In the 1830s and 1840s, a large number of German business owners, some of whom were immigrants from Germany and others relocating from Pennsylvania, settled what are now known as Liberty Mill Road and Clopper Road intersect. While most of the local landowners and farmers were English, travelers remembering the accents of the shop-owners called the area Germantown, and the name stuck. Germantown has experienced great growth during the past few years and an urbanized towncenter has been built.
Germantown is located at 39¡Æ11¡ÇN 77¡Æ16¡ÇW.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 28.0 km©÷ (10.8 mi©÷). 27.9 km©÷ (10.8 mi©÷) of it is land and 0.1 km©÷ (0.1 mi©÷) of it (0.46%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 55,419 people, 20,893 households, and 14,123 families residing in the area. The population density was 1,986.8/km©÷ (5,144.0/mi©÷). There were 21,568 housing units at an average density of 773.2/km©÷ (2,001.9/mi©÷). The racial makeup of the area was 62.20% White, 19.13% African American, 0.34% Native American, 9.84% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.22% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.21% of the population.
There were 20,893 households out of which 41.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the area, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 43.0% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 3.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the area was $62,431, and the median income for a family was $67,204. Males had a median income of $46,039 versus $37,237 for females. The per capita income for the area was $26,709. 4.6% of the population and 3.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 5.9% are under the age of 18 and 9.9% are 65 or older. The largest families range from 8-12 people.
Germantown sits a short distance from Interstate 270 and is a stop on the MARC train Brunswick line. The station itself, designed by E. Francis Baldwin, was rebuilt after it burned down in 1978 and is at the corner of Liberty Mill Road and Mateny Hill Road. The Montgomery County public bus system Ride On, serves Germantown with approximately 20 bus routes, and operates a major transit hub at Germantown Transit Center. Also, a light rail system has been proposed which will, when completed, connect the terminal of the Washington Metro Red Line at Shady Grove Station in Gaithersburg to Germantown and continue on to Clarksburg, further north.
Notable Business/Government Headquarters
United States Department of Energy
Hughes Network Systems
AWS Convergence Technologies/WeatherBug
Persons of Note
Mark Bryan and Dean Felber of the pop rock band Hootie and the Blowfish
Rufus Buck, renowned folk singer.
Clutch (band), hard rock band.
Walter Johnson, pitcher, Washington Senators
Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret.
Germantown has appeared in several episodes of The X-Files.
George Atzerodt, a co-conspirator in the Abraham Lincoln assassination was captured in Germantown on April 20, 1865. He was assigned by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, but lost his nerve and fled Washington, D.C., on the night of the Lincoln assassination. He was captured at his cousin Frederick Richter's farm in Germantown. Atzerodt was hanged on July 7, 1865 along with Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, and David Herold in Washington, D.C.