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Glen Echo Heights' History


Glen Echo Heights' history makes our community one of the most interesting. Read the facts below to learn a little more about our area.

Old Map of Glen Echo Heights (Bill Fleury's Collection)
 I
 The Invention of Glen Echo Heights

..or, how an eggbeater financed a castle, a railway, and more.

We’ve posted online the slide show given at the March 16 membership meeting.  It is based on photographs and historical notes about Glen Echo Heights that date back to the nineties (1890’s that is.)   These materials were generously provided by Richard Cook.  Bill Flury, who enjoys both photography and a good story, put together this fun narrative and slide show.

The Eggbeater
In 1885, Edwin Balttzley invented and patented an improved, spatterless eggbeater that reversed direction halfway through each turn of the crank. Baltzley and his brother, Edward, made a lot of money manufacturing the eggbeater. In 1888 they sold the egg beater factory and the patent and began investing in real estate. They purchased land along the Potomac River from Cabin John Creek in Maryland to the Walhonding Road area and named it Glen-Echo-on-the-Potomac.

The Castles
They built homes that looked like stone castles on their land and referred to the area as “The Washington Rhine.” To provide the stone for the castles that they hoped other people would build, they opened five local quarries, one of which is still operating on Seven Locks Road.

The Railway
What was the lure of Glen Echo? Montgomery county had a higher elevation than DC, giving it cooler summers. Trains provided easy access. The Baltzley brothers even founded and promoted the Glen Echo railroad to bring customers to their property. And the natural greenery along the Potomac was an attraction in itself.

The Community
The Baltzley property is now officially called Glen Echo Heights and it includes the areas now separately referred to as Mohican Hills and Glen Echo Heights.

Text adapted from “More History” by Deborah Lange published on the Town of Glen Echo web site http://www.glenecho.org/history.html#b1889


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