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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Finding a Niche

Early Family Businesses

 

—Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue —

 
Finding a Niche Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
1. Finding a Niche Marker
Inscription. “…A Full Line of Dry Goods and Clothing” was available at Moses Sclar's Grand Leader Store (8221 Georgia Avenue), which opened in 1926 and adjoined John and Joseph Dolan's project (see opposite side) to the south. In operation for over a quarter century, this Jewish family-owned business was run with the assistance of Moses' wife, Catherine, and their children Ada, Reuben, Fannie, and Jacob.

Mr. Sclar, orphaned at the age of nine, emigrated from Russia to the U.S. in 1909 and settled in Pennsylvania where he worked as a merchant. In 1926 when he learned that a community in Maryland named Silver Spring had no department store, he packed up his wares and moved. Joined later by his wife and children, his new shop was an early success with farmers who came to town on Saturday evenings to buy shoes, clothing and dry goods.

Because there were no synagogues in Silver Spring, many Jewish couples were married in the Sclar's apartment located over the store. Rabbis from Washington D.C. would officiate at the ceremonies. The Grand Leader's original ground floor bay display case windows, second floor balcony, and facade remain intact.

Sidebar: Sparkling Spring to Community

Welcome to Historic Silver Spring. Georgia Avenue, one of our two original main streets, was constructed in
Finding a Niche Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
2. Finding a Niche Marker
the early 19th century as the Seventh Street Turnpike, a dirt road connection Washington City to Brookeville, Md. A village named Sligo, established in the 1830s by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Workers from County Sligo, Ireland, was located at the corner of Georgia and Colesville Road, our other main street.

A mica-flecked spring discovered in 1840 by U.S. presidential advisor Francis Preston Blair while riding his horse Selim, inspired the name of Blair's estate Silver Spring, constructed near the Spring's site.

Silver Spring's original Baltimore & Ohio Railroad station, built in 1878, formed the nucleus from which today's community radiated. The majority of these early-to-mid 20th century buildings still grace Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road and their many side streets. Explore the area and discover the fascinating history of the pioneering entrepreneurs, businesses, and institutions that developed our vibrant and diverse community.

Learn more about Historic Downtown Silver Spring at www.sshistory.org
 
Erected by The Silver Spring Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
 
Location. 38° 59.542′ N, 77° 1.587′ W. Marker is in Silver Spring
Thriving Commerce. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
3. Thriving Commerce.
1950 view of the Silver Spring businesses located on the east side of the 8200 block of Georgia Avenue. The Grand Leader Store is third from the left, with vertical “SHOES” sign.
Close-up of photo on marker
, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Georgia Avenue (U.S. 29). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8223 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring MD 20910, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Visions Realized (here, next to this marker); The ‘Mayor’ of Silver Spring (a few steps from this marker); The Burger King (within shouting distance of this marker); Land, Lumber & Lyrics (within shouting distance of this marker); ‘Most Lonesome Spot’ (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Enticing Business (about 300 feet away); Spirited Entertainment (about 400 feet away); First Bank, First Heist (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Silver Spring.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
All in the Family Business image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
4. All in the Family Business
Circa 1920s photo shows Moses Sclar and his family: (back row, left to right) wife Catherine, daughter Ada, and Moses; (front row, left to right) children Fannie, Jacob, and Reuben. Everyone helped in the Store.
Close-up of Sclar family photo on marker
If the Shoe fits… image. Click for full size.
By Janice Browne, November 22, 2014
5. If the Shoe fits…
Advertisement for the Grand Leader Store, 8221 Georgia Avenue,published in the 1930 Montgomery Blair High School Silverloque yearbook.
Close-up of image on marker
It's All About Marketing. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
6. It's All About Marketing.
Circa 1930's view of automobiles being used to promote businesses. Sign on left vehicle reads “STOP LOOK SHOP AT THE GRAND LEADER STORE SILVER SPRING MD” (store with large flag). Vehicle on the right carries sign reading “NASH LEADS THE WORLD IN MOTOR CAR VALUE EARL F. POTTER.” Potter's auto dealership was located around the corner at 921 Silver Spring Avenue.
Close-up of photo on marker
Map – You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
7. Map – You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
Abyssinia Restaurant<br>Taste of Ethiopia image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 28, 2014
8. Abyssinia Restaurant
Taste of Ethiopia
8221 Georgia Avenue is the Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant.
“The Mayor of Silver Spring”<br>at the Abyssinia Restaurant image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 22, 2012
9. “The Mayor of Silver Spring”
at the Abyssinia Restaurant
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 262 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 28, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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