Montgomery County Blog

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Brookeville, MD: U.S. Capital for a Day

As the British burned the capital in 1814, refugees from Washington D.C. and Georgetown fled to Brookeville, a small town in upper Montgomery County, Maryland – approximately 18 miles north of D.C. President James Madison spent two nights in Brookeville as he sought refuge at the Market Street home of Postmaster Caleb Bentley, known today as the Madison House. In addition to the president and the U.S. attorney general, Brookeville’s townspeople provided refuge for other Washingtonians fleeing the invasion and burning of the city as well as American soldiers from the Battle of Bladensburg, making Brookeville “the Nation’s Capital for a Day.”

The 200th anniversary of the War of 1814 celebration will take place during Labor Day weekend 2014. As Brookeville prepares to welcome more than 10,000 people to the bicentennial celebration on August 30, 2014, Brookeville will recreate the life and spirit of August, 1814, with living historians playing the roles of local scientists, engineers, teachers, tradesmen, and craftspeople. Costumed volunteers and horses will re-enact the extraordinary events of August, 1814, including the arrival of President Madison guarded by 20 mounted militiamen.

On Saturday evening, the town will welcome visitors with a period dinner and musical entertainment and on Sunday, Brookeville will hold a 200-year family reunion for descendants of those townspeople and refugees who were there in 1814.

Join the celebration as Montgomery County takes a step back in history to 1814.

Saturday August 30th

The full re-enactment will include living historians playing the roles of local scientists, engineers, teachers, tradesmen, and craftspeople and re-creating the arrival of President Madison guarded by 20 mounted militiamen. On Saturday evening, the town will welcome visitors with a period dinner and musical entertainment.

Sunday August 31st

Enjoy and take part in Brookeville’s Bicentennial Reunion dinner at the Longwood Community Center for descendants of those townspeople and refugees who were there in 1814.

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