Travilah Past and Present

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Travilah Elementary School got its name from the road it faces, Travilah Road, and from the community known as Travilah.  The Travilah area, now mostly suburban developments, used to be a rural farming community.  In the late 1880s and early 1900s, the town center, at the intersection of today’s Travilah and Glen Roads, had a post office, stores, a blacksmith shop, churches, a town hall, and of course, a school.  With the exception of the town hall, which is now a private residence, all of these buildings have long since disappeared.  

In this painting (by 4th grade teacher Mrs. Knoblach), you can see Travilah Road winding through the community from River Road to the school.  River Road runs parallel to the C & O Canal which was a source of great commerce.  Transported along the Canal, by mule pulled barges, was coal from the Ohio Valley.  Also painted in this picture is Query Mill which was a wheat and paper mill powered by the waters of the Muddy Branch Creek and Potomac River. 

The original Travilah School, which opened in November 1886, was a 700 square foot, one-room schoolhouse on Travilah Road near Glen Road.  A second classroom and vestibule were added about 10 years later.  When it closed in 1943, students were assigned to other elementary schools until the existing Travilah Elementary School opened at the intersection of Dufief Mill and Travilah Roads, approximately one mile away, in December 1960. The land on which the school was constructed was part of the original Hanson Farm.  During the next 25 years, the school received some repairs, renovations, and a new gym.  But as the housing developments increased and the population grew, Travilah became overcrowded and its age began to show.  Finally, in 1991-92 school year, Travilah underwent a complete modernization and two room addition, while students and staff commuted to Grosvenor ES in Bethesda.  The “new” modern Travilah opened its doors August 31, 1992. 

In August 2008, six additional classrooms, new art, music, instrumental music rooms and several offices were added.  New Kindergarten classrooms were also added, and the office and conference room reconfigured.  A new courtyard and learning pond were built.  At this time, new technology was installed to all the classrooms.  Today, Travilah Elementary School, although 50 years old and rich in historical background, is a modern, up-to-date educational facility, serving as a vital community resource for the many families in the Travilah area.  It is a high achieving and modern Montgomery County Public School.