Summitee Hall on Ralph Crabb's 1725 land grant "Deer Park". The northern portion of the land grant was purchased by Henry Brookes, and he built his brick home "Montpelier" there, starting first with a log cabin in 1780/3. This 1,000 acre tract became part of the landmark IBM Headquarters complex built on the then-new I-270 Interstate "Industrial", now "Technology", Corridor in the late 1960s to the 1970s. Benjamin Gaither married Henry's daughter Margaret, and Benjamin and Margaret inherited a portion of Henry's land prior to Henry's death in 1807. Gaither built his home on the land in 1802. By the 1850s the area had ceased to be called Log Town and was known to inhabitants as Gaithersburg.

The Forest Oak Post Office, named for a large tree in the town, was located in Gaither's store in 1851. However, when the railroad was built through town the new station was called Gaithersburg, an officially recognized name for the community for the first time. The town incorporated under its current name in 1878. Gaithersburg boomed during the late 19th century and churches, schools, a mill, grain elevators, stores, and hotels were built. Much of this development focused around the railroad station.

In 1873 the B&O Railroad constructed a station at Gaithersburg, designed by Ephraim Francis Baldwin as part of his well-known series of Victorian stations in Maryland. Rapid growth occurred shortly thereafter, and on April 5, 1878 the town was officially incorporated as the Town of Gaithersburg.

In 1899, Gaithersburg was selected as one of six global locations for the construction of an International Latitude Observatory as part of a project to measure the Earth's wobble on its polar axis. The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory is (as of 2007) the only National Historic Landmark in the City of Gaithersburg. The observatory and five others in Japan, Italy, Russia, and the United States gathered information that is still used by scientists today, along with information from satellites, to determine polar motion; the size, shape, and physical properties of the earth; and to aid the space program through the precise navigational patterns of orbiting satellites. The Gaithersburg station operated until 1982 when computerization rendered the manual observation obsolete.


In 1968, Gaithersburg was upgraded from a town to a city.


Gaithersburg remained a predominantly rural farm town until the 1970s when more construction began. As the population grew, with homes spreading throughout the area, Gaithersburg began taking on a suburban and semi-urban feel, leaving its farming roots behind. During the late 1990s and 2000s, it had become one of the most economically and ethnically diverse areas in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area as well as the State of Maryland, with people from all walks of life calling Gaithersburg home. This can be seen in the local schools, with Gaithersburg High School and Watkins Mill High School having two of the most diverse student bodies in the region.


During a 1997 rainstorm, the 295-year-old forest oak tree that gave its name to the Forest Oak Post Office crashed down. The tree served as the inspiration for the city's logo, which is also featured prominently on the city's flag.


In 2007, parts of the film Body of Lies were filmed in the city, at a building on 100 Edison Park Drive. The film was released in 2008.


On July 16, 2010, Gaithersburg was hit by a 3.6 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to occur in Maryland.


Gaithersburg is located at 39°7'55" North, 77°13'35" West (39.131974, -77.226428).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.34 square miles (26.78 km2), of which, 10.20 square miles (26.42 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 547
1910 625 14.3%
1920 729 16.6%
1930 1,068 46.5%
1940 1,021 −4.4%
1950 1,755 71.9%
1960 3,847 119.2%
1970 8,344 116.9%
1980 26,424 216.7%
1990 39,542 49.6%
2000 52,613 33.1%
2010 59,933 13.9%
2020 69,657 16.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 59,933 people, 22,000 households, and 14,548 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,875.8 inhabitants per square mile (2,268.7/km2). There were 23,337 housing units at an average density of 2,287.9 per square mile (883.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 31.9% non-Hispanic White, 16.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 16.9% Asian (6.01 Chinese, 4.77% Indian, 2.03% Korean, 1.69% Filipino, 1.02% Vietnamese, 0.62% Burmese), 0.1% Pacific Islander, 10.7% from other races, and 4.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.2% of the population (8.3% Salvadoran, 2% Honduran, 1.9% Mexican, 1.9% Peruvian, 1.7% Guatemalan).

There were 22,000 households, of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.9% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.24.

The median age in the city was 35.1 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 33.8% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% females.



Roads and highways

2019-07-12 11 49 53 View south along Interstate 270 (Washington National Pike) from the overpass for the ramp from southbound Interstate 270 to eastbound Interstate 370 in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, Maryland
I-270 southbound at the interchange with I-370 in Gaithersburg

The most prominent highways serving Gaithersburg are Interstate 270 and Interstate 370. I-270 is the main highway leading northwest out of metropolitan Washington, D.C., beginning at Interstate 495 (the Capital Beltway) and proceeding northwestward to Interstate 70 in Frederick. I-370 is a short spur, starting just west of I-270 in Gaithersburg and heading east to its junction with Maryland Route 200. Via MD 200, I-370 connects Gaithersburg with Interstate 95 near Laurel.

Maryland Route 355 was the precursor to I-270 and follows a parallel route. It now serves as the main commercial roadway through Gaithersburg and neighboring communities. Other state highways serving Gaithersburg include Maryland Route 117, Maryland Route 119 and Maryland Route 124. Maryland Route 28 passes just outside the Gaithersburg corporate limits.


Gaithersburg train station 1
The Gaithersburg train station in January 2007

Gaithersburg is connected to the Washington Metro via Shady Grove station, which is located just outside the city limits and is the north-western terminus of the Red Line.

The Corridor Cities Transitway is a proposed bus rapid transit line that would have 8 stops in Gaithersburg, generally in the western half of the city.

Maryland's MARC system operates commuter rail services connecting Gaithersburg to Washington, D.C. with two stations in the city, at Old Town Gaithersburg and Metropolitan Grove, and a third station — Washington Grove — just outside city limits.

Bus service in Gaithersburg consists of Metrobus routes operated by WMATA and Ride-On routes operated by Montgomery County, as well as paratransit service provided by MetroAccess.


According to the city's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 AstraZeneca (formerly MedImmune) 4,000
2 National Institute of Standards and Technology 2,798
3 Leidos (merged with Lockheed Martin) 1,515
4 Asbury Methodist Village 771
5 Hughes Network Systems, LLC 729
6 Sodexo USA 536
7 Adventist HealthCare 495
8 GeneDx 350
9 Kaiser Permanente 350
10 Emergent BioSolutions 347

Gaithersburg also receives significant income from its conference organization platform including prominent conferences such as the CHI 84 conference.

RIO Washingtonian Center a.k.a. rio a.k.a. Rio Lakefront, is a 760,000-square-foot complex of retail, restaurant and entertainment including AMC/Loews rio Cinemas, Target, LOFT, Barnes & Noble, Dave & Buster's, and Dick's Sporting Goods, built along an artificial lake.


The following Montgomery County Public Schools are located in Gaithersburg:

Elementary schools

  • Brown Station
  • Rachel Carson
  • Darnestown
  • Diamond
  • DuFief
  • Fields Road
  • Flower Hill
  • Gaithersburg
  • Goshen
  • Jones Lane
  • Laytonsville
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Judith A. Resnik
  • Rosemont
  • South Lake
  • Stedwick
  • Strawberry Knoll
  • Summit Hall
  • Washington Grove
  • Watkins Mill
  • Whetstone
  • Woodfield

Middle schools

  • Forest Oak
  • Gaithersburg
  • Lakelands Park
  • Ridgeview
  • Shady Grove

High schools

  • Gaithersburg High School
  • Quince Orchard High School
  • Watkins Mill High School

Notable people

  • Sankar Adhya, member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Lawson Aschenbach, NASCAR driver
  • Georges C. Benjamin, former secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Kimberly J. Brown, actress who starred in Halloweentown
  • Mark Bryan, lead guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Isabel McNeill Carley, published music teacher, lived in Gaithersburg from 2004 until her death in 2011
  • Justin Carter (born 1987), basketball player for Maccabi Kiryat Gat of the Israeli Premier League
  • Kiran Chetry, CNN anchor
  • Jeanine Cummins, author
  • Dominique Dawes, three-time women's Olympic gymnastics team member, member of the Magnificent Seven
  • Stefon Diggs, professional football player for the Buffalo Bills
  • Trevon Diggs, professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys
  • Brandon Victor Dixon, American actor, singer and theatrical producer
  • Astrid Ellena, Miss Indonesia 2011
  • Hank Fraley, former football player in the NFL
  • Judah Friedlander, actor, most notably from the television show 30 Rock
  • Jake Funk, professional football player for the Los Angeles Rams and Super Bowl LVI champion
  • Joshua Harris, Author and former Christian pastor
  • Kelela, R&B singer
  • Matt Holt, former singer of Nothingface and Kingdom of Snakes
  • Paul James, actor, most notably from the television show Greek
  • Courtney Kupets, 2004 Olympic gymnast and three-time NCAA champion
  • Tim Kurkjian, ESPN baseball analyst, appears on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight, author of America's Game and Is This a Great Game, or What?: From A-Rod's Heart to Zim's Head—My 25 Years in Baseball
  • Matthew Lesko, author of Free Money from the government books
  • Sir Robert Bryson Hall II (entertainer) better known as Logic, hip hop musician, rapper, musical engineer
  • Lucas and Marcus, dancers and YouTube personalities
  • Shane McMahon, WWE wrestler and commissioner of WWE SmackDown Live
  • Jim Miklaszewski, chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News
  • Malcolm Miller, basketball player and NBA champion for the Toronto Raptors
  • John Papuchis, college football coach
  • Andrew Platt, former Maryland House of Delegates member
  • Guy Prather, football player
  • Paul Rabil, lacrosse player (midfield), four-time All-American at Johns Hopkins University, all-star for the MLL's Boston Cannons, co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League, current midfielder for the Atlas lacrosse club
  • Chris Coghlan, Major League Baseball player
  • Eddie Stubbs, country musician, disc jockey, and Grand Ole Opry announcer
  • Jodie Turner-Smith, actress and model
  • Wale, hip hop musician and rapper
  • Jessica Watkins, NASA astronaut
  • David P. Weber, principal in Gaithersburg and Washington, D.C.–based law firm Goodwin Weber LLC and former assistant inspector general for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • James White, professional basketball player who played for the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets
  • 6ix, record producer
  • Dwayne Haskins, NFL quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Frederick Yeh, biologist and animal welfare activist

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Gaithersburg (Maryland) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic activists
Rodolfo Gonzales
Ernesto Galarza
César Chávez
Oscar Zeta Acosta
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