Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Nellie and Isabel Sedgeley with their electric car, unidentified site. Sedgeley Photograph Collection c.1905-1915

Two Ladies, One Dude, and an Electric Car

Okay, there’s a dog and an older dude in there too but … Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Demolition of buildings on the corner of 11th Street and Virginia Avenue SW. View northwest over the Agriculture Department Building to the Washington Monument (1959). Garnet W. Jex "Southwest Redevelopment" Slide Collection, HSW.

Building Demolition at 11th and Virginia (1959)

Ugh, these are always so sad to see. So much of D.C. was destroyed in the 1950s in the name of progress.

The Explorer Restaurant advertisement

The Explorer Restaurant in Rockville

Anybody remember this place? This is an old ad that we dug up from The Washington Post in 1967. Three bucks for dinner!

Wanted: Lively Ghost in a Haunted House

In doing research for my latest book, Ghosts of Georgetown, I became accustomed to wandering down many a dead end. Promising stories peter out, ancient and venerable buildings that by all rights should be chock full...

Naylor Gardens advertisement

Housing for Uncle Sam’s War Workers

Here’s a cool old advertisement from World War II. It’s for Naylor Gardens, McLean Gardens, and Seminary Heights. At the time, these were large housing developments for the booming population of the city due to the...

Capitol Park Townhouses advertisement

50 Years Ago Today: Capitol Park Townhouses Advertisement

This is an advertisement from The Washington Post, printed on Wednesday, October 23rd, 1963 — exactly 50 years ago today. It’s so sad that developers destroyed basically all of southwest to “modernize it” with these brutalist, Soviet-looking...

Women at Western High School posing on an exercise device

Exercising at Western High School

These photos are all part of the Frances Benjamin Johnston at the Library of Congress and were taken in 1899. They depict women exercising at Western High School, which no longer exists, but the building now...

View northwest past the equestrian statue (by Henry Kirke Brown) of General Winfield Scott. Includes the Queen Anne-style Windom House on the northwest corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 16th Street NW, and the Hutchins House next door to the west. (Current site of the Australian Embassy). William H. Seaman Photograph Collection, HSW (1888)

Windom House in 1888: Current Site of Australian Embassy

This is an amazing old photo from 1888. It shows the Windom House at the intersection of 16th St. and Mass Ave. This is where the Australian Embassy sits today. Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Cost of Buying a House in the District, 25 Years Ago Today

Look at this old classified advertisement from The Washington Post from exactly 25 years ago. This was printed on Friday, October 21st, 1988 and if you were the one who purchased one of these homes, you probably are...

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Victory Tire Co., 14th Street N.W." Guaranteed 6,000 miles! National Photo Company glass negative.

Victory Tire Company on 14th Street

This is the Victory Tire Company in 1920. The store was located at 1026 14th St. NW, which is just north of K St.

1981 apartment listings

Glover Park, Foggy Bottom, and Dupont Apartment Listings (1981)

Check out this old classified page from The Washington Post. It’s from 1981 and checking out the prices will make you nauseous. See any addresses that you recognize? … or maybe even yours?

Nov 1982 | Crews work to complete the building of the tunnel near Forest Glen Station.

Vintage Washington Metro Construction Photos

How cool are these? We stumbled across them on Metro’s Facebook page. Tunnel near Forest Glen Forest Glen construction Silver Spring station construction Gallery Place-Chinatown 1974 Gallery Place-Chinatown construction Archives construction 1975 Take a look at...

Every Home is Distinctive in Woodley Park

Here’s a great old advertisement for Woodley Park in 1928. We found this one in The Washington Post, and it’s advertising some Wardman homes.

Oak Hill

Why Is It Named Annandale?

We’re on a bit of a NoVA kick this week and wanted to do a little digging into the origin of another name, Annandale. Maybe you already know this, but I definitely didn’t. The European history...

Mount Vernon Lager Beer Brewery and Pleasure Garden near the northeast corner of 4th and E Streets NE. (Juenemann Photograph Collection, HSW, ca. 1865-1870)

Pre-Civil War Mount Vernon Beer and Pleasure Garden

This is so cool! The photo is from just after the Civil War and it shows an old beer garden located at 4th and E St. NE. Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

dairy farm advertisement in 1950

Identify This Fairfax Dairy Farm From 1950

Check out this advertisement from 1950. This was printed in The Washington Post. Does anyone recognize this home? UPDATE: We quickly received a Tweet from @daddylive9 pointing out that the farm still stands today at the intersection...

Centreville during the Civil War

Why Is It Named Centreville?

The town of Centreville was established in 1792, near the intersection of present day Lee Highway and Sully Road. At the time, it was a village named Newgate.

Best Lobster Dinner Ever!

Oh man, check this out. Can you make up a caption for this? Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.