• Readers Build Community: The Literary Culture of Early Chevy Chase

    The Chevy Chase Historical Society invites the community to learn how early residents of Chevy Chase formed book clubs that replaced some of the culture they’d left behind in the city, the topic of an illustrated lecture on Sunday, March 19, at 4 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue.  The program is free and open to the public.

    Historian Gail Sansbury, PhD, former Director of CCHS’ Archive and Research Center, will be the featured speaker. During her four years with the historical society, she  combed through countless documents, photos and historic newspapers to piece together the remarkable story of how a community of avid readers living here between 1896 and 1914 created the first  library and the foundation for the social and civic life still enjoyed in Chevy Chase today.

    “Chevy Chase had only 27 houses in 1896,” Sansbury notes. “Reading was important entertainment for Washingtonians who had moved to the isolated new suburb.”

    Sansbury’s talk will include vintage photos of members and activities of three literary groups -- the Chevy Chase Library Association, the Chevy Chase Reading Class and the Literary Club of the Chevy Chase Association. Her presentation will celebrate a new online exhibit, “Chevy Chase Reads,” debuting soon on www.chevychasehistory.org.

    No reservations are required for the program, “Readers Build Community: The Literary Culture of Early Chevy Chase,” and signature historical society refreshments will be served.