1904 Connecticut Avenue Photo Tells a Story

We’re loving spending time studying these old photos. Hopefully you’re enjoying them too.

This is a photo from 1904 showing Connecticut Avenue, and we’re assuming this is somewhere between Dupont Circle and Farragut Square? Maybe some GoDCers out there can properly identify the location.

- click image for more -
Connecticut Avenue in 1904
Connecticut Avenue in 1904

Source: Library of Congress

In trying to make out the street sign, it looks like “M St. N.W.” to us. What do you think? But, that’s also where Rhode Island Ave. hits Connecticut, and it doesn’t seem like there’s another street intersecting there.


The first thing we noticed was the streetcar heading toward the camera. On the front it has the number “1642” with “Georgetown Only” listed as the destination.

Georgetown only streetcar
Georgetown only streetcar

Who is the man driving the car? What’s his story? It would be fascinating to know more about him.

How about this woman and two little girls? It looks like the woman in the black in approaching walking toward the camera with an umbrella in her right hand. The woman in white looks like she’s pushing a baby stroller, walking with the two young girls, who are probably somewhere between five and seven years old, which means they would have been born somewhere in the late 1890s. The woman could be the mother of those two, or possibly the nanny?

woman and two little girls
woman and two little girls

Here’s another shot of what looks like a family. In the foreground is a woman standing with a little girl, who appears to be sucking her thumb, or at least had her right hand close to her face. The man near them could potentially be the father, or maybe just a stranger standing near by. In the background, there looks to be a workman, maybe unloading something? And there’s a mailbox on the left, but the writing on it is illegible.


We also noticed this group of three women walking past the tree. It’s always fascinating to see the style of dress. It’s incredibly formal, and probably not very comfortable.

three women
three women

Take a look at the photo yourself and tell us what you see. Click here to see a much larger version and add your comments below.


About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • ET

    I have seen from one map that one line, the Metropolitan, started on the Hill about Lincoln park, went to the Capital, then the White House and then up Connecticut. It then forked at I think New Hampshire – one line to Georgetown the other went a little more down Connecticut possibly to Florida.

    Given the fact that that car said Georgetown only I wonder if it wasn’t traveling North with the view looking south. Putting this picture south of New Hampshire which makes N or M make sense. If all of that is the case, than that is the east side of the street.

    I do see peeking though the op of the trees that clump behind that streetcar, a cupola that looks a lot like that on the top of the cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle on Rhode Island Avenue just about where it meets M Street. Given the distance and the orientation this does look like N St. and Connecticut.

    • ET

      Bummer – definitely the Stoneleigh Court. Now I am wondering about the cupola.

  • It’s Connecticut and L, the building to the left are the Stoneleigh Court Apartments built in 1905, the date on your photo is likely a few years later than 1904.

    Stoneleigh Court Apartments:
    Another Picture of Connecticut and L in 1925:

    • Stephen Jordan

      Actually the building was completed in 1902, not 1905 so the 1904 date is likely accurate.

    • Ghosts of DC

      Awesome digging Stephen! Thanks

  • The street sign says “Eye” (I) Street. I used a digital enhancer. Without a doubt Stoneleigh.

  • ZZinDC

    This is the Stoneleigh Court Apartments on the SE corner of Connecticut Ave & L Street, looking south toward Farragut Square. The small dome in the middle distance is the Boss Shepard house at Connecticut & K St, on the north side of the square; the dome is in about the location of the current entrance to Farragut North Station. Stoneleigh Court was built in 1902-05 and demolished in 1965. The Shepard house was demolished in 1952. (Vanished Washington, Streets of Washington, and The Intowner were partial sources of this info.)