This weekend's eighth annual Montgomery County Heritage Days will spotlight 33 historic sites from Hyattstown to Silver Spring with self-guided tours, demonstrations, dances and "Tea in the Country," a new addition to the celebration.

"Tea in the County" offers the opportunity to drink tea at four historic establishments: the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, Comus Inn, Gaithersburg Inn and Woodlawn Mansion.

Three other new sites added to the lineup are the C&O Canal at Monocacy Aqueduct in Dickerson, a 172-year-old aqueduct with seven arches spanning 500 feet across the Monocacy River; Milton Chapel in Hyattstown, a church built in 1875; and the newly renovated Smithfield-Rosenwald School and Museum in Silver Spring, which served African American students from 1927 to 1952.

Other sites on the tour include the Hyattstown Mill Arts Project, which will offer printmaking demonstrations and hands-on activities for children; the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Department Museum, featuring a restored 1941 Diamond T firetruck; and Oakley Cabin, built in the 1820s as a home for slaves.

The events will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

"Montgomery County played an important role in the history of our nation, and I don't think a lot of people in the metropolitan Washington area have that sense," said Peggy Erickson, executive director of Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County. "Montgomery County is beautiful visually and I would like people to discover how interesting Montgomery County is historically and pastorally also."

All events associated with Heritage Days are free except for "Tea in the Country," which costs $20 and requires reservations. Brochures of site locations are available from libraries, county recreation centers and participating locations.

For more information, including site addresses, call 301-515-0753 or visit

The Montgomery House Hotel, across Courthouse Square from the Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville, served as Confederate Gen. Jubal Early's headquarters during the Civil War. Courthouse Square is featured during Heritage Days.