Rockville is one of Maryland’s oldest towns, with its origins dating back to Colonial America. During Revolutionary times Rockville was known as Hungerford’s Tavern, the name of its most familiar landmark. When Montgomery County was formed by a division of Frederick County in 1776, Rockville served as the county seat and gradually became known as Montgomery Court House. In the 1780s, the community was known as Williamsburgh, named for the family that subdivided the central part of town, when Rockville was little more than a cluster of homes, a tavern, a courthouse and a jail. In 1801, the Maryland General Assembly officially established the name of the town as “Rockville” because of its location close to Rock Creek. The population grew from 200 in 1800 to 400 in 1846. Rockville became incorporated in 1860 and was governed by three commissioners until 1888, when the city’s 400 residents elected the first Mayor and Council.
The opening of the Rockville depot on the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad in 1873 brought the Town into closer contact to the Capital City, but overall growth came slowly. In the 1930’s, this growth was steady but not spectacular. City limits were expanded again, this time to the south, and population rose to 2,047 in 1940. But after that, the population skyrocketed, increasing from 6,934 in 1950 to nearly 45,000 in 1980. As of the 2010 census, the population increased to 61,000. Rockville has grown very rapidly from a leisurely, agriculturally-oriented county seat to a cosmopolitan city of many neighborhoods. It is home to a well-educated population and serves as an employment center for national biomed corporations, the federal government and county government.