Monday, August 30, 2010

Maryland News 83rd Anniversary

Front page of the June 22, 1934 Maryland News.
The public was invited “…to read it, criticize it, make
suggestions and send in news.” The subscription was
$2.00 per year. Collection of Silver Spring
Historical Society.

Last week was the 83rd anniversary of publication of the first issue of The Maryland News, Silver Spring's first newspaper, on August 27, 1927.  Silver Spring businessman E. Brooke Lee and Bethesda Chevy Chase Gazette editor and publisher Robert I. Black established the publication as a bi-weekly, countywide newspaper whose mission was to report “All the News of Montgomery County."

Initially printed on presses located in the District of Columbia, by May of 1928 the publishers had opened the Maryland News building, located at 8081 Georgia Avenue.  This two-story brick structure still stands prominently on the corner of Georgia and Sligo avenues and is today part of Jackie's Restaurant.

The newspaper was composed and printed here until 1953.  In 1956 the newspaper moved into the newly constructed Gist Building at 933-A Gist Avenue. Designed by Ted Englehardt (architect of the wonderful Weller's Dry Cleaners at 8237 Fenton Street), The Maryland News shared the Gist Building with the Silver Spring Shopper newspaper.  Publication of the News ceased June 15, 1975.

Local newspapers have long been recognized as important sources for documentation of a community's history, for found within their pages is information available no where else.  That is why their preservation through the the long-established process of microfilming and the increasingly popular digitization is critical to undertake.  In my job as special collections librarian at the District of Columbia Public Library's Washingtoniana Division and Peabody Room, I am in charge of having microfilmed both past and current newspaper titles in our collections.

The Silver Spring Historical Society is fortunate to have The Maryland News preserved on microfilm covering the years 1934 to 1967. Here are found fascinating news events and human interest stories...along with occasional photographs...recording what life was like for Silver Spring's residents several generations ago.  Access to the microfilm is available to researchers by appointment. 

Several years ago SSHS located a private repository of original bound volumes of The Maryland News that include the years 1927 to 1932 and 1968 to 1973.  Multiple requests to the owners to microfilm the materials have unfortunately been refused.  The early material is especially fragile and unless preservation is undertaken soon, all of this important history will be forever lost.

If readers have knowledge of a repository of the final two years of The Maryland News from 1974 to 1975, please contact me at or 301.537.1253.  Thank you.

Metal and plywood Maryland News sign.  Measuring 9 ft. wide x 2 ft. high, the sign (along with other
Silver Spring architectural artifacts) was offered to the Montgomery County Public Libraries system
 ("Where the County READS...MEETS...LEARNS") on long-term loan for display in the planned 
Silver Spring Library.  The offer was denied.  Collection of the Silver Spring Historical Society.


Robert said...

I wonder if we could get the County Executive or other political leaders to request that the Lee family make original issues of the Maryland News available for microfilming or other preservation. They might be especially persuasive given the county-Lee partnership for the Fillmore project.

Cyndy said...

That's a real shame that they won't release those volumes for microfilming. It would be so interesting to be able to read those old papers.