No, Chevy Chase, Maryland is not named after actor Chevy Chase. It’s actually the other way around. Chevy Chase was born named Cornelius Crane Chase and his grandmother nicknamed him Chevy Chase after the wealthy Maryland town.
The name “Chevy Chase” is derived from “Cheivy Chace,” the name of the land patented to Colonel Joseph Belt from Charles Calvert in 1725. It has historic associations to the “Battle of Otterburn,” between the English and the Scots in 1388, which is the subject of the ballad entitled “The Ballad of Chevy Chase.”
The “Chevy” in the town of Chevy Chase, Maryland likely derived from the Cheviot Hills which is located in the area of the former Scottish and English Kingdom of Northumbria. Cheviot sheep also got their name from this area. A French word, “chevauchee,” probably played some significance for the naming of the Cheviot Hills. A “chevauchee” is a medieval raiding warfare method for weakening an enemy.
The “Chase” in the town name is derived from the U.K. word, “chase,” which is defined as common land used for hunting where there are no centralized overseeing authority or specifically designated laws.
“The Ballad of Chevy Chase” was originally known as “The Hunting of the Cheviot” or “The Battle of Otterburn,” but was renamed to “The Battle of Chevy Chase” in 1802 by Sir Walter Scott. It was this version of the ballad that was most familiar to the 19th century Americans who founded the town of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and the famous Chevy Chase Club.
- Chevy Chase is one of the richest communities in the U.S, having a median income of at least than $250,000. The richest option on the census form says, “$250,000 or above.”
- Chevy Chase garbage men collect the trash from behind houses to keep the town looking ultra-clean.
- Chevy Chase was named the smartest community with a population of 1,000 to 10,000 in the country by the Business Journal in 2011.
- Over 95% of Chevy Chase residents are white.
- Many powerful attorneys, lobbyists, businessmen, etc. live in Chevy Chase.
- TheGuardian.com – Chevy Chase, Maryland: the super-rich town that has it all – except diversity
- ChevyChaseHistory.org – Naming Chevy Chase
- TownOfChevyChase.org – The Town of Chevy Chase Past Present