Backstory and Context
In 1840, Francis Preston Blair, Sr. (1791-1876) found a spring containing mica particles while riding his horse, Selim. With his wife Eliza he Eliza purchased the spot and hundreds of acres for a country estate, which he named Silver Spring after this waterway. Blair, editor of The Globe newspaper, was also a political adviser, serving 12 presidents. He was a friend of seventh president Andrew Jackson. In the 1850s, Blair commissioned Benjamin C. King to build an acorn-shaped gazebo overlooking the original spring. The acorn symbolized the oak tree where Blair had proposed to Eliza. He also marked the spot with a grotto, a nymph statue, and a stone slab from the quarry of Alfred Ray.
The city of Silver Spring, Maryland is named for Blair's estate.
In 1942, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission acquired the .12-acre triangle of land for the park, seeking to protect the spring from the expansion of Newell Street. Four years later, it moved the gazebo a short distance from its original location north of Kennett Street so that it would be nearer to the spring. The park features a redesigned grotto area with the gazebo and spring, dedicated in 1955. That same year, the original Silver Spring house was demolished.
The park is also the home of a of S five-panel mural depicting historic Silver Spring by Mame Cohanon, commissioned by the Caldor Company, which once owned the building adjoining this plot.
Downtown Silver Spring. Acorn Park, Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District. Accessed May 9th 2020. https://www.silverspringdowntown.com/go/acorn-park.
Montgomery County Department of Parks. Acorn Urban Park, Montgomery Parks. October 21st 2019. Accessed May 9th 2020. https://www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/acorn-urban-park/.
sshistory. Acorn Park, Atlas Obscura. Accessed May 9th 2020. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/acorn-park.