Chevy Chase Junior College
Private Education for Girls and Young Women, 1903-1950
“The School for Girls”
Chevy Chase College and Seminary, as it was called when it opened in 1903, was a senior high school that also offered two years of post-high school courses. Chevy Chase was often called a “finishing school,” but by the time of its closure in 1950, it was a fully accredited junior college offering the terminal associates degree to all its students, many of whom went on to four year colleges. The school's name was changed many times -- see the table below for a brief chronology of names used in different publications over the years. In 1940, Chevy Chase Junior College was incorporated as a Maryland non-profit institution, and in 1947, the Senior High School was discontinued. But to many of the residents of Chevy Chase, it was simply referred to as "the school for girls.”
Click here to view a PDF list of the various names over the years.
Chevy Chase residents were used to seeing the girls walking along Connecticut Avenue, and in his oral history, George Winchester Stone remembers attending some of the school plays and performances. Like other institutions along Connecticut Avenue, the school benefited from the streetcar line which connected it to downtown Washington, DC in just 35 minutes. Today the National 4-H Youth Conference Center occupies the campus, taking similar advantage of the suburban location so close to the nation’s capital.
The Chevy Chase Historical Society has a collection of materials documenting the history of Chevy Chase Junior College. Most of these artifacts were donated by Julie Rude Thomas. Her extensive collection includes college catalogs, yearbooks, brochures, scrapbooks, dance cards, postcards, and ephemera, and together they provide a view of education for elite girls and young women in the first half of the twentieth century.
We invite you to explore this online exhibit by clicking through the links at the left, and we hope you’ll be inspired to search our website for additional materials or visit us at our Archive and Research Center. Click on images to view them in a larger format.
If you, or someone you know, attended Chevy Chase Junior College, or you have photographs or other documents related to its history, we would love to see them. We still have many unanswered questions and perhaps you can help us learn more.
NEW! Ruth Cain Lee's 1915-1916 Scrapbook
...a beautiful 100 year old Scrapbook belonging to a Chevy Chase student...
Now available for viewing as a PDF:
Through the generosity of Mr. Richard Lee, son of Ruth Cain Lee, and photographer William Mills, we are very pleased to make available a PDF of Ruth Cain Lee's 1915-1916 scrapbook, created when she was a student at Chevy Chase College. Mr. Lee had already allowed CCHS to photocopy several pages of this precious scrapbook in 2007, but by allowing CCHS volunteer William Mills to photograph each page in 2014, we were able to create a combined PDF file of the entire scrapbook.
It took us a little longer than we expected, but now everyone can view the entire document without further damage to its fragile pages. Click to see dance cards, recital programs, pamphlets, and photographs that Ruth Cain wanted to remember, including some great photographs of cadets at Annapolis!
CLICK HERE for the 85-page Scrapbook.
CLICK HERE to see close-ups of each of Ruth Cain's Photographs
CLICK HERE to read the Belasco Theater program for the play "The Boomerang," which Ruth Cain saw on her trip to New York City.
CLICK HERE to read the program from the Hippodrome, another souvenir from her trip to New York City.
CLICK HERE to read the programs for a Chi Zeta Chi convention in Atlanta which she or someone she knew must have attended. Chi Zeta Chi was a medical fraternity. She also included another Chi Zeta Chi program, and a pretty yellow silk sash. CLICK HERE to see it.
Please note: In order to upload these large files to our website, we needed to compress the images. If you are interested in viewing the higher quality images, please visit us at the CCHS Archive and Research Center.
Tell us what you think of this exhibit!
Let us know what you like about this online exhibit -- and what we can improve. All your comments are appreciated.
CLICK HERE to send us a message or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.