Fallsmead@50 Fun Facts
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.
Posted on August 1, 2018 10:37 AM by Melani Miller Harig
Carol Dollarhide (Recording Secretary 1981-2016) and Jean Bissey (Board Member 1979-1981 and Treasurer 1980-2003) have more than 60 years of Board service between them.
Photo courtesy of Stan and Jean Bissey. 
Posted on July 24, 2018 4:48 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Ducks and geese were first acquired by Fallsmead in summer 1975 to help control an algae problem on the pond. Unfortunately, it turned out that neither the ducks nor the geese liked to eat algae. Within several years, the neighborhood ended up with more geese (and algae) than we could handle (thanks to all of those cute baby geese every spring). To help control the population, the Grounds Committee for many years had the unenviable annual task of trapping and relocating the extra geese.
Source: Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book. Baby geese in the park spring 2017. Photo Courtesy of Bob and Debra Browning from the Photos from Your Neighbors photo album.
Posted on July 17, 2018 12:05 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The Fallsmead Sharks swim team was created in the Summer of 1969 along with the opening of the pool. The first team included kids from about 10 families, which was almost everyone with kids who lived in Fallsmead at that time. For the first three years, informal meets were conducted with the "B" teams from the more established pools in the area. In 1972, Fallsmead was accepted into the Montgomery County Swim League and began also swimming against the "A" team pools.
Source: Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book. All photos courtesy of Dave and Nancy Carter from the Fallsmead Sharks Swim Team photo album. The first picture is the 1981 swim team; the others are probably 1980s (let us know if you know for sure!).
Posted on July 11, 2018 11:23 AM by Melani Miller Harig
In 1983, the City of Rockville proposed building a 21-foot tall gabion dam in the woods above the Pipestem entrance to the park to aid with stormwater management. The proposed structure would have stood 18 feet above the streambed and would have been topped with a 3 foot wooden railed walkway (in total, about the height of a 2-story Fallsmead home). According to residents at the time, during a major storm, the dam would cause water to back up behind it and create an 18-foot deep lake. Residents opposed the dam, and it was obviously never built.
Source: May 1983 Fallsmead Forum and Fallsmead History Page. Fallsmead woods photo courtesy of Dean Wight from the Photos from Your Neighbors Photo Album
Posted on July 2, 2018 3:47 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Although the pool first opened with much fanfare on July 4, 1969 (the tennis courts opened at about the same time), the first official neighborhood Fourth of July party wasn't held until 1971.
Photos Courtesy of Carol Starley from the 4th of July 1970s photo album.
Photo Courtesy of Nancy Bauman Moore from the Fallsmead History photo album.
Posted on June 26, 2018 1:24 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Through the early 2000s, Fourth of July activities in Fallsmead were themed. Themes included Salute to America (1986), Mickey Mania (1995), and Protests in American History (1979). Everyone came in costumes and with parade vehicles (including floats) decorated based on these themes. Contest judging categories included best group/block, best family, and best stroller. Chalk drawing contests and even an occasional baked goods contest were also held.
All Photos Courtesy of Carol Starley from the 4th of July 1970s and 4th of July 1980s photo albums.
July 4, 1986. Carol and Steve Starley. Theme: "Salute to America"
July 4, 1976. Theme: "Bicentennial"
July 4, 1980. Theme: "Famous Characters in American Folklore"
July 4, 1977. Theme: "Past, Present, and Future"
July 4, 1979. Theme: "Protests in American History" or "History of Protest in the American Way of Life"
Posted on June 19, 2018 4:21 PM by Melani Miller Harig
On June 21-22, 1972, Tropical Storm Agnes hit the Washington D.C. area, causing some of the worst flooding ever recorded in the region’s history. In Fallsmead, the storm caused a deluge of water from the creek to overflow into the pond, which, in turn, overflowed, sending mud and water flooding into the pool. The flooding also destroyed several wooden bridges that crossed the creek. In the aftermath, Fallsmead's builders created an overflow area between the pond and the creek and an upstream berm to help divert future flood waters away from the pond. They also replaced the destroyed wood bridges with concrete culverts so that flood water could flow over them. The pond also needed to be dredged to remove all of the silt from the flooding.
Photo Caption: Fallsmead pond in the 1970s. Photo Courtesy of Jim Morgan from the Fallmead History Photo Album.
Posted on June 13, 2018 2:21 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The first and second residents who moved into Fallsmead in April and May 1968 finally got some new neighbors when the 3rd and 4th residents (the Mulhollands at 1102 Cedrus Way and the Coves at 1114 Fallsmead Way, respectively) moved in on June 13 and 14, 1968. By July 1st, around a dozen houses on the 1100 block of Fallsmead Way and Cedrus Way were occupied by new owners.
Foundation of 1130 Pipestem Place with Scott Drive (now Wootton Parkway) and unpaved Fallsmead Way in the background in April 1971. Photo Courtesy of Terry Martin from the Fallmead History Photo Album.
Posted on June 6, 2018 1:28 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The major pool renovation that took place during the first half of 2001 officially ended with the reopening of the pool on June 9, 2001. During the renovation, the pool was expanded with the addition of the beach entrance, the pool house was partially demolished and fully renovated, the covered area next to the pool was built, and the fountains were added.
Photos Courtesy of Terry Martin and Alan Frankle from the Pool Renovation 2001 photo album. Source: March and July 2001 Fallsmead Forums.
Posted on May 30, 2018 12:31 PM by Melani Miller Harig
Fallsmead was host to a City of Rockville walking town hall meeting on May 30, 1998. Rockville's mayor, city council members, and key staff members (including the city manager and directors from all of the major departments) joined Fallsmead residents on a walk around Fallsmead streets and ended with a Q&A session at the pool. Major topics of discussion included neighborhood traffic issues (with a focus on the speeding problem on Greenplace Terrace), streambank erosion in Fallsmead Park, the Seven Locks jail, and pin oak tree disease.
Posted on May 23, 2018 10:06 AM by Melani Miller Harig
Fallsmead Park was the home to a major pond renovation (as well as a major pool renovation) for the first half of 2001. During the renovation, the pond was drained, more than 1300 cubic yards of sediment/muck was dredged and removed (requiring 225 trips to the dump site), a new riser and outlet pipe were installed, new aquatic vegetation was planted along the banks, and the paths around the pond were paved and restored.
Photos (and Tidbit title) Courtesy of Alan Frankle from the Pond Renovation 2001 photo album. Source: January, March, and May 2001 Fallsmead Forums.
Posted on May 17, 2018 12:25 AM by Melani Miller Harig
The very first Pool Rules that came out when the pool opened in 1969 required all women, as well as men with hair longer than 5 inches, to wear bathing caps in the pool. Everyone was also required to take a soap shower before using the pool. If you left the pool area or used the toilet facilities, you had to take a second shower before you could go back in the pool.
The Fallsmead pool in July 1969 right after the pool first opened. The picture was taken from the top of the old high dive. Photo from the Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book. View the full 1969 Pool Rules on the Fallsmead History Page
Posted on May 9, 2018 9:23 AM by Melani Miller Harig
In Fallsmead in February 1968, you could get any house you wanted for under $45,000! House prices then ranged from $38,950 for an Edgehill to $44,350 for an Olney (if you wanted, AC that would cost you an extra $1,000). By August 1972, houses ranged from $56,650-$63,500 (not counting the extras like patios, fireplaces, and central vacuum cleaning systems). These days, houses are listing in the $700,000s and $800,000s. 
Source: Kettler Fallsmead Price Lists from the Fallsmead History Page.
Posted on May 2, 2018 10:53 AM by Melani Miller Harig
A Tour of Fallsmead Homes was held by the Fallsmead Garden Club on May 3, 1992, to showcase renovations and updates that were made to the five houses on the tour. (Click on the image to take the virtual tour yourself!)
Posted on April 25, 2018 11:37 AM by Melani Miller Harig
After selling the first 14 houses in Fallsmead II in 1983, the developer ran into financial troubles. The remaining 12 houses sat vacant until early 1986, when they were finally sold. By April 1986, all 12 properties (including the Ewing farmhouse) had either already closed or were about to. This brought the number of homes in Fallsmead up from 265 to 291, which is the number of homes in Fallsmead today.
The new houses on Pipestem Place in Spring of 1984, with Scott, Todd, and Devin Bradley, and Eric Tamarkin. Photo from Fallsmead 25th Anniversary Book.
Posted on April 18, 2018 10:39 AM by Melani Miller Harig
In early 1981, the Ewing family sold their 10-acre farm, which was located in the center of Fallsmead, to developers Berger-Berman. By the end of 1982, 25 new homes (in addition to the existing Ewing farmhouse) were built on that property. All 26 were incorporated into Fallsmead. The first of the "Fallsmead II" homes was sold in April 1983. By the end of 1983, 14 of the 26 Fallsmead II homes had been sold and had become part of Fallsmead.
A view of Lower Pipestem and the Ewing Barn from the pond in the early 1970s. Photo Courtesy of Jim Morgan from the Fallsmead History Photo Album
Posted on April 11, 2018 2:01 PM by Melani Miller Harig
The very first Fallsmead residents, the Lassman family, moved into their brand new home at 1115 Fallsmead Way in April 1968. They were here all by themselves (if you don't count the construction workers) for about a month until the Taylor family moved into 1107 Cedrus Way in May 1968.
Construction of 1213 Fallsmead Way in 1968 (which is the closest picture I have to the first set of houses that was completed in the 1100 block of Falsmead Way/Cedrus Way in the first half of 1968). Photo Courtesy of Nancy Bauman Moore from the Fallsmead History Photo Album.
Posted on April 4, 2018 10:48 AM by Melani Miller Harig
The very first edition of the Fallsmead Forum was published in April 1969. Among other things, it notified residents that the brand new pool would be open and available to residents by July 1, 1969, and that HOA fees would be going up to $9 per month once the pool was open. 
We hope that you enjoyed reading these Fallsmead@50 Weekly Fun Facts about Fallsmead's history and important events in Fallsmead's past as much as we enjoyed writing them! Although they ended at the conclusion of our 50th anniversary year in 2018, you can continue to access them here. They are still open for comments, so please feel free to share your thoughts and memories!