Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

cab stand at McPherson Square

1919 Cab Stand at McPherson Square

This was a time when cabs were pulled by horses. And this photo shows a cab stand at McPherson Square around 1918. We dug this up at a new site that we stumbled across, Documentarist.

Penn Oil Company on Q Street

Penn Oil Company on Q Street in Georgetown

This photo was taken in 1920 or 1921. It shows the old Penn Oil Company, located on Q Street in Georgetown. Ads of the day had a gas station at 27th and Q St.

Partners in Preservation … Don’t Forget to Vote!

Preserving our history and heritage is really important. That’s one of the reasons why I started this blog last year. Partners in Preservation is holding a competition between 24 local sites to earn a $1 million...

Washington, D.C. Georgetown ferry-boat carrying wagons, and Aqueduct Bridge beyond, from rocks on Mason's Island (Library of Congress)

Civil War Photo of Georgetown Ferry Boat

Wow. What amazing detail in this photograph. Click on it to view the larger version (and you’ll probably spend about 15 minutes staring at it).

Five Shot on 7th St. NW; Death Momentarily Expected

Now this is a crazy story. It was published in the Washington Times on Friday, March 20th, 1914. Braving a fusillade of shots in which three persons had fallen, Policeman J. L. Edwards, of precinct 8,...

Central High School stadium in the 1910s

Great Old Photos of Central High School

GoDCer Gail wrote in the other day about Cardozo High School (i.e., old Central High School) and wanted to know if we had some more photos of the school. We did dig up a few more,...

Carte geographique, statistique et historique du District de Colombie

Carte Géographique, Statistique et Historique du District de Colombie

Here is a very unique map of Washington, D.C. from 1825. This is (obviously) a French map and it comes from an incredible map collection we stumbled upon, run by David Rumsey. Source: David Rumsey map...

Georgetown University from observatory (Library of Congress)

Incredible Early 20th Century Photo of Georgetown University

This is an amazing old photograph with incredible detail. This was dug up in the Library of Congress archives.

Apple Store in Georgetown

If Walls Could Talk: Apple Store in Georgetown

If you have an iPhone, iPad or any other Apple product, chances are, you’ve set foot in an Apple Store … and if you live in Georgetown, it was likely the one at 1229 Wisconsin Ave....

View of the suburbs of the city of Washington

1790s Views of Washington

These are some great prints of Washington as it looked in the mid-1790s. They were done by George Isham Parkyns and they show a slightly different and more pastoral landscape. Here is the print of the Potomac...

Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C. by John Muller

Vote for an Original GoDCer and Help Him Out!

John Muller has been an avid and early supporter of Ghosts of DC, contributing a few posts of his own. He wrote an excellent book about Frederick Douglass recently and now I’d like to rally the...

Washington, DC from the air in 1924

Capital City of the World’s Greatest Nation as It Looks From an Airplane

That’s a really long title, but this is an awesome old photograph of Washington, from the air, taken on August 29th, 1924.

Jordan Zimmermann in action

Jordan Zimmermann and the Big Train

Jordan Zimmermann’s stunning 1-0 one-hit victory over the Cincinnati Reds Friday night quite possibly was the best pitching performance for the Nationals since baseball returned to Washington in 2005. Zimmermann, however, would have to hurl five...

Washington, D.C., July 11, 1939. There comes a time each year when things around Capitol Hill need a bit of fresh paint, flagpoles no exception. Here is the flagpole over the Senate Office Building getting its new paint job, curiously enough, from a steeple-jack named Tarzan--Jack Tarzan

Tarzan Paints the Senate Flagpole

This is an interesting photo of a man precariously perched on a flag pole near the Capitol Building. It was taken on July 11th, 1939 as the man (Jack Tarzan) was painting the flagpole. The safety...

Bird's-eye view of the east Capitol grounds, including the Greenough statue of George Washington, and East Capitol Street taken from the dome of the U.S. Capitol.

Incredible 1860s View of East Capitol Street

This is a terrific old photograph of East Capitol St., before a street was even there. This was from the Library of Congress, and apparently was mislabeled as Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. This too was taken...

pepper will make you sneeze

Pepper Thief Makes Narrow Escape

This is a story about a creative, and poorly armed, burglar in Kalorama back in the 19th century. Below is an amusing article from the Washington Post from June 21st, 1898. The burglar who entered the...

Chevy Chase Club in the 1920s

Photos of the Chevy Chase Club in the 1920s

These are a couple great photos of Chevy Chase Country Club in the 1920s, thanks to the Library of Congress.  

view of the Capitol Building in 1888

Bird’s Eye View of the Capitol from Post Office in 1888

This is a terrific old photograph from the Library of Congress. It’s a great view of the Capitol Building from the old post office on F Street (now Hotel Monaco). It was taken by William M....