View from the Roof of the Capitol … in 1861

Not many of us get to see Washington, DC from the roof of the Capitol. None of us ever got to see the view in 1861, but here’s the next best thing.

Taken in 1861, this is looking north. The cursive at the bottom is pointing out the different sites you can see. From left to right they read: Douglas Hospital, Old Douglas House, Railway Station, The Washington (or Wilkes House), St. Aloysius, Government Printing Office, Glenwood Cemetery, Swampoodle, and Old Mill.

We particularly like the ghostly, blurred waving American flag in the center.

View from the Capitol Roof
View from the Capitol Roof

Source: Library of Congress

NOTE: This was posted a while ago, but it was so good that we had to post it again.


More from Ghosts of DC

Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Post Office postmen on scooters." Kind of a Segway vibe here. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

U.S. Post Office “Segways” of 1917

Check this out. Look familiar? This mode of transportation closely resembles the Segways you see zipping around D.C., carrying tourists around the sites. Or maybe

reward for stolen sailboat

$10 Reward for Stolen Sailboat

Here’s an ad in the paper that you’re not terribly likely to see today. It was printed in the Daily Evening Star on July 5th,

Glover Park advertisement

Glover Park Homes: $8,950 Upward

Check out this great old advertisement from The Washington Post, printed on October 9th, 1927. Those were the good old days. Some have Frigidaire!