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2 Famous Pioneer Women were Neighbors in Silver Spring, Md

carson-house-for-blog.jpgRachael Carson, this pioneer activist stirred up controversy with her book “Silent Spring” She wrote the book in her house in the Quaint Acres Neighborhood of Silver Spring, Md. This fairly modest rambler with english basement was built in 1957 and sits on a heavily wood lot of a little over an acre. A Conservation park in Brookville and an elementary school in Gaithersburg are named after Carson. Rumor has it that Rachel Carson lived in a cape cod style home on Williamsburg Drive in the Woodmoor Subdivision of Silver Spring, Md 20901, many years before moving to her “Quaint Acres” house. If anyone has also heard this or can verify it, Please let us know!?
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Another Controversial woman and 1st Female Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, also lived in the Quaint Acres Neighborhood, just around the corner from Carson. This home, a mid century Modern style house with lots of glass sits on 1.05 Acres and was built in 1951.? “After many years of moving, Senator Smith finally found a permanent home in the Washington suburbs. In 1952 she began renting the lower level of a house located in Quaint Acres, Silver Spring, Maryland and owned by her Executive Assistant, William C. Lewis, Jr. Senator Smith continued to live there until she left Congress in 1973. In subsequent years, she stayed at the home during travels to Washington. She inherited the house in 1982, following the death of Bill Lewis. Senator Smith donated the property to Northwood University.” It has since been sold twice. The house is unaltered today and looks the same as it did in this photo.

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“Back in Quaint Acres, we had the original Quaintance house that guarded the orchards in that rolling terrain and many of the fruit trees. Margaret Chase Smith was there, the first woman senator and a person of stature, kindness, grace and seemingly inexhaustible patience for the kids in the neighborhood. Another lady of the neighborhood was soft-spoken, gentle-souled Rachel Carson, who lived in the house with the terrariums and found objects from the forest. I used to play in her house with her nephew Roger. Once, catching me idly digging at an ant hill, she explained what the ants do, how, why; and, by extension, how we should behave toward all creatures, and why.” From Robert Aubry Davis Robert Aubry Davis is a native of Silver Spring, Maryland, and an eighth-generation Washingtonian. He hosts WETA’s arts program Around Town on TV 26 and Millennium of Music on 90.9 FM.

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About the neighborhood of Quaint Acres: located off New Hampshire Avenuequaint-acres-for-blog.jpg near White Oak the neighborhood is bordered by Northwest Branch Park. There are 156 Homes. Most were built between 1948 and 1974 and each lot is a little over an acre The oldest home is the original farmhouse built in 1853 where Quaint Acres Drive and Applegrove Rd meet inside the Entrance to the Subdivision. The homes are great examples of custom Mid-Century Modern Houses and no two are alike. So far in 2006 there were 3 closed sales. View the 3 Houses with tours Here. This is a quiet, lovely neighborhood, where you can still find homes set back from the street on gorgeous, large, wooded lots, and NO McMansions! what-so-ever.

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Update#1: Thanks to Robert Oshel for his comment about Rachel Carson’s Woodside Park residence in 1938-39. If Carson was living in Silver Spring as far back as 1938, maybe she did live in Woodmoor between 1940 and 1957? Years ago, an elderly woman told me that Rachel Carson had lived in, or owned her house on Williamsburg Drive, before she bought it.? I’ve always thought that lady may have been “pulling my leg”. But maybe not.

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