Walter Johnson Hosts Event for Hunting Dogs on His Germantown Farm

We found an interesting article about one of our Washington heros, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Walter Johnson. We’ve written quite a number of pieces about his baseball exploits over the years, as well as an interesting piece about his wedding in Columbia Heights, and the sad tale of his wife’s death. This piece covers his post-baseball life, in which he was heavily involved with his hunting dogs.

Below is an article that we found in The Washington Post printed on April 11th, 1937.

Walter Johnson holds open house tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday for hunting dogs at his 130-acre farm near Germantown, Md. This spring classic, known to the initiate as the National Capital Field Trials, gives to the ordinary person no idea from the name, of the fun and sport derived from watching these finely trained dogs work.

How perfectly natural and sporting for Walter, who during his baseball days never had the time to enjoy his dogs as he does now, to place at the disposal of the local club such a fine spot for the running of these events. Like last year, it will include stakes for working dogs and puppies as well as the all-age.

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Walter Johnson and his son Eddie in 1938
Walter Johnson and his son Eddie in 1938

By the way, we haven’t yet done any research on this, but do any GoDCers out there know approximately where his farm was in Germantown?

The piece continues.

The general public is cordially invited to attend the trials and for the benefit of those who have never visited the Johnson farm, a word of direction may be helpful. Route No. 240 to Rockville, turn right to Gaithersburg and continue beyond it for 2 miles. Turn left at the church with the neon illuminated cross.

Oh, well there you have it. Do those directions make sense to any folks who live near Germantown or Rockville? I can’t find a route 240 on Google Maps anymore, so a little digging and it appears it was the former designation for Wisconsin Ave. departing D.C.

And regarding the farm, we did a quick Googling to see what we could find, and apparently no buildings from his farm stand today. The farm’s property is now occupied partly by Chesterbrook Academy,  a preschool, and Seneca Valley High School.

Here’s the Google Map of the approximate location, which today is at 19400 Crystal Rock Drive, in Germantown.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • MiataTraveler08

    Rt. 240 is Wisconsin Ave. in Washington DC. The same road continues as Rt. 355 in MD. The church with the neon cross is Neelesville Presbyterian church (the old bldg.) at the intersection of old Rt. 118 and Rt. 355. It used to have a blue neon cross at night. It would make sense to turn left from Rt. 355 onto Rt. 118 to get to the Walter Johnson farm site currently occupied by Seneca Valley High School.

  • Mark Hornbaker

    WJ’s farm was a 550 acre farm is where Seneca Valley High School is located. His farm was bordered by the railroad on the southside of the property. WJ would hold all types of events from his farm, fox hunts, political event, and baseball games.I be;ieve the name of the farm was Mountain View Farm. From the from porch of the housr they had a clear view of Sugarloaf Mountain.

  • Mehitibel

    There is a chapter on Walter Johnson and his life in Germantown in “The HIstory of Germantown, Maryland” by Susan Soderberg. This chapter was edited by Eddie Johnson. It is available from the Germantown Historical Society http://www.germantownmdhistory.org, or the Montgomery County Historical Society http://www.montgomeryhistory.org.

  • dciana
  • JG

    My great-grandfather used to hunt with WJ and the two were personal friends. So close that when my grandfather was born, he was named after WJ. My grandfather has shown me numerous pictures of him with WJ when growing up…….mostly as a child-early teen yrs.