1904 Map of Entire Washington, D.C. Area

This map is amazing with the amount of details. Click on it to zoom in. It’s from 1904.

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1904 Baist map of Washington, D.C.
1904 Baist map of Washington, D.C.

Source: Library of Congress

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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  • Paul Wahler

    What a terrific map! Besides all of the information it contains all of today’s computer users should take a couple of minutes to appreciate that all of those street, place and people names were written, one letter at a time by a human hand holding a pen and ink. Zoom in on the large title at the bottom – all of the letters and shadowing of each was done by hand. You won’t find THAT font on your word processing app.

  • ET

    What I find also interesting are all the little enclaves that were developed along some of the major arteries like NY and RI Avenues and along the Met Branch railroad. It is also interesting what wasn’t developed in the city as of 1904. I know they were still measuring farm land in D.C. in the 1920 Census.

  • Jay Roberts

    Talk about ghosts – check out that long bridge and New Alexandria south of Alexandria.

  • Page 7

    Is that a Hancock Cir at 16th & U?

  • Langdoner

    There’s a much more detailed atlas from 1903. I was able to find my house (which I thought was built in 1928, but is apparently much older) in the 1903 atlas, but not on the 1904 map above (which depicts the land as undeveloped): http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?gmd:1:./temp/~ammem_Lm8H::

  • alohaloaha

    Amazing!

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    How can I do a google street view of this 1904 map???

  • SkorpioG

    I just noticed something on this map. It shows the original Baltimore & Ohio Railroad plan to bypass Washington and interchange directly with the Southern Railway in Fairfax County. Follow the railroad line from northwest from Silver Spring and you’ll notice there is a branch to Georgetown. That branch, the Georgetown Branch, served all the industry and Government steam plant there. However, notice the dotted line showing a proposed track. It cross the Potomac River below Little Falls, and continues up Pimmet Run to climb out of the Potomac Valley, then winds its way across the countryside through Dunn Loring (crossing the Washington & Old Dominion – now W&OD rail trail) and then off the western edge of the map.

    This would be the 1890’s plan that the Baltimore & Ohio had drafted to get around the congested conditions in Washington. All six major railroads serving Washington encountered great difficulty in getting their trains through and around the city. There was not enough track capacity or storage yards for all the cars that moved through or needed to be handed off from one carrier to another. Delays were frequent and annoyed customers. Also, the Pennsylvania Railroad owned the Long Bridge (still standing but rebuilt in 1906) and the two tracks across it were not enough capacity to handle all the traffic (still a problem today).

    So the Baltimore & Ohio planned to build their own line around Washington that would bypass the congestion and allow for faster transfer time. It was to connect with the Southern Railway at Fairfax Station. The cost however was beyond something the railroad could handle. The plan ultimately never came to be, as all six major railroads agreed to build Potomac Yard in Arlington and Alexandria, and use it to handle their needs. Union Station was built for the same purpose.

  • dDouglas Cole

    Can I get copies of these maps?

  • CapitalQuarters

    This map shows Union Station in its present location – moved off the Mall. It opened there in 1908. I wonder if it took 4 years to build it so that it would show up in this 1904 Map.