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Fallsmead@50 Fun Facts
Posted on December 17, 2018 9:41 AM by Melani Miller Harig
Santa made his first appearance at a Fallsmead holiday party on December 20, 1975. The holidays in Fallsmead have been celebrated together as a neighborhood ever since!
Posted on December 12, 2018 12:39 AM by Melani Miller Harig
The first Fallsmead residents to serve on the Fallsmead Board - Jerry Effer, Jack Cove, and Charlie Bauman - were appointed to the Fallsmead Board on December 12, 1968. Prior to that time, the Fallsmead Homes Corporation Board was entirely comprised of representatives from Fallsmead's developer, Kettler Brothers.
Ice skating on the pond in the 1970s (because it is cold out, and I don't have another picture that would fit here better, and this is something the Board would be very concerned about nowadays!). Photo Courtesy of Christine Navarro from the Fallsmead History Photo Album. Source: Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book and December 1968 Board meeting minutes. 
Posted on December 4, 2018 1:58 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Ballots to approve Fallsmead's new bylaws and covenants were originally due back on December 2, 2009. Because a quorum was not met at that point, the vote was extended to January 31, 2010. By the end of January 2010, 85.2 percent of the community had voted, and the new bylaws and covenants were approved by a vote of 202-46. They officially took effect February 2, 2010, and remain in effect today.
Posted on November 28, 2018 4:05 PM by Melani Miller Harig
On November 30, 1981, Fallsmead residents voted to approve the incorporation of the 26 "New Fallsmead" homes (Pipestem Court and lower Pipestem Place beyond the pond entrance) into Fallsmead. The legal annexation agreement wasn't approved by the Board until June 28, 1982, after further negotiations with New Fallsmead developers Berger-Berman. 
Source: Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book. All photos courtesy of Carol Starley from the Fallsmead History Photo Album.
Ewing property from 1419 Fallsmead Way in 1974 (now lower Pipestem Place). 
Ewing property from 1419 Fallsmead Way in 1974 (now lower Pipestem Place).
Ewing Farm being bulldozed to make way for New Fallsmead May 1982 (from 1419 Fallsmead Way).
Posted on November 19, 2018 1:43 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The first emails were sent out from the Fallsmead neighborhood email list in November 2000. The list was created by Jim Beller in 2000 and has been run by Jim ever since.
Photo Caption: Jim and Monica Beller poolside in summer 2001. Photo courtesy of Jim and Monica (never expecting that it would someday be used for this purpose!).
Posted on November 12, 2018 12:25 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Many original Fallsmead owners used the Kettler Brothers house model drawings and floor plans to help them decide which Fallsmead house they wanted to buy. The house drawings and floor plans were updated periodically as the neighborhood was being built to account for design changes for specific models. Check out all of the original model drawings and floor plans that we have in our Fallsmead archives on the Fallsmead History page right here at fallsmead.org.
Posted on November 7, 2018 11:48 AM by Melani Miller Harig
A proposal to add two new tennis courts on the field between Old Creek Court and the playground using a special assessment of $85 to be collected from all Fallsmead residents was defeated at a community special meeting on November 5, 1976, ending three years of debate over whether to add more tennis courts in Fallsmead.
Posted on November 1, 2018 11:14 AM by Melani Miller Harig
The very first Fallsmead neighborhood website, available at www.rocknet.org, was created by Jim Beller and the Communications Committee in November 1999. The new Fallsmead web pages - which included information about Fallsmead and its amenities, Board, and Committees - were part of the Rockville Community Network (ROCKNET), a non-profit computer-based network designed to promote communications between citizens, community groups, businesses, and the Rockville city government.
Posted on October 23, 2018 1:25 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The number 3 seems to be the common thread in this week's Fallsmead@50 Fun Fact about Fallsmead Board Presidents. There have been 33 Fallsmead Board presidents in the past 50 years. Here are 3 Fun Facts about them:
  1. Dave Carter was the longest-serving president, serving 3 terms as president from 2009-2011.
  2. Jim Marrinan (president in 1979) is the dean of presidents who still live in Fallsmead.
  3. Carol Starley was the first female president in 1993 (yes, that counts as the last 3!).
Source: Fallsmead@50 Photo Book.
Posted on October 18, 2018 12:45 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The Sumberg family, the first residents to move into the second section of Fallsmead (which began at Fallsmead Way and Infield Courts North and South), moved into their new home at 1309 Fallsmead Way in October 1969. At the time, there were no trees, sidewalks, or streetlights in that section of Fallsmead, and Fallsmead Way only extended to what is now the end of the 1300 block of Fallsmead Way at Pipestem Place. 
Photo Caption: Fallsmead Way at Pipestem Place probably early 1970. Photo Courtesy of Jim Morgan from the Fallsmead History Photo Album. Source: Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book.
Posted on October 10, 2018 4:40 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Buddy McCracken, an 18-year old Wootton High School graduate who lived on Duncan Branch Court, was shot and killed at the end of Greenplace Terrace on October 11, 1974. Buddy was trying to stop a group of teenagers from tampering with a fire hydrant when one of the kids pulled out a gun and shot him. A memorial to Buddy was erected near the flagpole in Fallsmead Park and still stands there today. The scoreboard and baseball field at Wootton High School, where Buddy had played on the baseball team, were also named in his honor. 
Posted on October 2, 2018 11:41 AM by Melani Miller Harig
The original Fallsmead playground was installed in October 1973. Although some new equipment was purchased in 1993, most of the original playground was still here until 2013, when it was finally dismantled and completely replaced with new equipment.
Photo Caption: The old playground in June 2012. Photos courtesy of Melani Harig.
Posted on September 26, 2018 2:00 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Every Wednesday morning for the past 14 years, a group of current and former Fallsmead residents has met up for breakfast as part of the Fallsmead Men's Breakfast group. Stan Bissey, the Breakfast founder, and a few Fallsmead neighbors started meeting for breakfast in 2005. The weekly event has since grown to about 12-16 persons. More than 40 Fallsmead men have attended the breakfast at least once since it started. Read on for a full write-up of the group's activities from group member Tom McKenna:
Early every Wednesday morning, a few walkers set out from Fallsmead, heading for Woodside Deli in Rockville’s Town Center to attend the Fallsmead Men’s Breakfast. By the time the walkers arrive at the deli, other folks have already arrived and have several conversations going simultaneously. Soon, folks begin placing custom breakfast order with the waitress, who must patiently compete with ongoing discussions, yet quickly get all breakfast orders to the kitchen. Breakfast discussion topics include current events, sports, Fallsmead news, vacation reports, or other news. Often, someone will pull out a mobile to fact-check something. No question goes unanswered! The breakfast is fun. Some say it contributes to a healthy retirement to have the regular social interaction with such an interesting group!
Stan Bissey, the Breakfast founder, and a few Fallsmead neighbors started meeting for breakfast in 2005. The weekly event has since grown to about 12-16 persons, sometimes more. More than 40 Fallsmead men have attended the breakfast at least once since it started. The breakfast venue has only changed three times over the years, always due to some restaurant change. When a venue change was needed, breakfast regulars quickly came up with a good alternative that allowed our record of never missing a week for unplanned reasons to continue intact. The group started with a mix of retired and nonretired men. However, now only a few are still in the workforce. All are current or former Fallsmead residents.
Photo Caption: Pictured here from left are Walt McKee and Erich Baumgartner (front) and Tom McKenna and Stan Bissey (rear). They are planning a future breakfast. Photo courtesy of Tom McKenna. 
Posted on September 18, 2018 1:59 PM by Melani Miller Harig
There are 33 Kettler-built houses (those built in 1968-1973) in Fallsmead that are still occupied by their original owners. Two other Kettler original owners still live in the neighborhood, but in a different house. 
Fallsmead original owners June 2018. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Emery for the Fallsmead@50 photo book. 
Posted on September 10, 2018 4:50 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Can you imagine having 8 kids living in your Fallsmead house? Back in 1974 (the first year all 265 original Fallsmead houses were included in a neighborhood directory), there was one house with 8 kids living in it, and 47 houses with 4 or more kids; this year, one house has 5 kids living in it, and only 5 houses have 4 or more kids. More surprisingly (at least to me!), 88% of houses in 1974 had kids living in them; in 2018, only 53% of Fallsmead homes have kids living at home according to the directory.
Source: 1974 and 2018 Fallsmead neighborhood directories. 
Posted on September 4, 2018 11:19 AM by Melani Miller Harig
Elementary school kids living in Fallsmead attended Lakewood Elementary from 1968-1971, but switched to Cold Spring Elementary when that was built in 1972. Fallsmead Elementary became the neighborhood elementary school when it was built in 1974 (it was K-6th until 1994). High school and middle school students in Fallsmead first attended Richard Montgomery High School and Julius West Middle School (then a junior high), but switched to Wootton High School and Robert Frost Middle School (then an intermediate school/junior high) after those were built in 1970 and 1971, respectively.
Corner of James Spring Court and Greenplace Terrace on the first day of school in September 1973. Photo courtesy of Tony Buckley from the Fallsmead History Photo Album. 
Bus stop at the corner of Infield Court South and Fallsmead Way in 1990. Photo Courtesy of Stacy Shiffman from the Fallsmead History Photo Album.
Posted on August 28, 2018 3:21 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Fallsmead held a tennis tournament and Family Day at the pool on August 30 and 31, 1969, to celebrate the end of the first season of Fallsmead's pool and tennis courts.  The tennis tournament on August 30th was for kids ages 18 and under. The Family Day on August 31st included water polo, kids and adult swimming races, running races, a bubble gum blowing contest, newspaper races (whatever that was), a marshmallow contest, adult Dixie cup races, and an adult egg toss contest.
Fallsmead pool house in 1970 (above, courtesy of Jim Morgan) and 2018 (below, courtesy of Melani Harig). Photos from the Fallsmead Then and Now photo album. Source August 1969 Fallsmead Forum.
Posted on August 21, 2018 4:06 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Fallsmead was host to several "gigantic slip-n-slide" events on the big hill next to the pond in the early 2000s. Between 2003 and 2005, the slip-n-slides were Fallsmead's big late-August end-of-summer parties where everyone was encouraged to "come prepared to get wet and have a blast!"
Photos courtesy of Mark Fellman from the Fallsmead History Photo Album.
Posted on August 14, 2018 9:42 AM by Melani Miller Harig
The June 1969 Fallsmead Forum included a note to all residents reminding them that Fallsmead residents and their children were not allowed to swim in the Fallsmead pond. According to the Forum, "apart from the obvious danger of swimming in an unguarded area, the pond is meant for boating and fishing." Times have changed since boating (along, of course, with swimming) is most definitely NOT allowed on the pond these days. 
Fishing on the pond August 1969. Source: June 1969 Fallsmead Forum and Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book.
Posted on August 7, 2018 3:01 PM by Melani Miller Harig
For the first several years of Fallsmead's existence, the path around the Fallsmead pond was open to automobile traffic to allow residents living on the Fallsmead Way side of the neighborhood to drive to the pool and tennis courts (since Greenplace Terrace had not yet been built). It 1973, however, it was closed to cars when the pool entrance on Greenplace Terrace was opened. This caused a year-long battle between residents who wanted to keep the Pipestem driving entrance open, residents who did not, Kettler Brothers (Fallsmead's builder), and the City of Rockville. In the end, the entrance was never re-opened.
Pipestem Place entrance to Fallsmead Park in August 1969. Source: Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book.
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This year is Fallsmead's 50th Anniversary! As part of our celebration, we are sharing weekly fun facts about Fallsmead's history and important events in Fallsmead's past here, on Facebook, and on the neighborhood email list. This "Fallsmead@50" campaign will be ongoing throughout the entire 2018 50th anniversary year.
Do you have memories that you would like to share? Please feel free to add your thoughts and memories throughout the year on our Facebook page, or contact us at communications@fallsmead.org or at mckennt3@comcast.net