There’s only one Silver Spring. (Meaning, it’s NOT Silver SpringS). And that one spring was “discovered” in 1840 by Francis Preston Blair. Discovered is in quotes, because various indigenous peoples had lived in the area for 10,000 years before a guy of European descent stopped to water his horse and noticed mica flecks floating in the water. But that thirsty horse and those shiny flakes came together to bestow the name “Silver Spring.” Modern-day Acorn Park sits on what’s thought to be the original spring.
When he found the spring, Blair was looking for a site for a summer home, where he could escape the heat of Washington D.C. Two years later, he finished a 20-room mansion that sat on 250 acres. He called the estate Silver Spring. The house stood until the 1950s. But Blair’s name (and his son’s name, Montgomery Blair) lives on attached to streets, parks and the largest high school in the state of Maryland.