Olney offers all the amenities of small-town living within easy access to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Olney is the last suburban outpost in upper northeast Montgomery County, Maryland, with many residents working as far away as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and even Northern Virginia. Home to more than 250 businesses and more than 30,000 residents, Olney maintains much of its old-time character while provide all of the wonderful lifestyle choices of a modern community. To find out more about Olney, visit the Olney Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.olneymd.org.
HISTORIC OVERVIEW: Olney no longer resembles the sleepy rural crossroads village of the 1700s. Farming was the primary occupation of early villagers in 1879, when land sold for a mere four dollars per acre. Surrounding villages were once more prosperous than Olney. Brookeville, just 2 miles to the north, had a population of 250. It served as the nation's capital for a day in August 1814, when the British invaded Washington, D.C. and James Madison fled the White House. To the west is Laytonsville, where 100 families lived. Both communities incorporated in the 1800s.
To the east a community of Quakers were located in Sandy Spring, and this was considered the cultural center of the surrounding villages. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, Sandy Spring boasted blacksmiths, carpenters and merchants, as well as three mills which served surrounding residents. Sandy Spring National Bank was established there, along with Montgomery Mutual Insurance Company, and a circulating library. For more information about Sandy Spring's history, visit www.sandyspringmuseum.org.