Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Chain Bridge in 1861

Stunning 1861 Photo of Chain Bridge

We wrote a great post about Chain Bridge a while back. That shared a few images of it, but we recently came across this gem. Click on it for more details. Source: Library of Congress

1890s streetcar in DC

Highly Detailed 1890 Photo of D.C. Streetcar

You have to see the details in this image. Click on it for more to see what a D.C. streetcar looked like well over 100 years ago. Source: Library of Congress

Photo shows a man and a boy in summer straw hats happily displaying some unidentifiable papers on F Street, with the Treasury and a new electric hooded arc streetlight in the background. One of a series of scenes near Painter's office at 14th and E streets, this picture bears the hallmarks of the new "snapshot" style now made possible by the invention of the quick, hand-held Kodak: natural smiles and the movement of the ladies under the umbrella.

Photo of Man and Boy Outside Treasury in 1885

Check out this great old photo from 1885. Source: Library of Congress

1913 map of Chevy Chase, DC

Amazing 1913 Map of Chevy Chase

It’s been a long time since we posted anything online. Sorry about that, but having two little kids makes it extremely difficult to keep adding fresh content to the website. Either way, check out this great...

Washington Times - April 28th, 1911

$50,000 Award to Fly Across America in 1911

This cool old advertisement shows a competition for flying innovation in the early 20th century. Click on it to read more and see that William Randolph Hearst was offering $50,000 for a successful flight across the...

Where Did President Grover Cleveland’s Cabinet Live?

Now this is a unique post for you. We came across a fascinating directory from the 53rd Congress (i.e., from 1893 to 1895 during Grover Cleveland’s second term in the White House). We wanted to do...

Swampoodle Grounds (near present day Union Station), also known as Capitol Park, was the home of the Washington Nationals baseball team of the National League from 1886 to 1889.

Check Out the Nationals of the 1880s

This fascinating old photograph shows the Washington Nationals playing at Swampoodle Grounds in the 1880s. Click on it for some amazing details. Source: Architect of the Capitol

The Horror of an Alexandria Slave Pen

The sad truth is that slave pens existed in and around all of Washington. This photo shows one of those in Alexandria during the 1860s. We dug these up at the Library of Congress. Source: Library...

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "Irish Free State legation, Florida Avenue." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Before Russia House, The Irish Free State

Some of you may go to Russia House this weekend for drinks with your friends. Some of you may not. But most of you have probably driven by this beautiful building at Connecticut and Florida at...

Amphibian aircraft on reflecting pool in front of Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. in 1923. (Harris & Ewing / Library of Congress)

Airplane Takes Off From Reflecting Pool Near Lincoln Memorial

What a fascinating and bizarre old photo from 1923. You’ll clearly never see something like this again, not unlike the one we shared from the White House of an airplane taking off. Source: Library of Congress

Never Built Hamilton Circle at Massachusetts and Idaho

Wait, Hamilton Circle? Do you know where that is? Probably not, because it was never completed. The neighborhood surrounding the circle was once dubbed Fairview Heights, which no longer seems to appear on any contemporary maps....

Why Is It Named Adams Morgan?

If you go to Adams Morgan on a regular basis, you should probably know at least the basic history of the neighborhood, which is actually the combination of several older Washington neighborhoods: Kalorama Triangle, Lanier Heights,...

A crowd lines up for the movie, "Love Letters," starrring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotton, at the Republic Theatre on the north side of the 1300 block of U Street, 1945-1946.

What Did U Street Look Like in the 1940s?

Check out this photo showing the old Republic Theatre at 13th and U St. back then. The theater opened up back on May 30th, 1921, one block west of the Lincoln Theatre, which still stands. Unfortunately,...

Rowhouses on the north side of K Street between 17th & Constitution.

Recognize Row Houses on K Street?

Back in the day, way back, there used to be fine row houses on K St. Now it’s overwhelmed by office buildings full of lawyers and lobbyists. Check out this beautiful old image showing row houses...

July 4th parade in Washington, DC

1919’s Fourth of July Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue

These great old photos we found shows the Fourth of July in our city way back in 1919.   Source: Library of Congress

Dietz’s German Beer Hall on 7th Street

Long gone are the days of the German beer hall in D.C., though some would argue that Brickskeller (ahem, Bier Baron) remains as one of the better ones. Well, it was great back in the day...

View of 15th & F Streets, NW looking east with horse carriages and a bicyclist pictured.

Horse Buggies at 15th and F Streets

This is certainly a scene you wouldn’t see today. How fascinating to see 15th and F St. with horse buggies clopping around. You’re looking east down F St. Source: Discover DC History Here’s the view today...

List of requirements for a municipal baseball stadium lease, including steps for building a stadium, the baseball club's rental obligations, the rights of the ball club, and the rights of the city.

Lease Requirements to Replace Griffith Stadium

The baseball nuts in the crowd are going to find this fascinating. Griffith Stadium off of Florida Ave. NW was where the old Washington Senators used to play baseball, and they were decent in the 1920s,...