Historical association to celebrate Quince Orchard community in Gaithersburg

As published by Gazette.net, Wednesday, June 25, 2014 

Some might be surprised to learn of the rich history that resides at the Pleasant View Historical Site, a part of the historic Quince Orchard community that still shares the stories and memories of a more than 100-year-old society.

The Pleasant View Historical Association will hold its annual June Festival on Saturday to honor the heritage and ancestry of the community.

Pleasant View Historical Association’s Annual June Festival

Pleasant View Historical Association’s Annual June Festival
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Pleasant View Historical Site, 11810 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg
Cost: Free
Information: Pearl Green, 301-926-1798

“The JuneFest has been happening for the better part of 30 years where members of that community come back to celebrate the commitments and investments that were made to acquire the property,” said Jason Green, who serves as the counsel to the association. “The celebration is a recommitment to the property.”

The Pleasant View site, 11810 Darnestown Road in Gaithersburg, houses three original structures that all date back to the late nineteenth century. Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church, Pleasant View Cemetery and Quince Orchard Colored School are still standing.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, attendees can enjoy food, music and other activities as part of the celebration. The historic church and school buildings will also be open to tour.

Green, a descendant of the Quince Orchard community and a current North Potomac resident, also will use the event as an opportunity to collect more footage for “The Quince Orchard Project,” the documentary he and his sister, Dr. Kisha Davis, are producing about the area’s history.

The project was conceived after Green and Davis had a conversation with their 95-year-old grandmother, Pearl Green, about her memories. During the conversation, the siblings’ grandmother talked about how much she missed the community she had grown up in, Quince Orchard.

Green and Davis were surprised to learn that Quince Orchard had once been a community of its own, separate from Gaithersburg and other surrounding towns.

“Here was this place that had made some significant investments in education, religion and community service, and we never knew it as a place,” Green said. “‘The Quince Orchard Project’ is an effort to recapture some of that story.”

The documentary includes an entire timeline of history from the Civil War era to the present, as well as the perspectives from those who were part of the community. Green and Davis have been working on it for almost a year.

Green said he has also found interesting material in the responses he hears from younger generations who are now just learning about the history of Quince Orchard. At the festival, he’ll be conducting interviews people who want to share their thoughts for the film.

Through various interviews and historical accounts, the film focuses on a major question.

“Our question is, ‘How do we all, in an increasingly diverse community, preserve, protect and share these stories?’” Green said.

For more information about the documentary, visit thequinceorchardproject.com.