A Downtown is Born
Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue
The Establishment of Silver Spring's first bank and Newspaper, traditional institutions required for a community to grow and prosper, occurred on this corner with the opening of the Silver Spring National Bank in 1910 and publication of The Maryland News in 1928.
Construction of the two-story brick bank cost $4,984 ($117,000 in 2008 dollars). Its opening allowed Silver Spring residents and merchants to conduct financial transactions that benefited the local community instead of customers taking their business to Bethesda, Rockville, Kensington or the District of Columbia where the nearest banks were located. The bank remained in operation at this location until 1925 when it relocated at 8252 Georgia Avenue.
In 1927, Silver Spring businessman E. Brooke Lee and Bethesda Chevy Chase Gazette editor and publisher Robert I. Black established The Maryland News as a bi-weekly, country-wide newspaper whose mission was to report "All the News of Montgomery County." The following year The Maryland News building opened on this corner at 8081 Georgia Avenue where the newspaper was composed and printed until 1953. Publication ceased in 1976.
Sparkling Spring to Community
Welcome to the Silver Spring, Georgia Avenue, one of our two original main streets, was constructed in the 19th century as the Seventh Street Turnpike, a dirt road connecting Washington City to Brookeville, Md. A village named Sligo, was established in the 1830s by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal workers from County Sligo, Ireland, was located at the corner of Georgia and Colesville Road, our other main street. A mica-flecked spring discovered in 1840 by U.S. presidential advisor Francis Preston Blair while riding his horse Selim, inspired the name of Blair's estate Silver Spring, constructed near the spring's site.
Silver Spring's original Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station , built in 1878, formed the nucleus from which today's community radiated. The majority of these early-to-mid century buildings still grace Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road and their many side streets. Explore the area and discover the fascinating history of the pioneering entrepreneurs, businesses, and institutions that developed our vibrant and diverse community.
Learn more about Historic Downtown Silver Spring at www.sshistory.org