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The Wizard of Chevy Chase by Diane Riker


Elmer Gates attempted to capture emotions in test tubes and believed that crime originated in diseased brain cells and would soon be solved by surgery. He was just one of the colorful characters who inhabited this seemingly placid suburb. There was Anton Dilger, the son of a Virginia farmer, and a pioneer in germ warfare. He became a spy for Germany during World War I, manufacturing deadly toxins in a local cottage, the first attempt at wholesale biological warfare. And Professor Noran, who set his tissue paper cape on fire and dove 100 feet into a man-made lake on Connecticut Avenue. Did you know that the Avenue was once paved with brick and that a little city of army tents once occupied the block between East Underwood and East Thornapple? That at one time there was alligator wrestling in a public swimming pool here? Or that a socialite who lived on Woodbine Street in a castle sued a sculptor for blackmail? This book of brief sketches from Chevy Chase history brings the above and much more to life.

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