|Title||CCHS Newsletter: 2008|
Mary Sheehan, President
Next meeting listed as February 27, 2008
CHEVY CHASE NEWSLETTER
C. Dudley Brown to Speak On Interior Design Styles Of Early Chevy Chase
The Chevy Chase Historical Society's Winter Program will feature a lecture by Dudley Brown, one of the area's most distinguished interior designers, who specializes in historic properties and traditional home design. Mr. Brown's slide illustrated talk, titled "Taste of the Times-Early Chevy Chase," will focus on his broad knowledge of the styles of home decoration that were popular during the early days of our community. The program will take place on Wednesday, February 27, at the Chevy Chase Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Ave.
Mr. Brown is a long time friend and supporter of CCHS, as he is to a number of other groups dedicatedC. Dud to the history and preservation of our architectural and decorative arts heritage. His energetic, charming, usually bow tied presence graces many social and professional events around town. He has received numerous appointments and awards, including the 2006 Mayor's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation for his work in the preservation of Historical Congressional Cemeteries. He served as the first president of the Wash ington Chapter of the Victorian Society in America and remains an active member of their board.
After spending his early years in Ohio, Mr. Brown came to Washington to work for the Depart ment of the Navy, where he organized an inte1ior furnishings program before opening his own business in 1964. With notable projects in restoration and in terior design that span four decades, Mr. Brown's Capitol Hill firm, C. Dudley Brown and Associates, has had among its clients The Cosmos Club; the Aus tralian ambassador's residence in DC; Glenview Mansion in Rockville, Mary land; Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church; Kent Valentine House in Richmond, Virginia; and other historic houses, cemeteries and churches. Recently he has undertaken the restoration of a re markable 264 year old private house, Landsdowne, in Urbana, Virginia.
I am especially happy to speak betore ley Brownthe Chevy Chase Historical Society;' says
Mr. Brown, "in a neighborhood where have many friends and fond memories of past projects."
The public is invited to the lecture, which will begin at 8:00 p.m. following a short annual business meeting. CCHS members will elect two members at large to the Board. The Nomi-nating Committee has nominated Marilyn Montgomery and Julie Thomas for these positions. Light refreshments will be served. Questions may be directed to Marilyn Montgomery at (301) 656 2295.
Celebrating One of America's First Streetcar Suburbs
Chevy Chase Community Library
8005 Connecticut Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815 Tel: 301 656 6141 Fax:301 656 5114
www.chevychasehistory.orgE mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and by appointment.
The Chevy Chase Historical Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 to discover, record, and preserve the history of the Maryland and Washington neighborhoods known as Chevy Chase.
"Recent Acquisitions" is a regular feature in the newsletter, describing documents and other items that are acquired for the society's Archive and Research Center.
1. Slides of Chevy Chase taken in the 1990s. Donated by Christine Weppner.
2. A scrapbook from the 1930s, papers, and other things related to 6312 Connecticut Avenue (presently #6812). Donated by Carol Blair.
3. Blueprints for houses to be built in Chevy Chase, Maryland and DC for developer J.S. Gruver. Donated by the Nashua Historical Society (New Hampshire).
4. Postcard images of All Saints Episcopal Church, a tourist home, and the National Service School. Donated by Julie Thomas.
5. Thirty contemporaneous interior photographs of 3814 Military Road, NW taken by Piers Lamb. Donated by Catherine Bannies.
6. Portable egg crates from the early 20th century, addressed to 5425 Connecticut Avenue, NW in Chevy Chase, DC. Donated by Larry and Anne Heilman.
1. A 1949 Coronet Magazine article about the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, entitled "Life Saving is Their Hobby.'
2. An 1820 book entitled Chevy Chase, a Poem, containing one version of the Battle of Chevy Chase.
3. A 1962 Bruko Truck advertisement featuring the newest Bethesda Chevy Chase fire truck.
4. A program for a 1955 football game between Bethesda Chevy Chase High School and Montgomery Blair High School.
5. A 1910 real estate brochure featuring 27 Primrose Street
6. A 1920 American Architect article featuring a house at 5501 39th Street, NW, and a 1929 article featuring 4115 Leland Street.
7. A 1926 issue of Architectural Forum containing an article about 16 Primrose Street.
8. Copies of the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School yearbook, The Pine Tree, for the years 1949 and 1950.
9. Photograph of Connecticut Avenue as an experimental road, dated 1928 on the back. May have been taken as early as 1913 when the state of Maryland experimented with different road surfaces for automobiles. (6800 block of Connecticut Avenue in the background.)
10. Ten letters to nurse Annie Carter written by her mother, who lived at 6350 31st Street, NW.
New Look for A Beloved Logo
The Chevy Chase Historical Society's longtime logo - that familiar streetcar rolling down a tree lined street past a pair of classic Chevy Chase homes - has had a facelift. The half oval hallmark, designed by the late William Sharon Farr, Jr. in 1993, has appeared on countless CCHS publications, mastheads, and mailings over the years. Today, however, its detailed lines and shading don't translate well into electronic formats.
Bethesda marketing firm Martin Schaffer, Inc. has assisted a CCHS task force for nearly a year in simplifying Sharon Farr's original logo. The updated logo has fewer lines and details but
retains the streetcar, architecture, and trees that characterize our community. The society's name appears in a graceful new font.
"It's never easy changing an organization's logo," notes CCHS president Mary Sheehan, "but we had to face the challenge in order to keep up with electronic communications. We spent many hours debating various designs before returning to our familiar, beloved logo, streamlining it, and recommitting to the symbol that has served us so well for so long:'
Celebrating One of America's First Streetcar Suburbs
A tagline-explaining at a glance the Society's mission-has also been developed for use with the new logo. It will remind the community for years to come that CCHS' purpose is "Celebrating One of America's First Streetcar Suburbs:'
The new logo appears in the masthead of this newsletter, and soon will grace all CCHS stationary, publications, and Internet communications.
Search The CCHS Archive Online
CCHS announces the launch of a new menu option at its
website, www.chevychasehistory.com. "Search the Collection" is a newly accessible online database featuring more than 2,000 digitized records on the founding and development of Chevy Chase, Maryland and DC. Want to see a picture of Connecticut Avenue as a dirt road? Curious about how your home looked 75 years ago? Ever wonder what Chevy Chase Lake was like and how local residents enjoyed it? Want to search the CCHS archive outside of business hours? Click on Search the Collection!
And, this database represents only a small fraction of the items at CCHS' Archive and Research Center. Since the society's incorporation in 1981, it has received numerous donations of photographs, maps, books, city directories, yearbooks, and newspaper clippings, as well as important artifacts and ephemera from generous Chevy Chase residents. The staff has produced almost one hundred oral histories and made thousands of interesting acquisitions. Almost every week the archive grows people visit or contact the center with new discoveries and treasures. Public access to these resources has been more convenient than ever since 2002, when CCHS opened the center in the lower level of the Chevy Chase Library.
A grant received from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County in Spring 2007 enabled the society to purchase archival quality technology, hire staff to enter items into the database, and "interface" this database with the website. Last summer, intern Andria Kolesnikoff and the center's Director, Evelyn Gerson, began the process of "taking inventory" - a time intensive process of cataloguing, describing, scanning or digitizing, assigning finding aids to, and preserving items according to museum standards. This winter, CCHS will have two new interns, Cecilia Peterson and Katie Smith (both affiliated with the College of Library and Information Studies at University of Maryland) to enter even more records into the database. The goal is to have more than 6,000 items in the database by the end of May. So "bookmark" chevychasehistory. org and check back frequently to see what's online!
SAVE THE DATE
Chevy Chase Discovery DayDiscover the Past, Personality, and Potentialof the Chevy Chase House Architectural trolley tour of Chevy Chase VillageWorkshops on creating curb appeal for your houseTable talk: discover your house historyHands on childrens' activities and entertainmentChevy Chase house history exhibits and more!
Saturday, March 15
1:00 4:00 p.m.
Chevy Chase Village Hall 5906 Connecticut Avenue
The Origin of the Name
"Chevy Chase" may have been derived from the French word "chevauchee" used in medieval Scotland and England to describe the horseback raids made into the ancient borderlands between the two countries. Or, since the Cheviot Hills run along the middle of the border country, which was partly under cultivation, and the hills' "chases" (unenclosed huntinggrounds reserved for their owners' use) were popular hiding and hunting areas for both sides, perhaps "Cheviot" and "chase" were combined to create the name "Chevy Chase:'
Whatever its derivation, the name became the title of the English version of a ballad memorializing a famous battle fought at Otterbourne in the Cheviot Hills in August 1388, between the Scottish troops of James, Earl of Douglas and Englishmen led by Lord Harry "Hotspur" Percy, who challenged Douglas by mounting a deer hunt in the hills.
The battle was stubborn and bloody, fought hand to hand in the dark. The Scots prevailed, but many troops were lost, and Douglas died.
The Ballads "Popularizing" the Name
The battle became part of Scottish and English folklore, moving from oral to written tradition, first in the form of the Scottish ballad, "Battle of Otterbourne," then in the English version, "Chevy Chase." These were sung well into the 19th century in America as well as in Britain. The different perspectives of the Scottish and the English people are apparent, although nuanced, in their ballads'o'
There are substantive differences as well-for example, the Scottish version is correct that Percy survived the battle. (Indeed, the Scots held Percy and his brother Ralph for ransom.) Yet it is unclear whether the Scottish version is correct that the battle continued through the night, or whether it ended earlier as the English version has it. The Scottish version apparently is correct that Douglas was wounded in personal combat with Percy, and not struck by an English arrow as the English ballad relates.3 But was it actually Douglas' nephew, Sir Hugh Montgomery, who took Percy hostage, as the Scottish version recounts?
The Naming of the Land
The Chevy Chase Land Company took the name "Chevy Chase" from a 200 plus acre tract of land that the Land Company purchased to include in its planned streetcar suburb. The tract was identified in its 1751 proprietary patent as "Cheivy Chace:' It was part of an earlier, larger grant also named Cheivy Chace, from Lord Baltimore to Colonel Joseph Belt.
The Belt estate gradually was broken up. The owner of one part was Abraham Bradley, who was Assistant Postmaster General of the United States in 1814, and is rumored to have sheltered several cabinet members (and the valuable government documents they were carrying) at "Bradley Farm" when the British burned the White House. After the Land Company purchased the farm, it became home to the Chevy Chase Hunt - appropriately enough, given the origin of the name. The hunt later became the Chevy Chase Club.
In 1892, John Frank Ellis purchased 14 Y2 acres of farm land along Brookville Road from J.M.C. Williams. Ellis plotted 69 house lots and put them up for sale in 1894, "spinning off" of
1 A related series of ballads called "The Hunting of the Cheviot" or bourne on interviews with participants, Douglas died from a blow "The Battle of Chevy Chase," about a private duel between Douglas from an axe. Surrounded by knights and squires, including some and Percy rather than a border raid, also developed following the cousins, and a priest, Douglas exhorted the group not to reveal battle,his condition to his troops, but to take up his banner and proceed
2 Pictorial representations of the battle vary as much as do the against the English. The men did so, crying "Douglas!", and rallied ballads.the Scots to victory. From Vol. Ill, Harvard Classics (C.W.
3 According to Jean Froissart, one of the great writers of medieval Elliot, Ed.) 1938.
the Chevy Chase name by calling his development Ottebourne on Connecticut Avenue "at Chevy Chase." The development depended on the same Connecticut Avenue streetcar line that served the Land Company's new development of Chevy Chase Section 2; Ellis gave its streets the battle related names of Melrose Street (now Thornapple Court), Dalkeith Street, Douglas Street (now Underwood Street), and Percy Street (now Thornapple Street); and it became Section 6 of the Village of Chevy Chase, then part of Section 5.
The southern row of the Otterbourne lots now is the boundary between Sections 3 and 5. It blocks Delaware, Florida, Fulton, and Georgia Street from going through to Thornapple Street.
Much of the original research on which this article is based was peformed by CCHS Board Member at Large Julie Thomas, and Photographic Archivist Eleanor Ford, in the course of creating society exhibits on "The Naming of Chevy Chase" and "A Tale of Battles and Ballads" (see the bibliography, below). The society's oral history of Chevy Chase resident Edith Claude Jarvis, and "A 'History' of Chevy Chase" written by resident Fred Perkins in observance of Chevy Chase Section 4's 50th anniversary, also provided information for the article.
More Information on CCHS Website
The story of "The Naming of Chevy Chase" also can be found on the CCHS website, at www.chevychasehistory.org. For those interested in further exploration of the battle between the great chieftains Douglas and Percy, web links are provided to Scottish and English versions of the ballads. In addition, the society will be adding a link to information on other communities in the U.S. that are named "Chevy Chase."
1.Adams, Katherine Beall, Maryland Heritage: A Family History
2.Addison, Joseph, Spectator, Vol. I. (A. Chalmers, Ed.) Appleton & Co., New York 1864
3.Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads (B.H. Bonson, Ed.) Princeton 1976
4.Fraser, George M., The Steel Bonnets, Collins Harvill, London 1989.
5.Froissart, Jean, Chronicles (Geoffrey Brereton, Ed. and Trans.) Penguin 1978.
6.Froissart, Sir John, Chronicles of England, France and Spain. (Based on Thomas Johns' Trans. of 1803, Dutton 1961.)
7.British Poetry and Prose, (Ludes, Lovett, and Root, Eds.) Houghton Mifflin 1938.
8.Mackie, J.D., A History of Scotland, Penguin 1964.
9.Complete Plays and Poems of Shakespeare (W.A. Neilson and G. Hill, Eds.) Houghton Mifflin 1942.
10. Percy, Thomas, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Vol. I (WP. Nimms, Ed.) Edinburgh.
11. Prebble, John, The Lion in the North, Penguin 1973.
12. Reed, James, The Border Ballads (Stocksfield, Ed.) Spredden Press 1991.
13. Sadler, John, Battle for Northumbria, Bridge Studios, Northumberland 1988.
14. H.C. Sargent and G.L. Kittredge, English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Riverside Press, Cambridge 1932.
15. Scott, Sir Walter, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.
Note: Some of the text describing the prologue to and battle of Otterbourne is adapted from information posted at the Battle-
field Memorial Plantation.
Chevy Chase Voices
This is the debut of a regular feature in the newsletter, containing excerpts from the oral histories of Chevy Chase residents that have been taken and transcribed as part of the society's Oral History Project. "Chevy Chase Voices" highlights interesting aspects of the community's history in order to educate readers and to encourage you to further explore the wealth of information contained in the oral history transcriptions at the CCHS Archive and Research.
The Chevy Chase Village House Tours
In early 1970, the Coordinating Committee for Friendship Heights (CCCFH) was formed by 13 small municipalities and neighborhoods located around the intersection of Western Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue, both in Maryland and in the District. The purpose was to band together and as a larger entity take whatever action possible to limit the construction of high density buildings in that area. (The organizers knew that some construction with the related increase in traffic was inevitable. The intersection was slated to become one of the stations on the proposed Metro line, and [Montgomery] County planners saw the areas around the Metro stops as sites for commercial development.) In order to raise money for legal fees and publicity CCCFH decided to hold a house tour of some of the older houses in Chevy Chase Village. This would showcase one of the areas that could be affected by development and would be in need of protection. The first house tour was held on April 20, 1974. It became an annual spring event for over 10 years.
In 1975, some of us on the committee were faced with an empty library in what was known as the Corby Mansion at 9 Chevy Chase Circle. We decided to try and collect some old pictures, newspapers, milk bottles and other memorabilia to spark some interest in the history of the neighborhood and fill some of the space on the shelves. The practice of having an historical display in one of the houses continued in subsequent tours. Each spring all the artifacts were collected and then had to be returned to their owners immediately after the tour. Each time we collected and returned them someone would say, "If only we had a place to keep all these wonderful things together.' But nothing was done until Richard Marsh [then Chairman of the Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers made [his] historic telephone call on 22 April 1980 [asking me to form a committee to investigate the possibility of forming a tax exempt foundation, which led to the creation of the Chevy Chase Historical Society]!
From the Oral History of Mary Anne Tuohey
Founding Member of CCHS and first President
Currently Advisor to the Board of Directors and Chair of the Volunteers Committee
The house tours were held into the mid 80's. There were various reasons for discontinuing them. Staffing the houses with volunteers became more difficult. The requirement that there be at least one hostess in each room of each of the seven house open to the public, and a "floater" hostess, plus two people selling tickets at each house, meant there were 10 volunteers for each of two shifts. More volunteers were needed to staff the location where the tea was held and others [were needed] to be part of the team of marshals, usually eight to 10 men, who carried money and tickets from house to house and were there to offer support should a crisis arise. The volunteers typically numbered around 150 on the day of the tour while others were involved in preparation for the tour with publicity, flower arrangements, printing, and logistics. Another possible reason for discontinuing the tours was that the Citizens Coordinating Committee had found other sources of funding.