In 1842, Washington Globe newspaper editor Francis Preston Blair and his daughter Elizabeth Blair came upon a “mica-flecked” spring just north of the District of Columbia line. They fell in love with the property, so much so that Blair Sr. bought it up, together with a large swath of the land that surrounded it, and there built a large summer home which he called “Silver Spring“. The Blair family’s primary residence would remain the famous Blair House in DC—now part of the complex that forms the US President’s guest house.
Alas, the summer home is gone and the mica stream is nowhere to be seen. However, a bit of the original Blair property can be glimpsed at Acorn Urban Park, a tiny (0.1247-acre) green space in south Silver Spring, that features a 19th-century acorn-shaped gazebo (believed to be from Blair’s property) and an artificial grotto to boot.
About three-quarters of a mile due north of Acorn Park is the Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel on Georgia Avenue—site of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States 2019 Annual Meeting that takes place 10-12 October. There’s too much going on to list all the highlights (see the full program at this link), but here’s a handy list of the Rutgers-related presentations… Continue reading