On Wednesday, January 18, 2006, Jerry A. McCoy was interviewed live by Tony Perkins of FOX 5 (WTTG TV) Morning News as part of its “Neighborhood News” segment, which on this date featured downtown Silver Spring.
TP: We’re at the historic Tastee Diner and joining us now to talk about the history of Silver Spring is Jerry McCoy. He is the founder of the Silver Spring Historical Society and the author of this book, Historic Silver Spring (TP holds book up to camera). How are you? Glad to see you. Thanks for joining us.
I appreciate it.
JM: Good morning!
TP: I found this fascinating. You’re very into Silver Spring…preserving the history…telling people about it…your not from here.
JM: That right. I only moved here in 1992 but I immediately fell in love with Silver Spring. It had three cultural icons…Tastee Diner, a 1946 diner open 24 hours a day, it had a 1936 post office mural, and it had an operating 1945 train station. I thought it couldn’t get any better than that for a historian.
TP: And for you the mural in particular kind of got your interests going and you talked to people who said, “Well, there’s no real history in Silver Spring” and you wanted to correct that.
JM: Yes. One woman said just that, that there was no history in Silver Spring and I was sort of appalled by such a comment. I thought of course Silver Spring has a history. Every community has a history and that was why I founded the Silver Spring Historical Society in 1998 to promote and create awareness of Silver Spring’s heritage through educational activities and the preservation of historic sites, structures, artifacts, and archives.
(“B roll” footage begins playing showing Silver Spring history-related artifacts.)
TP: We’re seeing some footage of some stuff you have in your home and this is some of the history of Silver Spring.
JM: Yes! I have a very understanding wife, Nan, (TP breaks out in laughter) who lets us keep this stuff in our basement until we have our own facility someday. Most of our artifacts have been acquired from donations and we would really like to get these artifacts out where the public can enjoy them and learn from them. Hopefully we will be able put them on display in the new Silver Spring Library when it gets built in the near future.
TP: In twenty seconds what should people know about Silver Spring that they might not necessarily know?
JM: Downtown Silver Spring has the greatest number of 1920s and 1930s commercial buildings in Montgomery County that are located on our historic Main Street, Georgia Avenue. We really want to see these structures…occupied by Mom and Pop businesses…to be retained in the new, revitalized Silver Spring.
TP: And I know you are your society testify about that in that you want to preserve those structures. Very good. And once again the book is Historic Silver Spring. Coming to you live from the historic Tastee Diner in Silver Spring and I’m going to have breakfast…that’s not going to be setting any history here because I’ve done that many times before!
The Washington Post Magazine, April 15, 2007.
The Washington Post, Montgomery Extra, April 12, 2007.
"Silver Spring historian Jerry McCoy led a walking tour through the area* Saturday. At right, McCoy shows a post office mural that is now on a wall at the Silver Spring library. One of many stops, below, was in front of a building that served as a post office from 1937 to 1984. The building now houses offfices.
*The area was historic "Main Street" Georgia Avenue.
The four-block tour went by the Silver Spring railroad station, left, which is used as a community and arts space. Above, Laura Soto Barra of Silver Spring examines a statue of Norman Lane, a homeless man affectionatelly called the Mayor. The statue sits on Mayor Lane*. The tour also included the old Maryland New Building.
*The statue sits on the Mayor's Promenade located off of Mayor Lane.