The Best Of

These are the best posts from Ghosts of DC, the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C.

Map of Original Land Owners in Washington City

The map was done in 1874 and represents Washington as it would have looked before 1792.

Really Old Pre-Civil War Photo of Washington

Now this is a really super old photo of Washington from around 1857. Click on it for a much larger version to...

1891 Map of Street Sweeping

Now this is interesting. It's a map from 1891 that shows the street sweeping schedule. Source: Library of Congress
freshman members of Congress 1947

Photo of Boyish Kennedy and Nixon

Whoa, this is cool. If you haven't seen this before, it's a photo from 1947 when both Kennedy and Nixon were member of the...
1916 bird's eye view of Washington

Cool 1916 Bird’s-Eye View of Washington

We can't remember if we posted this already, but it doesn't matter ... because it's sweet. This is a bird's-eye view of Washington, looking...
Nov 1982 | Crews work to complete the building of the tunnel near Forest Glen Station.

Vintage Washington Metro Construction Photos

How cool are these? We stumbled across them on Metro's Facebook page. Tunnel near Forest Glen
the Capitol Building

Stop Blaming Washington

Don't blame Washington for the failures of a dysfunctional Congress. We don't blame the city of New York for the financial implosion of 2008....

Three Things About the CIA’s Langley Headquarters

CIA headquarters are in Langley, Virginia and have been since 1961 when President Kennedy dedicated the new building.
In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.

The Capitol Dome Was Once Red

Remember the red Capitol Dome that we posted some time ago? Here's another great view of it. Source: Architect of the Capitol Below is the caption...
Lincoln Memorial in 1917

Lincoln Memorial Originally Built on Marsh Land

This is what the Lincoln Memorial looked like in its early days. This photo is from 1917, during construction of the memorial. Source: Library of...
Rayful Edmondvideo

Rayful Edmond: The Babe Ruth of Crack Dealing

Rayful Edmond III is an American former drug lord in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s. Edmond is largely credited with introducing crack cocaine into the Washington, D.C.
August 28, 1963. "Emancipator looking down on demonstrators. Participants in the March on Washington in front of the Lincoln Memorial and massed along both sides of the Reflecting Pool, viewed from behind Abraham Lincoln statue." Photo by James K. Atherton for United Press International.

Lincoln Memorial and “I Have a Dream”

What an incredible photograph. This is a shot over Lincoln's left shoulder, down onto the massive crowd watching the "I Have a Dream" speech...

Why Is Washington, D.C. Called the District of Columbia?

What does DC stand for in Washington, DC? Wondered why it's called the District of Columbia? What is the District of Columbia?
Washington Times pocket directory of apartments - 1914

1914 Directory of Apartments and Rent

Now this is cool. And, it's probably something that makes you a little nauseous, paying that ridiculous $2,300 in rent today. Check out the...
John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln , 1912

Other Proposed Designs for the Lincoln Memorial

These are amazing. This is a series of images depicting alternate versions of the proposed Lincoln Memorial. These we all designed in...
Rock Creek Parkway

1886 Plan to Fill In and Build Over Rock Creek

This is an awesome find. We dug up a fascinating article in the Washington Post from May 23rd, 1886. This was for...
F St. in 1970

Whoa. Neon Signed F Street in 1970

What a different city D.C. was back then. Check out this photo from DDOT. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos
Looking toward the west side of the United States Capitol building, a panoramic view of the city of Washington, D.C. shows the Mall area in the foreground before the railroad tracks were removed. A train is visible on the tracks. The domed structure in front of the Capitol is the Botanic Garden original octagonal greenhouse of 1859 and behind it the central pavilion added after the Civil War. The buildings were razed in 1932. The Botanic Garden was on a site previously occupied by the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Wow. Stunning Black and White Photo of the Capitol

This one is amazing. Thanks to the Smithsonian for posting it online. The caption says this is around 1900. Source: Smithsonian Archives
Photo shows night view of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., decorated with electric lights for the first inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008)

Beautiful 1913 Night Photo of Pennsylvania Ave.

You know you're freaked out about Gmail being down! This will distract you while you can't access your email.
Ballston pedestrian bridge (Wikipedia)

Why Is It Named Ballston?

Ball's Crossroads was established as a village in Arlington County in 1874, and in 1895, the official name was changed to Ballston.
construction of Memorial Bridge

Incredible View of Memorial Bridge Under Construction

This is a beautiful shot of the Memorial Bridge under construction, some time in the early 1930s. It's part of the Library of Congress'...