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On July 11, 1889, Mr. John A. Belt, a leading merchant in Gaithersburg, purchased the prominent southwest corner of Diamond and Summit Avenues from J. Sprigg Poole for $200. On it he built the J.A. Belt building – one of the largest buildings in the county. The store and its public hall, known as Norman Hall, immediately became the pivotal structure of Gaithersburg’s social, cultural and governmental activities.