Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Lincoln Memorial postcard

Notable People & Places

1930s Lincoln Memorial Postcard

This is a great little find. We dug it up at the Boston Public Library (no, not actually in their building … on Flickr). Source: Boston Public Library

May 1st, 1760

Old Ads & Classifieds

Runaway Scottish Indentured Servant

Check out this extremely old notice in the Maryland Gazette, published in Annapolis on May 1st, 1760. Evidently, an indentured servant from Scotland named William Steuphenson (or maybe Stevenson) ran away from Lower Marlboro.

GoDCers Love Maps

1864 Civil War Map of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties

This is a great old map that we dug up at the Library of Congress. It shows Fairfax County and the surroundings near the end of the Civil War. Source: Library of Congress

Other Cool Stuff

Brookland Waits for the Metro

Are you a long-time resident of Brookland? If so, you might remember the time when Metro just arrived. Or, like the article below, was about to arrive. This was printed in the Washington Post on August 6th, 1977....

Capitol Building in 1924

Notable People & Places

Best Photo of the Capitol Building Ever

Wow. What an incredible photo from 1924. Source: Boston Public Library Okay, so the title might be a little exaggeration, but it’s close right?

1921 Ford advertisement

Old Ads & Classifieds

1921 Ford Advertisement and Local Dealerships

Source: Library of Congress Here’s a cool old advertisement that we dug up at the Library of Congress.

A Personal Story, Guest Posts

Almost Royal: The Kitty Elkins “Affair”

Most young girls dream of being a princess and young women of finding a love so strong that the prince would leave his throne for her. Though this happened to Grace Kelly and Wallis Simpson, it...

3033 Ordway St. NW

Old Ads & Classifieds

First Time Offered: 3033 Ordway Street NW at $32,500

Sigh. How does looking at this advertisement make you feel? This was printed on Leap Day, February 29th, 1948. Source: Washington Post

Notable People & Places

Walter Johnson at 12 Years Old in 1900 U.S. Census

This is cool. We dug up a really rare U.S. Census record from 1900 showing the Johnson family of Humbolt, Kansas. Their 12-year-old boy would eventually grow up to be on of the greatest pitchers in...

views from the Washington Monument

Other Cool Stuff

Amazing Views from the Washington Monument in 1924

What a different Washington. Check out these views from the Washington Monument in 1924. Make sure you click on them for greater details.   Source: Boston Public Library

1850 Columbia Pike, Arlington

Old Ads & Classifieds

1960s Advertisement for 1850 Columbia Pike

Here’s an old Mad Men-era advertisement for apartments in Arlington. The building still exists, and the rent is substantially higher than what’s listed below in the 1960s ad. Click on the ad for a larger version....

Hollin Hall advertisement - February 29th, 1948

Old Ads & Classifieds

Hollin Hall Advertisement (1948)

I was grabbing a beer with a buddy this evening and we were talking about Hollin Hall, the mid-century modern neighborhood near Alexandria. Here’s a cool old post-war advertisement for that new housing development being built...

Georgetown University 1918 Advertisement

Old Ads & Classifieds

Georgetown University Advertisement in 1918

Check this out. We dug this up in the Washington Times, printed on September 5th, 1918. Source: Library of Congress

Featured, They Were Neighbors

1940 U.S. Census List of Residents in the Mayflower Hotel

We haven’t done one of these “They Were Neighbors” posts in a while, and we stumbled across this great collection of U.S. Census records from 1940. Below are all the pages listing the residents of the...

Mark Twain by Abdullah Frères, 1867

Guest Posts

Mark Twain’s Tale of “The Man Who Stopped At Gadsby’s”

First appearing in Mark Twain’s Washington letter to the Territorial Enterprise on March 1, 1868, the story of “The Man Who Stopped at Gadsby’s” was a tale that stuck in Twain’s psyche, and he repeated it in full in...

1927. "Skinned frankfurts, made in Washington, D.C." What Bismarck said about laws and sausages: It turns out you can watch them (or not watch them) being made in the same place. Harris & Ewing glass negative.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Skinned Wieners Made in Washington, D.C.

Terrific old photo of a woman in 1927, working at a D.C. sausage factory.

December 17, 1924. Washington, D.C. "Auto safety device demonstration. Inspector Albert Headley." National Photo glass negative.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Bizarre Safety Demonstration Circa 1924

It’s not very clear what’s happening here, but it appears that the men are demonstrating some sort of safety scoop on the front of this car. Nevertheless … bizarre. Source: Shorpy

plan for bowling alley at 14th and T

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Then and Now

Then and Now: Matchbox on 14th Street

The kind folks over at Matchbox on 14th St. sent over a bunch of great photos from their building. Check them out below.