Ghosts of DC Started Eight Years Ago Today

Happy New Year! (Shorpy)

It’s hard to believe, but I started this blog eight years ago today. I remember coming up with the idea the weekend prior on a visit to Gunston Hall with my wife. Prior to our little family additions, we would frequently go on impromptu outings to explore the area. That happens less frequently, but now we bring along the kids for an educational adventure.

New Year's
The closest old photo to a birthday celebration — it’s actually New Year’s Eve 1940

Our first few posts included a goofy Washington Senator baseball player, streetcar film footage, and Jackie Kennedy. Eight years later, we have nearly 3,000 posts covering an incredible breadth of topics.

Nearly 45,000 people follow our content across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email. Here’s one of our first tweets thanking early followers.

It has been so fun digging into the city’s past. The most fascinating stories about regular people like Officer Sprinkle, Marjorie Morris, Chief Prohibition Inspector Major “Buzzkill”, The Ex-King of Hell’s Bottom, and William West, the policeman who arrested President Grant for speeding.

There were also great stories about notable people like Teddy Roosevelt losing his ring in Rock Creek or berating a drunk man in the street. The Doors and Jimi Hendrix played concerts at the Washington Hilton (where Reagan was shot). The Grateful Dead played a free concert at American University in 1972, where JFK gave a famous commencement speech in 1963. Oh, and in 1980, U2 played a their second concert ever in the U.S. at the Bayou in Georgetown, the day before John Lennon was shot in New York. Speaking of famous concerts, the Beatles played their first-ever concert in the U.S. at The Washington Coliseum (aka, Uline Arena) in 1964.

Several million — yes, million with an M — have read the blog over the years. If you told me that the day after I launched the blog, I would have laughed in your face. The only blog readers were my incredibly supportive wife and my dog (aka, Ghost Dog). Our early readers were great supporters and so encouraging.

Ghost Baby has arrived!
Ghost Babies #1, #2, and #3

So, a short, but heartfelt thank you to all the readers and supporters who have made this labor of love possible over eight years. A lot has happened in the District over the last eight years and a lot has changed in my own life, including adding three little Ghost Babies (not so much babies any more) to the crew. The pace has slowed significantly since our family expanded, but hopefully the blog will be going strong in another eight years!

There are still so many great stories and photos to share about the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C.

— Tom @ Ghosts of DC