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Members of the Takoma Park Elementary School class of 1938 on their first day of 2nd grade

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Historic Takoma Park and Takoma Park Elementary School
A Local Legacy

You probably know someone who works in a city but doesn't live there. Today that's common. But before most people owned cars and most cities had bus systems, people needed to live as close to work as possible.

That all changed in the late 1800s, when railroads were built from cities to outlying areas, allowing people to work in one place and live in another. People would work in the city and, at the end of the day, take the train to their homes in the suburbs, where it was quieter and less crowded. The suburbs also often offered cheaper housing.

Takoma Park, Maryland, began in 1883 as a "railroad suburb" of Washington, D.C., our nation's capital. Nowadays, many people commute from their homes in the suburbs to their jobs in the cities in cars rather than trains, but lots of people still rely on public transportation. Today, thousands of Takoma Park residents commute to Washington using the subway, which is a kind of railroad. So, more than 100 years after its founding, Takoma Park is still considered a railroad suburb.

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