Cabin John is a small, woodsy residential community in Bethesda, Maryland. It is home to about 2,300 people and many small businesses. Like many communities along the Potomac, Cabin John’s development and growth was shaped by the C&O Canal. The Canal, and later the Washington Aqueduct, brought settlers to the area.
Throughout the years, the residents of Cabin John have maintained a very close sense of community. Cabin John residents, through its very active civic association, have been instrumental in preserving the small town feel of this Canal Town. Don’t miss the annual Crab Feast held the first Saturday after Labor Day at the Clara Barton Community Center.
What’s in a name? The origin of the name “Cabin John” is a bit muddy. One story attributes it to a hermit named John who had a cabin nearby. Judith Welles writes in her Cabin John history about a pirate named John who made his way up the Potomac to bury his treasure. Finally, many old records dated as far back as 1715 make references to the namesake creek as “Captain John’s Run” or “Branch.”This Captain John was most likely Captain John Smith, founder of Jamestown and the first man to map the Potomac. The name could be an erroneous spelling of “Captain John.”