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Object ID 1000.122.06
Title From the Comstock Lode to Chevy Chase
Object Name Exhibit
Date 1998
Creator Eleanor Ford
Description From the Comstock Lode to Chevy Chase (p. 6 of 7: see 1000.122.01-06)
May 20, 1998
For Ed Heller's slide lecture for Chevy Chase Historical Society

Panel #6

The Chevy Chase Connection

Francis G. Newlands, 1848-1917


[2009.149.01] William Sharon family c. 1860?
L-R: Maria Malloy Sharon d. 1875
Florence Sharon - 1868-1924 - married George Fermor-Hesketh; hence Hesketh St.
William Sharon - 1821-1915
Clara Sharon - 1853-1882 - married Francis G. Newlands
Missing: Frederick Sharon - 1862-1915

Clara Sharon Newlands, 1853-1882; at 21, the year she married F.G.N.

Clara Sharon and Frank Newlands were married in 1874. She died eight years later, leaving him with three daughters. These four survivors inherited one third of William Sharon's estate, for which Newlands was executor. Sharon's other daughter Flora Fermor-Hesketh and son Fred each inherited one third.

[Cartoon of Senator Newlands] In 1872, Stewart persuaded Sharon and a colleague, Curtis Hillyer, to buy the Dupont Farm, then far outside the City of Washington. Stewart built a house there on the present site of the Riggs Bank, Dupont Circle. Newlands inherited the farm land from Sharon, focusing his attention on real estate to the northwest of the city. Stewart used his political experience to get laws passed favoring development and aided Newlands' Senate career in many ways.

From 1870 to 1886, Newlands practiced law in San Francisco. Sharon was a client, Stewart a colleague, the Bank of California a major factor in every aspect of business. When he returned to Washington, in 1886, Newlands brought with him from his sixteen years in California and Nevada:
Many cordial political and social contacts
Control of a large fortune, mostly derived from the Comstock Lode
Extensive experience in the legal and political aspects of large public enterprises of many kinds, especially real estate development
A portfolio of inherited property in five states and Washington, D.C.
A familiarity with large and risky ventures requiring enormous and continuing investments, extensive legal and political support, and completely new and basic infrastructure, especially for transportation

In 1887 he organized the Rock Creek Railway and in 1888 he began buying land north of his Dupont Farm holdings……

Information and illustrations from:

Eliot Lord: Comstock Mining & Mines
1959 reprint of 1883 edition
Nowell-North: Berkeley, Cal.
Effie Mona Mack: William Morris Stewart 1827-1909
Nevada Historical Society Quarterly,
Vol. VII, 1 & 2, 1964.
Douglas McDonald: Virginia City & the Silver Region of the Comstock Lode
Nevada Publications, Las Vegas, 1982.
T.A. Rickard: A History of American Mining
McGraw Hill: N.Y. 1932.
John D. Wilburn: Gold & Silver Mines on the Comstock Lode
Publications Press: Mesa, Arizona 1988.
Frank Wright: The Comstock
Nevada Historical Society 1985.
Ted Worm and Harre Demoro: The Silver Short Line
Trans Anglo Books: Glendale, Cal. 1983.