Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

A menu for bottle liquors room service at the Willard Hotel. (back)

Old Time Willard Hotel Room Service Menu

How cool is this find? We dug up this great old menu for the Willard Hotel’s room service at Discover DC History. Click on them for more details. This appears to be from the 1960s? Maybe...

Alexandria, Va. Steam frigate Pensacola. Photographs of the Federal Navy, and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy -- the Federal Navy, 1861-1865.

Civil War Steam Frigate Near Alexandria

These old Civil War photos of Alexandria are amazing. This one shows the steam frigate Pensacola in 1861, the beginning of the war. Click on it for some incredible details. Source: Library of Congress We also...

Alexandria, VA as seen from the air in 1919

Alexandria Viewed From an Airplane in 1919

This fascinating old photograph shows Alexandria, as seen from the air, in 1919. Click on the image to see some incredible details. Source: Library of Congress

1980s Friendship Heights Metro Construction

Do you remember living in Washington during the 1970s? How about when the Metro was being built up along Wisconsin Avenue? We dug up this great old article in the Washington Post from January 26th, 1978....

Evening star., May 07, 1904

1904 Capitol Hill Real Estate Ad

This cool old advertisement from 1904 shows some homes at 11th and D St. NE for sale. It looks like each building sold for $5,200 and could get rent of about $540 per year! Source: Library...

The Washington times., May 31, 1903, Magazine Features

Chevy Chase: Premier Among Washington Suburbs

This great old advertisement from The Washington Times was printed in 1913. Click on it for some great details and read through the copy. Source: Library of Congress Here’s an excerpt from the piece above. Chevy Chase...

Evening star., March 15, 1913, Page 4

Chevy Chase 1913 Real Estate Advertisement

We love digging up old ads from the papers like this one showing some great old real estate in Chevy Chase. You could get a great home in upper northwest back then for $6,500. Using the...

View on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.[Soldiers, civilians and children stand in front of a large brick corner building.]

Regular Life on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1865

This photo is a great moment in time, showing life on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1865, right at the end of the Civil War. Source: New York Public Library

Temple Court off D Street and Delaware, SW, Washington, D. C.

What Did Southwest D.C. Used to Look Like?

This old photograph shows Southwest D.C. as it looked in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Source: New York Public Library I can’t really even orient myself to where this is today as the place has...

F St. in the 1860s

Where Is This on F St. in 1865?

This wonderful old image from the 1860s shows F St. near the end of the Civil War. The details are quite incredible when you click on the photo. I’m a little confused as to where this...

The nation's capital circa 1933. "View of Washington Monument at night in Reflecting Pool." 5x7 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak.

Stunning Washington Monument at Night in 1933

This beautiful old photograph of the Washington Monument, lit up at night, was taken in 1933. Click on it for some great details. Source: Shorpy

If Walls Could Talk: Chez Billy in Petworth

I just went to Chez Billy (3815 Georgia Ave. NW) in Petworth for the first time the other day to grab drinks and some dinner with a buddy. I know, I’m late to the game, but...

Orville Wright’s Flight Record at Fort Myer in 1909

On July 27th, 1909, Orville Wright sets the flight duration record at Ft. Myer. The flight was over 40 miles with an average speed of also over 40 miles per hour. Source: Library of Congress Below...

Treasury Building in 1860

The Treasury Building in 1860, Before the Civil War

Do you recognize the Treasury Building? This photo shows it back in 1860, before the Civil War. Source: Library of Congress

Old Spanish Embassy at 1521 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Spanish Embassy on Dupont Circle in 1911

This photo of the old Spanish Embassy is from 1911, showing the building at 1521 New  Hampshire Ave. NW, just north of Dupont Circle. Click on it for better details. Source: Library of Congress Check it...

October 1935. Washington, D.C. "Capital Transit buses, F and 13th sts. NW." Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street.

What Did Metro Center Look Like in 1935?

This fascinating old photograph shows Washington at 13th and F St. NW in 1935. This area today is Metro Center. Click on it for greater details. Source: Shorpy

Old State Department Building, corner 15 Street and Pennsylvania Avenue - photo taken during the Civil War

Photo of the State Department During the Civil War

We posted a great old photo of the old State Department Building earlier. Here’s another, similar angle photo of the building, but much clearer. Click on it for some amazing details. Does anyone know why there...

Old State Department Building in 1857

Oldest Photo of State Department

This is the oldest known photo of the U.S. Department of State. The photo is from 1857 and shows the old State Department building, before it was located in Foggy Bottom, and even before it was...