Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

June 17th, 1911: Buy a Home in Columbia Heights

This is a fascinating real estate section to study. Click on it for greater detail and check out the ads for homes in Mt. Pleasant, Cleveland Park and Columbia Heights.

Newspaper Boys at the Capitol in 1912

Below is a photograph of five newspaper boys in front of the Capitol Building. It’s always great to see these photos accompanied with the names of those in the picture. We’ll see what we can dig...

April 1865. Washington, D.C. "John C. Howard's stable on G Street between 6th and 7th, where John H. Surratt kept horses before leaving town on April 1." From photographs pertaining to the assassination of President Lincoln, April-July 1865. Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown.

ZipHorse or Horse2Go?

Have trouble finding a horse to get groceries? Want to get out town for the weekend?  Look no further than John C. Howard’s stable on G St. This is another incredible photo from the 1860s with...

1919. "U.S. Army. Return of Washington, D.C., soldiers." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Soldier Returns Home From World War I

Here’s a powerful photo. The soldier looks absolutely thrilled to be back and hold, what appears to be, his baby. The baby, on the other hand, not so thrilled to be handled.

Rosslyn City, the Brooklyn of Washington - 1889

Rosslyn: The Brooklyn of Washington

This is great. It’s an advertisement from The Washington Post on September 8th, 1889. While we’re on the topic, do you know how it got its name?, or where Ballston got its name?

The home at 1730 to 1738 V St. NW

Hobbit Houses Near Boundary Castle and a Surprise Historical Connection

GoDC buddy Wayne has kindly requested some digging into the story of the “hobbit homes” on V St. NW. We’re happy to oblige as we are quite curious of their origins. So, this will be a...

Boundary Castle

Three Stories About Boundary Castle

Meridian Hill was once graced with the presence of a magnificent castle. Yes, a castle. Boundary Castle, also known as Henderson Castle and sometimes Prospect Castle, was the home of John and Mary Henderson. John, being...

1888 Map of Swampoodle

GoDCers love maps … and they love Swampoodle. If you’re unfamiliar with Swampoodle, it was a rough and tumble, working-class Irish neighborhood which was destroyed to make way for Union Station in the early 1900s (stay tuned...

man checking out parking meters in 1938

First Parking Meters in D.C.

Ugh, nobody likes parking meters. I always forget to have enough change, but thankfully, Parkmobile has saved the day. But, for our less fortunate grandparents, the installation of parking meters was a serious pain in the...

Why is it Named Clyde’s of Georgetown?

Do you know why it's named Clyde's? Read through to find out the origin of the popular Georgetown restaurant's name.

1878 Map of Bethesda District

This is a great one. We finally dug up a few good maps of the surrounding area, outside the District line. This shows Bethesda and a chunk of Montgomery County (why is it named Montgomery County?)....

History of the Telephone in D.C.

A Washington Post article from December 16th, 1928 celebrated the 50th anniversary of telephones in D.C. with a detailed history of its origins. The article mentions that there were 150,000 phones in the city, approximately one...

The Mason House on Analoston Island - 1903

The Mason House on Analoston Island

Here is a great contribution from GoDCer Mike. This property was purchased by Johanna O’Neil Copperthite and Henry was thanked personally by T.R. when he was elected president. We were always told that this island was donated to...

Thanksgiving in Park View (1924)

Here’s a photo we dug up on Shorpy. This is Park View in 1924, just before Thanksgiving. The man appears to be looking for the perfect bird for the family feast.

November 29th, 1906: Happy Thanksgiving

Here is an appropriate newspaper front page. This is from The Washington Herald on Thursday, November 29th, 1906 … “From a Little Acorn – A Sturdy Oak Did Grow.”

Washington, D.C., circa 1937. Exterior of the Happy News Cafe (described in a 1933 news item as "the new dietitian restaurant for the unemployed") at 1727 Seventh Street N.W. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Happy News Cafe on 7th St. in 1937

This is a photo from Shorpy of Happy News Cafe at 1727 7th St. NW. … and the best part, is that the building is still there, albeit, slightly altered. [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1727+7th+st+nw+dc&layer=c&sll=38.913660,-77.021496&cbp=13,81.76,,0,-3.59&cbll=38.913657,-77.021924&gl=us&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1727+7th+St+NW,+Washington,+District+of+Columbia+20001&ll=38.91366,-77.021496&spn=0.004433,0.010568&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&panoid=atG_wnyFip90fJVA6dd3ig&source=embed&output=svembed]

February 21st, 1885: Dedication of the Washington Monument

One of our more popular topics, and top Google search terms, is the Washington Monument. So, for the next post in our “In The Paper” series, we present to you, the front page from The National...

Emily Edson Briggs, aka "Olivia"

Official Etiquette in 1870s Washington

Last weekend, we stumbled across a great window into social life in 19th century Washington. “The Olivia Letters,” written in 1906 by Emily Edson Briggs, provides terrific insight into what our city was like, especially with...