With a population of more than 220,000, the greater Silver Spring area is one of Washington, D.C.'s largest suburbs and is currently undergoing something of a rebirth, with businesses and entertainment venues staking their claims in the original downtown area. Silver Spring was named when Francis Preston Blair, editor of the Washington Globe, friend to President Andrew Jackson, and owner of the Blair House (now the nation's
official guest quarters for foreign dignitaries), was riding his horse through the countryside, looking for a pastoral retreat from Washington. His horse threw him, and, as he looked for his mount, he noticed a spring in which sand and mica shone like silver. Wheaton, a more-suburban locale 4 mi to the north, is home to the popular National Capitol Trolley Museum.