Brookeville is a town located twenty miles (32 km) north of Washington, D.C. and two miles (3 km) north of Olney in northeastern Montgomery County, Maryland. Brookeville was settled by Quakers late in the 18th century, and was formally incorporated as a town in 1808. The town served the local agricultural industry, with a toll road built to connect it with markets in Washington, D.C. During the War of 1812, when British troops burned the White House, President James Madison sought refuge in Brookeville on August 26, 1814. During the American Civil War, Brookeville, along with nearby Sandy Spring, was a stop on the underground railroad. Brookeville's population was as high as 3,272 in 1920, though it declined with the advent of the automobile which provided greater mobility for people. Since the 1950s, Brookeville has developed rapidly into a suburban community. The population was 134 at the 2010 census.
The United States Postal Service defines a larger area as Brookeville, than what falls within the town boundaries. This includes areas extending to the Patuxent River and the Howard County border, and including the small hamlets of Sunshine and Brighton. Reddy Branch Stream Valley Park surrounds the Town of Brookeville, with the creek flowing west to east towards the Patuxent. Other parks and recreational areas include Rachel Carson Conservation Park, Patuxent River State Park, and the Triadelphia Reservoir. Areas to the north of Brookeville in Howard County and Carroll County have also experienced rapid population growth. Georgia Avenue carries a substantial volume of traffic through the town, from these areas to the north into Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. In 1966, county planning officials recommended that a bypass be built to carry commuters around the town. The project remains on the shelf today, due to lack of funding.
Today, Brookeville is an affluent residential community, with a large portion of residents employed with the government or related professional jobs. The town is governed by a three-person town commission, while surrounding unincorporated areas are administered by the county. Historically, the Brookeville Academy was an important educational institution for the community. In 1883, Sherwood High School opened as a Friends school and became a public school in 1909, serving Brookeville and other nearby areas.