Some grew up with the Maryland Soccerplex being there as far back as they can remember, but for those of us who were around and remember the times before 1999, we know that something else was there before. The following history (and featured photo), dating back to 1913, comes from the King Barn Dairy MOOseum in Boyds:
In 1913 James King purchased a 350 acre farm in between Germantown and Boyds, Maryland from the Lyddane family, and moved in with his new bride, Macie. Over time, as their family grew, the farm flourished as part of the dairy boom that brought wealth to Montgomery County in the Twentieth Century.
The majority of buildings that were part of the original farm were lost in a disastrous fire in 1926. It consumed the farm-site, including an 18th century wood-frame pegged bank barn, a 19th century farmhouse, and three tenant houses. In all, thirteen buildings were destroyed.
Rebuilding began almost immediately, with James and Macie building a modern four-square home, followed by a bank barn and added other outbuildings. Finally, in 1930, a cement block, 75 stanchion dairy barn, considered “state of the art” in it’s day, was constructed. Following the death of James King in 1958, Mrs. King briefly managed the farm before finally selling it in 1962.
The farm was eventually purchased by Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission in the late 1960’s. The land and farmstead were by that time part of a larger parcel being set aside as green space on the edge of the County’s new Agricultural Reserve. In 1999, with the encouragement and financial assistance of corporate and individual supporters of youth soccer programs, the land was finally developed by the Montgomery County Department of Parks into the South Germantown Recreational Park and Maryland Soccerplex.
The farm buildings had deteriorated over the years. The house and other buildings were in disrepair and slated for demolition. The large dairy barn, although damaged, was solidly built and through citizen efforts it was preserved as a meaningful landmark reminding visitors to the park of the area’s dairy heritage. The exterior restoration, which included the construction of new replicas of the original silos, was completed and the official “Topping Off” ceremony was held in January 2001 as the new concrete silo covers were lifted into place by a huge crane.
Modifications to the barn to allow public access to the Barn so its story can be shared with the public through permanent displays of the collection, access to farm family histories and related print and photographic media, and through educational programs for all ages were completed in June 2010, allowing the MOOseum Barn to open to the public.