Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

First Congregational Church in 1909

1901 Photo of First Congregational Church in Penn Quarter

Here’s a wonderful old photo that we dug up at Dig DC. It shows the First Congregational Church at 9th and G St. in 1909. Source: Dig DC

View of the east and south elevations of Mrs. E. D. E. N (Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte) Southworth's cottage, located at the southwest corner of Prospect and 36th Streets NW. In background can be seen 1224 36th Street NW whose Prospect Street elevation is painted with "Drink Coca-Cola."

Quaint Old Southworth Cottage at 36th and Prospect in Georgetown

Another great find courtesy of Dig DC and the DC Public Library.This is the Southworth Cottage at 36th and Prospect in Georgetown, home of noted author Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth, taken in 1909. She was a...

View toward Navy Yard

19th Century View Towards Navy Yard

What a great old photo of the Navy Yard. Source: Dig DC

View looking from the northwest corner of Cedar and 4th Street NW east down Cedar Street toward the railroad underpass. Image includes a partial view of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad station on the right with a blurred locomotive crossing the underpass and going into the station. The train is headed toward Washington, D.C.

Cedar St. and 4th in Takoma, Early 1900s

Can someone identify the time period for this? This is Cedar St. looking east at the intersection with 4th St., where the railroad (now the Metro) crosses over it. Source: Dig DC And even cooler, check...

1874 Map of Georgetown’s Old Street Names

Check out this terrific 1874 map of Georgetown with the old street names. Source: Dig DC

D.C. Lacks National Representation … Still

This print is still appropriate today … sadly. We found this in the awesome collection provided by the DC Public Library. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s amazing, and curated by an old GoDC fan,...

Awesome 1887 Map of Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights

This is an incredible old map from 1887 showing today’s Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights. You have to click on this for greater details. You’ll be a little confused by the old street names, so check...

View looking east from the middle of a frozen Tidal Basin upon which many individuals are walking or skating. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is visible in the distance.

Ice Skating on the Tidal Basin

Would you do this today? I don’t even know if you could. I can’t remember the last time it was frozen completely solid. Source: Dig DC

Notice the decked/tunneled section south of Fort Totten, then the over 90-degree turn to the east, then the decked/tunneled section between Galloway Street and Gallatin Street, with the Metrorail Glenmont Route (Red Line trains) following the North Central Freeway (I-95 south of Fort Totten and I-70S north of Fort Totten), and with the Metrorail Greenbelt Route (Green Line trains) following the Northeast Freeway (I-95 east of Fort Totten). The area between Galloway Street and Gallatin Street where the Northeast Freeway was proposed was mostly open fields then and still is now.

Drawings of Proposed I-95 Through D.C.

Here are some terrific old maps from 1971 showing the remainder of what would have been I-95 cutting through D.C. Today, what is now 395, ends at New York Ave. NW. Source: Roads to the Future

View of south and west elevations of Peirce Mill, to the left of Tilden Street NW as it rises to cross Rock Creek.

Peirce Mill and Spring House on Thanksgiving Day 1910

It looks almost exactly the same today! The photos were taken on November 24th, 1910 … Happy Thanksgiving! Source: Dig DC

Key Bridge

Mother Gives Birth to Child on Key Bridge

You probably don’t believe that headline, but it indeed happened back in 1956. On August 29th, The Washington Post reported that a woman from Fairfax gave birth to a healthy baby while en route to the hospital....

Proposed 1968 highways

1968 War Over D.C. Interstate Highways

As you all know, D.C. is one of the only cities (if not the lone city) without an interstate highway cutting through the heart of it. I-395 makes its way all the way to New York...

Incredible 1863 Photo of Downtown Washington – “Views of War”

Here is a great old photo from 1863 showing Alexander Gardner‘s photo gallery at 7th and D. Click the image for a detailed version. Source: Library of Congress

GoDCer Shares Film Footage of Washington in 1949

Check out this great footage out. This is from 1949, sent in by GoDCer Eric.

Sue & Joe - Capitol - circa 1955 - final book

GoDCer Sends Great 1955 Photo of Parents in D.C.

Thanks to GoDCer Mike for sending in this family photo from 1955. Below is the note he send: Dear Ghosts of DC This photo surfaced in our family a few years ago.  It was taken in 1955...

1907 map of Brightwood

1907 Map of Brightwood

Here’s a terrific old map of the area around Brightwood in 1907. GoDCer Ian emailed about this a while ago and we finally got around to sharing it. Enjoy!

1848 Plan of the Senate Chamber

This drawing is a plan of the U.S. Senate chamber for the Thirtieth Congress. Source: Duke University

Thompson’s Dairy in D.C.

Here’s a cool documentary from YouTube on Thompson’s Dairy, formerly on 11th St. near U St. Thanks to GoDCers Alex and Richard, U St. residents and local history buffs, for sending this in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MIYvPo0xLQ