Blair’s predecessor school was the Silver Spring School, which opened in 1925 at the corner of Chicago Ave. and Philadelphia Ave. It was built to take in the expanding suburban population of Silver Spring and Takoma Park. At first it was an elementary school, then quickly expanded to also serve the junior high school (grades 7-9).
The Principal at the school was Evalene Beebe. She and the other faculty members in the late 20’s and early 30’s included several teachers and administrators who would later form the core of the first faculty at the “new” high school.
Silver Spring and Takoma Park continued to grow rapidly, and eventually the school encompassed kindergarten through 12th grade. The school system soon realized that with the projected population growth of the region there would be a need for a separate high school. $193,000 was allocated for the new school, located at Wayne Ave. and Dale Drive (considered to be “removed from the center of activity” in an early edition of the Silver Chips).
In March of 1935 the newly built Montgomery Blair High School opened, but since the new school consisted of only one building (the future “C” Building of the completed school) and was still in the process of being completed, some of the students and teachers continued to commute between the old and new schools. During this transition period, students, faculty and administrators started creating some of the new traditions that would be the foundation for the new school. One of those traditions was already underway several years before the move – the annual school yearbook, Silverlogue (click here to view some of these pre-Blair Silverlogues).
The next fall (1935) when Blair was fully operational, the Takoma-Silver Spring School reverted to an elementary/junior high school (grades K-9). However, it wasn’t long before the growth of area necessitated that the County provide a separate junior high school to alleviate the overcrowding in the school. Takoma Park Junior High School opened in 1938, and the school became the Silver Spring Intermediate School (SSI).
SSI served the area well and proud until its closing in 1972. During its years as an elementary school, SSI’s gymnasium became the home basketball court for Montgomery Junior College, located just up the street. When the school was razed in the 1980’s, the gymnasium remained for several years as free-standing building. Finally, in 1992, the last remnant of the old school was demolished, and the school site became a community park.