Situated along a major thoroughfare established on top of an ancient Native American trail, Bethesda was originally settled by tobacco farmers in the late 17th century, with tobacco farming the primary means of sustenance for its denizens. It wasn't until the 18th century and the establishment of the Washington and Rockville Turnpike that a permanent settlement was founded, around the store and tollhouse. It remained a small crossroads village for most of the 19th century, receiving its name in 1871, after the Bethesda Meeting Church that was founded at the village and burned down in 1849. The introduction of the personal automobile revolutionized life in the United States. Bethesda became one of the many suburban communities that emerged across the United States, with Bethesda flourishing thanks to its proximity to Washington and absence of historic preservation statues or limits on building height.
By the 21st century, it became a prominent urban center, with mid-rise office buildings centered on the western end of the community, many overlooking the Potomac River. Chief among these was the Chryslus Building, the seat of power of the Chryslus Motors corporation. Residential buildings dominate on the eastern end, adjacent to a commercial row and bus hub. By 2077, the area is a desolate stretch of land, filled with raiders, super mutants and ferals. Raiders congregate primarily in the derelict Bethesda offices to the northwest, while super mutants eke out a living in the Chryslus complex.
The map marker for Bethesda ruins places the player at Bethesda offices to the northwest, sitting at the heart of Bethesda's vast office district. The residential homes are to the east and southeast, with the Chryslus Building at the southern edge of Bethesda. Directly east is the raid shack.
Behind the scenes
Bethesda Softworks was founded in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1986. The offices were moved to Rockville, Maryland in 1990.
Bethesda ruins appear only in Fallout 3.