The real estate agent admonished them – No, it’s really out there – and urged them to keep going.  So they tried again.  This time they went about a mile farther north.  As they passed what is now Tuckerman Lane, they saw on their right a broad pasture where cows quietly grazed.  On the left were woods that stretched as far as Poindexter Lane. 

They continued on past Poindexter Lane and reached Roseland Lane, where they turned left.  Roseland was a narrow, unpaved road, and after a few hundred yards they came upon a row of houses that had been built four years earlier by a builder named R. L. Willis.  One was for sale; it had three bedrooms, a garage, and was set on about three-quarters of an acre.  Surrounded by acres of trees, it seemed a promising place for future children.  Though land values in Luxmanor were modest, $2,000 or less per half-acre, the Sutos found the price of their house to be a little steep, at $15,500.  But it was feasible – so in August 1950, they moved in.  [S]

Barbara and Gene represented a trend:  the small, country neighborhood that began with a few houses in 1934 grew dramatically after World War II, as the Washington area burgeoned with government employees and contractors.  Gene had worked in intelligence in the Army during the war and continued in that field with the Johns Hopkins University’s Operations Research Office.  Barbara worked for the Veterans Administration and then, like many of her neighbors, for the National Institutes of Health.  They had thousands of colleagues:  between 1950 and 1980, the Washington metropolitan area grew faster than that of any other large city, increasing from 1.5 million to more than 3 million.  [TTD]



It was the summer of 1950.  Harry Truman was president, the Korean War was beginning, Nat “King” Cole was singing Mona Lisa on the radio, Cinderella was popular in movie theaters, and the sale of black-and-white television sets was booming.  That summer, Barbara and Eugene Suto drove north out of Washington, D.C. into Maryland, looking for a new home.  A real estate agent had suggested a house on Roseland Lane in a place called “Luxmanor.”  Intrigued by the idea of trading city life for the countryside, they set off to take a look.  [S]

They drove up through Bethesda and bumped along Old Georgetown Road, a quiet, two-lane highway.  Woods lined both sides.  After several miles, they reached Mount Zion Baptist Church at the intersection of Bells Mill Road and paused and consulted.  They must have made a mistake, they agreed.  There couldn’t possibly be anything this far out.  They turned around and went back.  [S]  (If you travel the same road today, the church is now Wildwood Baptist Church and the road is now Democracy Boulevard.)

Luxmanor welcome sign at the corner of Luxmanor Road and Tuckerman Lane