Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

"Past and present in locomotives. Eckington Yards, June 4, 1923." A closeup of the locomotive in the Baltimore & Ohio rail yard during the Masonic convention in Washington, D.C. The big engine wears the livery of "Boumi Temple," a Baltimore Shrine lodge. 5x7 glass negative.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photo of Eckington Rail Yard in 1923

We came across a great photo via Shorpy’s Twitter handle this weekend. It shows the old Eckington rail yard back in the 1920s. Check out the map of the same area from 1919. Today, this area...

1909 map of Observatory Circle

GoDCers Love Maps

Interesting 1909 Map of Observatory Circle

Here is a cool map of the area around the current Vice President’s residence off of Mass. Ave.

1887 map of Rockville

GoDCers Love Maps

1887 Map of Rockville

Check out this 1887 map of a much smaller Rockville. This was way back when Grover Cleveland was the U.S. President, and just about two decades since the Civil War. Source: Library of Congress This is...

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "NO CAPTION (Children, police motorcycles with sidecars, and streetcar in street)." From a series of photos whose subject seems to be traffic safety. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

GoDCers, Where Is This?

Any thoughts on where this photo was taken?

Washington, D.C., circa 1934. "Washington Monument. Capstone without lightning rods." 8x10 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak.

Notable People & Places, The Best Of

Amazing Photo of Washington Monument Apex

Washington, D.C., circa 1934. "Washington Monument. Capstone without lightning rods." 8x10 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak.

McLean Gardens

Lost History

Proposed Demolition of McLean Gardens; Replaced by Embassy Complex

How about this interesting old article from The Washington Post, printed on August 6th, 1975. Initially, there was a plan to demolish the entire 700+ unit complex and replace it with a large park and compound for...

streetcars in front of Union Station

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Streetcars in Front of Union Station

This is an old photo of Union Station around 1920, with two streetcars sitting in front. Source: Library of Congress

Rhode Island Ave. 1904

Faces & Places of Yesterday

1904 Postcard Showing Rhode Island Avenue

Do you recognize where this is on Rhode Island Ave.? GoDCer Andy sent in a plethora of great material some time back and this postcard was in that collection. It shows Rhode Island Ave in 1904.

Historical Events

Geronimo Participates in Roosevelt’s Inaugural Parade

Here’s a great old photo. I was unaware that Geronimo came to Washington in 1905 and participated in Teddy Roosevelt‘s inaugural parade (see some amazing photos of the inauguration). Click on the image for a much larger...

D.C. cab fars in 1947

Other Cool Stuff

D.C. Cab Fares in 1947

How cool is this article from The Washington Post, printed on March 13th, 1947.  These are the rates for taxi cabs taken from D.C. By the way, who is taking a cab from D.C. to Charlottesville or...

Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of t[he] United States : projected agreeable to the direction of the President of the United States, in pursuance of an act of Congress, passed on the sixteenth day of July, MDCCXC, "establishing the permanent seat on the bank of the Potowmac"

GoDCers Love Maps

Full-Color 1791 Manuscript Plan for Washington

Here is a terrific old map of the plan for the federal city. Source: Library of Congress

The national capital, Washington, D.C. Sketched from nature by Adolph Sachse, 1883-1884.

GoDCers Love Maps

Bird’s-Eye View of Washington in 1883

Check out this amazing map of Washington from 1883. Click on it for a larger version. Source: Library of Congress

Old Ads & Classifieds

Awesome Detailed 1932 Apartment Listings

This is so cool. Make sure you click on it for greater details and scan through the whole thing. See any buildings that you recognize, or maybe lived in? Add your commentary below!

Walter Johnson and his son Eddie in 1938

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photo of Walter Johnson and Son

Here’s a great old photo sent in by original GoDCer Ben. Sorry it took so long to post this Ben!

The Parkside - 1702 Summit Pl. NW

Old Ads & Classifieds

Sunday Apartment Listings in 1932

Oh, things sure were different. Check out these great apartment advertisements from July 3rd, 1932. These were printed in The Washington Post. Below is an ad for The Parkside, which still stands at 1702 Summit Pl. NW....

Guest Posts, Notable People & Places

The Greatest Commencement Addresses in Washington, DC, Ever

It’s that time of year, again. Commencement speakers address graduating college and university classes, and inevitably their speeches are ranked, assessed, complimented, and criticized. This year, both NPR and Vox.com have compiled the best commencement speeches ever....

From the Crazy Vault

Unfaithful Husband Drowns Wife in Georgetown Canal

Here’s a story to throw into the crazy bin. We came across this piece in The Washington Post printed on June 24th, 1888. A brutal murder occurred in Georgetown shortly before midnight last night. Agnes Watson, a...

National Savings and Trust Building in 1960

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photo of the National Savings Bank in 1960

What an awesome photo. This was sent in by GoDCer Andy, from his Flickr collection. This is the building close to the White House, on the northeast corner of 15th and New York Ave. NW. The...