Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

The Midget Policeman: Julius Daranyi

Yesterday’s post was popular, and thanks to GoDCer Mark’s tweet, I have another oddity to share with you. Below is a scene you’re not likely to see today at 14th and G. This is Julius Daranyi...

Midgets for Coolidge

So, this is a bizarre one that I came across on Shorpy … a large group of midgets arrive in Washington to support President Calvin Coolidge. I’m not making this up. It was reported in the Washington...

Falls Church today (Wikipedia)

Falls Church: Washington’s Quaint Suburb

Below is the great opening paragraph of an article from the Washington Times. “Hello, central. Gimme Leesburg.” “Leesburg? O. K. There you are.” The central office which really places you in communications with Leesburg is situated...

Blanche Kelso Bruce, Frederick Douglass, Hiram Rhodes Revels

Charles Douglass Calls Swearing-In of Senator Hiram Revels “One of the Greatest Days in the History of This Country.”

This is a guest post by John (from The Lion of Anacostia), cross-posted here. The first black American seated as a member of the United States Senate was Hiram Rhodes Revels representing Mississippi. Revels filled the seat vacated by Jefferson Davis, who...

The Kenesaw a view from the northeast (Flickr user: parkview dc)

The Kenesaw: Fine New Structure Goes Up in Mt. Pleasant

It’s still amusing to me when the papers refer to anything north of Boundary St. (i.e., Florida Avenue) as the suburbs. I came across an article in the Washington Times from 1906, highlighting some new construction...

Catholic University advertisement in the Washington Herald (1910)

Catholic University Fall Term Opens Tuesday, October 4th, 1910

October 4th? That seems really late. Holy sh*t … tuition of $75 per year. It’s now $35,000, and that’s actually not bad compared to neighbor school GWU at around $50,000 (ouch). Related articles The National Cathedral...

Deanwood in the 1907 Baist Real Estate Atlas (Library of Congress)

Three Things About Deanwood

Last week, we did a quick post on Fort Lincoln Heights. Now, I’d like to focus a little more on Deanwood, the former neighborhood of both Nannie Helen Burroughs and Marvin Gaye. 1. Before the Deanwood...

Baltimore Sun - Letter From Washington

Violence on Streets of Old Anacostia (1886)

This is a guest post by John (from The Lion of Anacostia), cross-posted here. I walk the streets, alleys, back-cuts, and lounge on the corners of Anacostia everyday, every hour, every minute. Tour an abandominium or...

1320 Florida Ave. NE - the Sprinkle family home

They Were Neighbors: Officer Sprinkle Lived Here

To satisfy your hunger for more Officer Sprinkle, I took a look into where he lived in 1900. At the time, he was 34 years old, had been married to his wife Teresa for 10 years...

The Bee Gees

Shrieks and Lasers for the Bee Gees

Rolling Stone just broke the sad news that Bee Gees co-founder Robin Gibb died today, succumbing to cancer. In the late 70s, the Bee Gees were on top of the world, owning the music industry. The...

Mt. Pleasant homes advertisement in the Washington Times - April 19th, 1913

Mt. Pleasant: Where Realty Values Are Rapidly Advancing

Going to open houses today? Check this out. Here’s a great old advertisement from 1913. These are homes for sale in Mt. Pleasant, near the street car line. I’m not sure that these are still around...

Chuck Brown (1936-2012)

Gonzaga, Sidwell Friends, St. Albans and Farewell to a Local Legend

It’s Saturday, the Nats lost again, the Caps are not in the playoffs and there are a lot of tourists clogging up the metro. Yes, we are officially heading towards the summer months. The worst part...

Bass Ale advertisement in the Washington Herald - December 24th, 1911

Bass Ale For Christmas Eve 1911

Did you know Bass Ale was available in Washington back in 1911? I did not. Well, it would be only for another six years until Prohibition set in on the city. This was an advertisement I...

Fairlawn real estate advertisement from the Washington Herald - July 22nd, 1911

To See Fairlawn Means a Lot

This is an advertisement for new development and real estate across the Eastern Branch, near Anacostia. Click on the ad for a closer look at what is a harsh window into a very different (and blatantly...

Fort Lincoln Heights: Parts of Barbadoes and Scotland

I want to branch out a little more and represent more neighborhoods. This is a great old real estate advertisement — I’ve been finding a ton of these lately — highlighting Fort Lincoln Heights in NE...

Friends School Country Club House advertisement in the Washington Herald (1910)

Country Addition to Friends School (1910)

Cool. I love these. The Gonzaga one was quite popular with readers as was the St. Albans ad. This is Sidwell Friends School — the name has gone through a few iterations — back in 1910....

Daniel H. Riggs, Howard University Medicine, in the South Yard of the Smithsonian Institution Building, stands next to his carriage. Picture shows the East Wing after Adolph Cluss' 1884 renovation. Against the building are sheds, used by the Department of Living Animals, 1887-1890 (Smithsonian Archives)

Doctor and His Carriage at the Smithsonian

Here’s a photograph from 1890 which shows Dr. Daniel H. Riggs of Howard University posing next to his carriage near the Smithsonian. In 1893, the doctor was the defendant in a malpractice lawsuit. The Post reported...

The Huntsman's Store advertisement in the Washington Times - October 20th, 1912

Real Shotgun Specials. Real Rifle Bargains.

Some time ago, way back in the day, purchasing a firearm was much easier. About 96 years before the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling dramatically altered the gun-owning landscape in our city, you could walk...