Many of the drivers along a well-traveled roadway in Damascus (Montgomery County) don’t realize the significance behind the rusted Damascus Electric Company sign situated atop a building at the intersection of Md. 27 and Md. 108.

According to an article in The Gazette, the Damascus Light and Power Company was opened in 1924 by J. Leslie Woodfield; it was credited with bringing electricity to Damascus.

In 1928, Woodfield sold the company and started Damascus Electric Company. Per the article: “The new company wired homes and sold appliances, including refrigerators, electric ranges, dairy boilers, oil burners and milking machines.”

Willard and Vincent Woodfield took over their father’s business after his death in 1949; they sold some of the first television sets found in Damascus and, later, the first microwaves.

The business was sold in 1995, and on December 31, 1998, it was permanently closed. According to the article, the inability to compete with the prices offered by big box retailers was the reason for the closure. 

Source: The Gazette, January 6, 1999