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Historic Ringer-Darby House c.1906

16 Walker Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, USA
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Historic Ringer-Darby House  c.1906

This storybook Historic Carpenter Gothic-Style home in desirable Montgomery County Maryland is close to parks, shopping & entertainment. Located in the charming Gaithersburg Historic District, this home is a tribute to a bygone era and beautifully preserved, while enjoying a gourmet kitchen and modern bathrooms. With original historic detailing, wood floors, a spacious screened back porch and large landscaped lot, this gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2 bath home presents a rare opportunity for a buyer who is interested in stewardship and a historic community.  This home was built 110 years ago and each family maintained and improved the home with its respectful longevity in mind.

The current owners are avid gardeners. There are many varieties of plantings on this beautifully landscaped nearly 1/2 acre lot.

This is a home of rare and beautiful distinction, minutes from shopping, schools & entertainment, and close to Baltimore & Washington, DC, yet a world away.

Historic Walker Avenue

Walker Ave. is named after Gaithersburg farmer and city leader John Wesley Walker, and is located on his former farmland.  In 1904 he subdivided the front pasture making new lots on either side of the dirt road.  He was the third Mayor of Gaithersburg, serving from 1906 to 1908, during the time this and other houses were built on the street.  The road was further extended by his son-in-law Walter Magruder (Mayor from 1924 to 1926), who eventually transferred the remaining farmland to the group that became Asbury Methodist Village. Rev. J. Judson Ringer was appointed the first Superintendent of this organization in 1923, and he lived at 16 Walker as the first buildings were being built there.  When a home was available for him he relocated there in 1926. The original Walker farmhouse was moved to Prospect St. a few blocks away. Three other Gaithersburg Mayors lived on Walker, so it became the street of Mayors (Milton Walker grew up in 11 Walker, Harry Perry owned 18 Walker and Ed Bohrer lived for a time in 11 Walker).

The first owners, Charles and Ida Mansfield liked building houses.  They built a house in Germantown in 1901, then moved to Walker Ave. in 1906/7.  They built 26 Walker Ave. and moved there in 1913.  That house is under construction in the church tower photo. The physical building of the house was done by Ignatius Ward, who purchased and lived in 18 Walker, and built several homes on the street.

Lawrence and Arlene Darby had been living next door at 14 Walker with Lawrence’s parents, and were happy to have a home of their own when they moved to 16 Walker in 1926.  They lived in the house until 1986, and were responsible for building the rear addition sometime in the 1930s and adding most of the utilities. Walker was the first street in town to get electricity by 1913, but running water wasn’t available until 1926. When it became available, people quickly replaced their outhouses and pumps with indoor bathrooms. Homes were originally heated with coal, either a furnace in the basement or grates in chimneys in several locations.  Basements were enlarged, and radiators installed as a major upgrade. The house is named the Ringer-Darby House after its early famous occupant and its long term residents.

Each lot was designed to be large enough to graze one cow, which explains the long narrow lot size.  Agriculture blended with city living and people had chickens and large vegetable gardens.

Gen. Jubal Early marched down what is now Maryland 355 in the Civil War, commandeering lodging at the nearby Summit Hall Farm, which is now a city park and aquatic facility.

Brookes, Russell & Walker Avenues Historic Districts (MHT – M:21-165)

The subdivisions and structures within the boundaries of the Brookes, Russell, and Walker Historic District reflect Gaithersburg’s initial optimism after 1873 to become a booming railroad suburb of Washington D.C., and an agricultural supply center and railhead. The many proposed rail lines linking Gaithersburg to other cities were not built, dampening the town’s opportunities. Gaithersburg’s subsequent slow but steady growth as a self-sufficient, closely-knit small community is reflected in the history of these subdivisions. The District has retained its integrity as a Late to Post-Victorian neighborhood, presenting virtually the same appearance for the past 50 years while surrounding areas have changed radically.

History and Support
The population of Gaithersburg and environs around 1800 was about 141 persons, primarily engaged in agriculture and service to travellers along the Georgetown-Frederick Road. The Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad opened on May 25, 1873, bringing immediate economic and community growth. The town was incorporated in 1878, and nearly doubled its original size by annexation ten years later in 1888, the same year that Reister Russell and Thomas B. Brookes requested the town to open new roads in their proposed subdivision. The town’s position on the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad plus discussion to link it by rail to other locals generated high optimism for the town’s future.
On July 5, 1888, land was purchased from the Fulks-DeSellum family, and a turning wye constructed. With the wye and double tracking, Gaithersburg became the terminus of the local line.

Chain of Title

1906 Charles  & Ida Mansfield
1913 Laura Woodfield
1923 J. Judson & M. Josie Ringer
1926 Lawrence & Arlene Darby
1986 Michael & Jean Bonner
1988 Jean Bonner
1989 James Taylor
1989 Robert & Cathy Drzyzgula

Upgrades & Improvements

Had gas line brought into house and converted furnace from oil to gas boiler and added separate water heater, relined chimney with steel.
Replaced original metal roofing with metal shingle and standing seam roof in 2004.
Replaced water line from street to house in 2006.
Replaced water heater in 2007.
Remodeled upstairs bathroom in 2009 including new drywall.
Replaced gutters in 2010.
Remodeled downstairs bathroom in 2014.
Remodeled kitchen in 2015 including new wiring and drywall.
Repainted house exterior in 2015.
All new first floor flooring in 2015 except bathroom.


Maryland Historical Trust – Ringer-Darby House
Maryland Historical Trust – Brookes, Russell & Walker Avenues Historic Districts
Maryland Histoical Trust – Old Town Gaithersburg
Historic District Commission
 – City of Gaithersburg
Historic Preservation – City of Gaithersburg
Historic Preservation – Montgomery County
Plat – Historic Ringer-Darby House
Historic District Guidelines – Brookes, Russell, Walker Historic District

  • Address: 16 Walker Avenue
  • City: Gaithersburg
  • State/county: Maryland
  • Zip/Postal Code: 20877
  • Neighborhood: Brookes Russell Walker Historic District
  • Country: United States


Updated on January 9, 2019 at 11:54 pm

  • Property ID: 4301
  • Price: $425,000
  • Property Size: 1986 Sq Ft
  • Land Area: 0.42 Acres
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Garage: 1
  • Garage Size: 1 Space
  • Year Built: 1906
  • Property Type: Homes
  • Property Status: Sold


Contact info

Gary Gestson
Gary Gestson
301-975-9500 ext. 4604301-646-0046
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