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Mount Ranier City

Prince Georges County, Maryland

Mount Ranier City Hall is located at 1 Municipal Place, Mount Ranier, MD 20712.
Phone: 301‑985‑6585.

Beginnings [1]

The Maryland and Washington Railway began operations connecting what is now the area encompassing the City of Mount Ranier to the District of Columbia in 1897. In 1902 local developers purchased more than 1,000 acres of the Clemson family farm, surveyed the land, and renamed it "Mount Ranier." The city was incorporated in 1910 at which time it had just over 1,200 residents. Various annexations took place between 1929 and 1955 bringing the population to its peak of 11,000 residents. [1]

In contrast to the wealthier suburbs close to northwest Washington, like Cleveland Park, Chevy Chase and Kensington, Mount Rainier and the suburbs of Prince George's County developed as communities for people of moderate means. A promotional circular for one of Mount Rainier's early subdivisions indicates the middle-class nature of the community. The circular touted the area's convenience to the city and the appeal of its unspoiled setting saying that "the Northeast, high, healthy and beautifully located and the only outlet for the City's expansion and growth, must become the section where the great mass of people of moderate wealth, must and will invest." [2]

Many of the town's early residents were members of the region's growing white middle class, employed by an expanding federal government and commercial sector as clerks, tradesmen or laborers. Able to trade the increasingly overcrowded and expensive city for the greenery and quiet of the suburbs, they settled in Mount Rainier and similar communities in the metropolitan area and erected modest but comfortable houses for their families. When needed, the city was only an inexpensive streetcar ride away.

  1. Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, City of Mount Ranier Mixed-Use Town Center: Existing Conditions Analysis, 2010, www.issuu.com, accessed January, 2016.
  2. Howard S. Berger, Architectural Historian, Mount Ranier Historic District, Prince Georges County, MD, nomination document, 1990, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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