First discovered by the fur trader Henry Fleet, the land which is now known as the Town of Chevy Chase View changed hands many times. In the late 1600s, Chevy Chase View was part of a parcel known as “Joseph’s Park.” A large portion of this parcel was inherited in the mid-1700s by a member of the Carroll family, a family well-known in the State of Maryland. As of 1865, only one home was located within today’s municipal boundaries of the Town of Chevy Chase View.
The land records indicate ownership of the original Joseph’s Park changed hands several times, with the names of “Bloomfield” and “Highlands” on deeds before the land was eventually sold to Thomas Gartrell. In 1909, Claud Livingston purchased 168.75 acres from the Gartrell family and platted the Town of Chevy Chase View. There is no record of how Mr. Livingston chose the name “Chevy Chase View”. Traditionally, Chevy Chase View was part of “Highlands,” which gave a view of the surrounding countryside. Francis G. Newlands purchased a 305-acre plot of land straddling the line between Maryland and the District of Columbia and subsequently developed Chevy Chase in 1890, and the name imparted magic to the whole area. Chevy Chase View is the northernmost of the “Chevy Chases”, the only Chevy Chase located north of the Capital Beltway.
In the early development of the Town of Chevy Chase View, Claud Livingston and Harry M. Martin were important leaders. Claud Livingston created the Town, but did not stay. Harry M. Martin lived in the Town, organized our autonomous government, and guided the Town to an orderly existence.
Harry M. Martin (1863-1956) was known as an outstanding real estate speculator and the one who was personally enmeshed in the Town’s affairs for years. Mr. Martin bought a large tract of land in the Dresden Street area and built his first home. It was Harry Martin who organized Chevy Chase View as a Special Taxing District in 1924, and thus laid the foundation for the Town’s Charter, Regulations and consequently its uniqueness. In 1993, Chevy Chase View was incorporated as a Town.
The Town of Chevy Chase View was originally laid out in an irregular grid and has remained relatively true to its original plan. Claud Livingston’s original plan called for 276 lots. There were only a few homes in the Town of Chevy Chase View before 1930. By 1933, there were 27 homes and, despite the Depression, this was the beginning of a frenzy of home construction. In 1940, with approximately 100 homes built, the Town of Chevy Chase View’s population had grown to 444 residents. Two years later, in 1942, records show a total of 154 homes had been constructed, and an additional 84 residents brought the Town’s total population to 528. By the end of 1943 (just one year later), the pace of construction continued with a total of 169 homes, and the Town was well on its way to its present number of 309 homes in the Town of Chevy Chase View.
The above are excerpts from the Chronicles of Chevy Chase View published by the Council of Chevy Chase View in 1983.