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.
There are several legends about how Cabin John got its name including an early landowner, a tavern owner, a hermit, and a pirate to name a few. Early records dating back to 1715 refer to “Captain John’s Run” and Cabin John is thought to possibly be a corrupt spelling of Captain John. Regardless of how it got it’s name, the area now known as Cabin John is a close-knit community with a small-town feel in a big town location.
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. The local Clara Barton Community Center is a gathering place for many and offers activities, a summer camp, exercise room and annual events. The sense of fun and fellowship, as well as civic engagement enjoyed by the residents here, is evident in the many annual events and volunteer opportunities that the area is known for.