Darby Store Up for Rent in Beallsville
The Darby Store in Beallsville has a long history in the community and now Montgomery County is hoping it has just as long a future.
The Montgomery County Department of Parks is accepting requests for proposals to occupy the historical store located on Darnestown Road. The county is hoping a new tenant will bring new life to the building that has been an intricate part of the community since 1910.
“I think what is cool about it is the town of Beallsville is really a tiny place and it hasn’t changed much over time,” said Julie Mueller, project manager for historic sites within the Montgomery County Parks. “In an urban area like Washington, D.C. there aren’t that many places to drive to within a half hour and step back in time to a place that evokes the early 20th century. To me as an historian there is something nice, calming and soothing about that.”
In its heyday, the Darby Store was important to the community as it supplied area farmers and residents for over 50 years selling a variety of goods, feed, and groceries. Montgomery Parks is seeking a tenant to reinvigorate the building while keeping in mind its historic character.
The new tenant can’t be a grocery store or restaurant because of sewer and water restrictions, but Mueller said other types of stores, or functional space like are artist co-op would work well. The rental rate is negotiable, Mueller said.
According to the county parks department, the store is located on what was once the Brewer Farm, the property was purchased by Harry Darby in 1908. After demolishing buildings that stood on this site, Darby erected the extant store in 1910 and the neighboring house for his family in 1921. The Darby Store became an important addition to the community as it supplied area farmers and residents of the small neighboring communities for over 60 years, selling a variety of dry goods, feed, and groceries. It even housed the post office in the 1920s, according to county parks.
Here is more history of the building from Montgomery Parks.
In 2004, the long-vacant, 25-acre property was purchased by M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks and designated as the Darby Historical Cultural Park and it has since been renovated.
Interested parties may download the Darby Store Leasing RFP (#P35-127). The application deadline is June 8.
There is a meeting for interested applicants for the space scheduled for second meeting on May 30. You can find information about the meeting here.