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Published:July 23, 2022

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History of Chevy Chase Lake

Did you know that Chevy Chase Lake… isn’t much of a lake? That’s right, long-time residents will know that the man-lake lake was drained more than seventy years ago. So, if you didn’t know, now you know! 

In 1892, Coquelin Run, the small tributary which flows to Rock Creek, was dammed to create a source of water for the electric generating plant. This man-made lake was on the east side of Connecticut, just south of Chevy Chase Lake Drive. With the lake’s primary use long gone, the steep terrain, dense vegetation, and a condominium development hide any traces of the former lake. 

At the turn of the 20th Century, Chevy Chase Lake was well known across the metropolitan region. It was the “end of the line” for the Rock Creek Railway streetcars which ran along Connecticut Avenue. A trolley turnaround, car barn, and electric generating plant were located adjacent to the Lake. 

Residents of the District of Columbia and the surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland knew Chevy Chase Lake by the name on the front of the streetcar, like today how subway and bus riders know the names of the terminus of each line of transportation. 

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