Rachel Carson Lived Here

Friends of Sligo Creek remembers and honors a woman who lived here where we live; who watched and enjoyed nature here, as we do; who supported a household, commuting to a federal job until she was financially able to devote herself full-time to writing.

She was a lyric and best-selling nature writer who also became the pioneering author of Silent Spring (1962) and thereby a legendary forerunner of the environmental movement.

Rachel Carson in 1940 when she was living on Flower Ave.
  • The book cover of Rachel Carson, Witness for Nature by Linda Lear
    Friends of Sligo Creek celebrated the completion of its 12th year with a special program in February 2014, inviting the Neighbors of the Northwest Branch to join in hearing Carson biographer Linda Lear talk about Rachel Carson.

  • Rachel Carson local chronologyCarson Local Chronology – a table by year, local residence, books written, and other notes, by Laura Mol. See next section below.

Rachel Carson : A Local Chronology

Year Age Watershed & Residence   Employment Notes Publication of Books & Selected Articles
1937 30 1
Sligo Creek watershed:
904 Highland Dr
Silver Spring
July '37 move from Baltimore to Woodside Park neighborhood Since Aug '36: aquatic biologist, US Bureau of Fisheries—Baltimore-based Atlantic Monthly (Sept), "Undersea"
1938 31      
1939 32 2
Sligo Creek watershed:
9409 Flower Ave
Silver Spring
Fall '39 move to Seven Oaks neighborhood (S of Franklin) Transferred from Baltimore to College Park Nature Magazine (June/July), "How About Citizenship Papers for the Starling?"
1940 33   Bureau of Fisheries into new Fish and Wildlife Service  
1941 34     Sea I: Under the Sea-Wind
1942 35      
42-43   Chicago 8-month job transfer (wartime)  
1943 36 3
Sligo Creek watershed:
7724 Maple Ave
Takoma Park
May 1st move on quick return from Chicago posting Return to FWS office in US Dept of Interior building, 1849 C Street NW, DC  
1944 37     Colliers (Nov), "The Bat Knew It First"
1945 38 4
Sligo Creek watershed:
9713 Sutherland Rd
Silver Spring
Move to northern edge of North Hills neighborhood   First appearance in the Reader's Digest
1946 39 First summer in Maine, near Boothbay Harbor Editor for FWS series, "Conservation in Action," including field research & writing for #1,2,4,5  
1947 40    
1948 41    
1949 42 5
NW Branch watershed:
204 Williamsburg Dr
Silver Spring
Sept. moved to Woodmoor neighborhood    
1950 43      
1951 44   Guggenheim Fellowship (1 yr gov't leave); then resigned federal service, June 1952 Sea II: The Sea Around Us serialized in The New Yorker and a best-seller
1952 45   Sea I re-issued, also now a best-seller
1953 46   full-time writer  
1954 47    
1955 48   Sea III: The Edge of the Sea
1956 49   "Help Your Child to Wonder"
1957 50 6
NW Branch watershed:
11701 Berwick Rd
Silver Spring
Adopted Roger. July move to Quaint Acres neighborhood  
1958 51 Mother died (Aug) Jr edition of Sea Around Us
1959 52    
1960 53    
1961 54    
1962 55   Silent Spring (Sept '62), after June serialization in The New Yorker
1963 56 Congressional hearing (June)  
1964   Died at home (April 14). Ashes interred at Parklawn Cemetery (Viers Mill Road) & scattered in Maine.  
1965   posthumous:
The Sense of Wonder


The initial resource for the Carson Local Chronology was:

Lear, Linda. Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (1997, 634 pp.; 2009, 2nd ed.)

Supplemented by:
Brooks, Paul. The House of Life: Rachel Carson at Work (1972, 350 pp.)
Souder, William. On a Further Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson (2012, 497 pp.)

Additional detail was found via:

Beinecke Library [Yale University], Digital Collections. Accessed 10-23-2013
House number for Williamsburg Drive rental

Gagné, Sally. North Hills of Sligo Creek: History, People and Surroundings (2003, 193 pp.)
Neighborhood of Sutherland Road

Oshel, Robert E. Home Sites of Distinction: the History of Woodside Park (1998, 308 pp.)
House number for Highland Drive rental

Pennsylvania College for Women, Alumnae Association. “The Alumnae Recorder,” Fall 1946
--House number for Flower Avenue: www.mocavo.com/Alumnae-Recorder-Pennsylvania-College-for-Women-1946-1950-Volume-Fall-1946-Spring-1950/114161/36
--House number for Sutherland Road: www.mocavo.com/Alumnae-Recorder-Pennsylvania-College-for-Women-1946-1950-Volume-Fall-1946-Spring-1950/114161/184

Bruce A. Sidwell, Takoma Park resident, with Rachel Carson Council and Historic Takoma
House number for Maple Avenue rental

Laura Mol for Friends of Sligo Creek
Silver Spring, Maryland - February 2014