Potomac is a census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, named for the nearby Potomac River. The population was 44,822 at the 2000 census. The Potomac area is known for its very affluent and highly-educated residents. In 2009 CNNMoney.com listed Potomac as the fourth most affluent town in the United States. Potomac is also the seventh most top-educated American small town according to Forbes. Many Potomac residents work in Washington, D.C..
The land which is now Potomac Village was first settled by Edward Offutt in 1714 after he was granted a 600-acre (2.4 km2) land grant "Clewerwell" by Lord Baltimore. His grant of land was by the Tehogee Indian Trail, an Indian trade route built by the Canaze Indian nation in 1716. Throughout the 18th century, what became known as Offutts Crossroads was a small, rural community which served planters and travelers. In the 19th century, a few small dwellings had been built along with a tavern established in 1820. By the time of the Civil War, the community contained two general stores, a blacksmith shop, and a post office which served a community of 100.
Offutts Crossroads was renamed Potomac in 1881 by John McDonald. An Irishman and veteran of the Civil War, McDonald settled in Potomac around that time. He petitioned for the name change since postal officials were asking for brief names and there were already several other communities in the area with the name "crossroads".