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Somerset, Maryland
Town of Somerset
Town of Somerset sign.jpg
Location of Somerset, Maryland
Location of Somerset, Maryland
Country  United States
State  Maryland
County Flag of Montgomery County, Maryland.svg Montgomery
Incorporated 1906
Area
 • Total 0.28 sq mi (0.71 km2)
 • Land 0.28 sq mi (0.71 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
295 ft (90 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,187
 • Density 4,300.72/sq mi (1,663.30/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
20815
Area codes
  • 301
  • 240
FIPS code 24-73350
GNIS feature ID 2391418

Somerset is an incorporated town in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, located near its border with Washington, D.C. The population was 1,216 at the 2010 census. Somerset has no relationship to Somerset County, some 150 miles distant.

Geography

Somerset is located at 38°58′2″N 77°5′41″W / 38.96722°N 77.09472°W / 38.96722; -77.09472 (38.967110, −77.094824).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.28 square miles (0.73 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 173
1920 200 15.6%
1930 298 49.0%
1940 399 33.9%
1950 430 7.8%
1960 1,444 235.8%
1970 1,303 −9.8%
1980 1,101 −15.5%
1990 993 −9.8%
2000 1,124 13.2%
2010 1,216 8.2%
2020 1,187 −2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,216 people, 407 households, and 347 families living in the town. The population density was 4,342.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,676.8/km2). There were 423 housing units at an average density of 1,510.7 per square mile (583.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.7% White, 0.7% African American, 3.9% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.8% of the population.

There were 407 households, of which 44.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.2% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 14.7% were non-families. 10.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.18.

The median age in the town was 45.5 years. 31% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 13.4% were from 25 to 44; 33% were from 45 to 64; and 17.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

History

Somerset's history dates back to 1890, when five government scientists purchased 50 acres (20 ha) parcel of tobacco farmland from the government for the purpose of setting up a residential community. This land was originally part of the Friendship Tract, a 1713 gift of 3,000 acres (12 km2) to a couple of early Maryland colonists which is now the basis for the nearby Friendship Heights area. Five early streets were arranged and remain to this day: Dorset, Warwick, Surrey, Cumberland, and Essex after the English counties. The first home in Somerset was occupied by Dr. Charles A. Crampton in 1893, and by 1905 there were 35 residences.

Despite being promoted as an area of "tranquility and refinement," the original Town was plagued by inadequate water drainage, a makeshift sewage system, and the absence of local fire protection and schools. These problems prompted the local citizens to petition the State of Maryland for incorporation into a township so that taxes could be levied to provide these basic services. The Charter was issued in 1906, forming the community of Somerset Heights and the surrounding areas into the Town of Somerset. The first Town Council was elected on May 7, 1906, and Dr. Crampton was elected as the first mayor.

In 1988, town residents voted in a referendum to de-annex a parcel of land containing three large apartment buildings under construction, to avoid having the town council and services shift from representing the single-family homeowners to becoming representative of a condo community. Residents of the Somerset House complex would have out-numbered the single-family home dwellers by 3–1. The complex was constructed on the last large undeveloped woodlot in Somerset, and construction had been blocked by legal challenges for over two decades.

Education

Montgomery County Public Schools serves Somerset.

Residents are zoned to:

  • Somerset Elementary School
  • Westland Middle School
  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

Transportation

2019-06-12 12 57 23 View north along Little Falls Parkway just north of Maryland State Route 190 (River Road) in Somerset, Montgomery County, Maryland
Little Falls Parkway northbound in Somerset

No state highways directly serve Somerset. The most significant road within the town limits is Little Falls Parkway. Maryland Route 190 (River Road) passes just southwest of the town limits, and Maryland Route 355 (Wisconsin Avenue) is located just east of the town limits. Both connect southeastward to Washington, D.C. and northwestward to the nearest Interstate highway, Interstate 495 (the Capital Beltway).

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