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Michael Dwyer (1947 - 2019)
Author of Montgomery County Mills, a Field Guide
Obituary-Washington Post Obituary-Montgomery Parks
Michael Dwyer, retired Montgomery County Parks historian, was a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. He spent his youth hiking, fishing and exploring the county’s waterways. Along Rock Creek, the Northwest Branch, and the Paint Branch, Dwyer discovered the mill ruins and races, traces of Montgomery County’s industrial past.
After being employed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), the agency charged with protection of the stream valley systems, he realized that the rural industries had once been integral to every stream valley. Although other assignments occupied his time, Dwyer scribbled notations about these sites whenever he encountered them, hoping to examine the puzzle in greater detail when time permitted. It was not until he retired after thirty-five years with M-NCPPC that he pulled all the pieces together.
Mike wrote the text for a mill display at the Water's House and has authored articles on county mills in the Montgomery County Historical Society's journal "Montgomery Story". His book is organized around the major stream valleys in the county telling the history of the mills through descriptive text, photographs, newspaper accounts, and personal stories about the mill owners.