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Category: Why Is It Named…?

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Why Is It Named Reston?

Robert E Simon purchased 6,750 acres of land in Fairfax in 1961 after his family sold Carnegie Hall in New York. He built a planned community with his initials RES and town as its name.

Major General Peter C. Haines, Retired

Hains Point: How Did It Get Its Name?

Hains point is named for Peter Conover Hains, a prominent Major General in the U.S. Army and served in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I.

Why Is It Named Meridian Hill?

Pierre L'Enfant had originally planned the City of Washington around a right triangle, with the eastern portion at the Capitol, the northern portion at the White House and the 90 degree angle close to where the Washington Monument sits today. Thomas Jefferson marked this spot in 1793 with a wooden post, which was replaced in 1804 with the Jefferson Pier.

Why Is It Named Adams Morgan?

The name Adams Morgan is from the names of two formerly segregated area elementary schools—the older, all-black Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School and the all-white John Quincy Adams Elementary School, which merged in 1955 following desegregation.

1921 map of Trinidad

Why Is It Named Trinidad?

Do you know why we have a neighborhood named after a Caribbean island? Find out how it's related to today's George Washington University too.

Looking eastward along the I-495 Capital Beltway in Virginia, east of Springfield, toward the Beltway bridge over the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac (RF&P) Railroad (today's CSX Railroad) in the distance. The highway was nearing completion but not yet open to traffic at this time. Notice that the roadway has three lanes, and that the roadway is paved with reinforced Portland cement concrete. When originally built, the Beltway in Virginia had six lanes (three each way) between I-95 at Springfield and across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and all the way through Maryland. This photo was taken in 1963 by the Virginia Department of Highways.

Origin of the Term “Beltway Bandit”

Career criminal Joseph Francis Fearon of Fairfax was the original ring leader of the “Beltway Bandits” of the late 1960s, robbing neighborhood homes neighboring the then-new Capital Beltway.

Eaton School children in the 1910s

Why Is It Named? The D.C. Public Elementary School Edition.

We have seriously slowed down our posts because Ghost Baby is growing up, and there’s also Ghost Baby #2. So Mrs. Ghost and I are of course very interested in the D.C. public elementary school system. Being the local history nerd, I wanted to dig into the history of a few city schools to uncover […]

George Calvert - Baron of Baltimore

Why Is It Named Maryland?

What's the origin of Maryland's name? And, what was the early pyramid scheme used to attract residents to the new colony? The answers may surprise you.

Why Is It Named Clarendon?

Clarendon started as a development off of the Georgetown to Falls Church road (now Wilson Blvd.) and the Washington, Arlington, Falls Church Railway.

Aerial view of Pennsylvania Avenue looking west, showing Federal Triangle and the National Mall. (2006)

Why Is It Named Federal Triangle?

Do you know the origin of the name "Federal Triangle"? Did you know that at one point the area was called "Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle"?

Why Is It Named LeDroit Park?

LeDroit Park was established as one of the first suburbs of Washington, D.C. It was named for a family member of the founders Amzi Barber.

Why Is It Named Mt. Pleasant?

Samuel Brown sold all the surrounding land of Pleasant Plains estate and named the remainder Mt. Pleasant because it invited the highest part of the original estate.

Why Is It Named Woodley Park?

The namesake in England no longer stands as it was torn down in 1962, but the one in Woodley Park is still there. In 1950 it became the property of the Maret School and currently serves as a library and administrative building.

Oak View - home of President Cleveland - Oct. 3, 1897

Why Is It Named Cleveland Park?

What is today Cleveland Park was an area for well-off Washingtonians to build their summer cottages. It was far enough away from swampy hot downtown and elevated to provide some breezy relief.

Tysons Corner history: What it looked like in 1936

What Is The History of Tysons Corner?

Tysons Corner or Tysons used to be called Peach Grove. William Tyson owned a farm west of DC which would become the site of a major shopping mall.

Welcome to the Palisades sign

Why Is It Named MacArthur Boulevard?

If you’re a fan of D.C. history, you’ll know that MacArthur Blvd. used to be called Conduit Rd. You probably also know that it was named for General Douglas MacArthur, the famous World War II general. But, the story behind it is a little more interesting than just renaming a street after a prominent American. […]

Tunlaw Rd. and 39th St.

Why Is It Named Tunlaw Road?

There once was a great suburban Washington estate called Tunlaw, in what is today Wesley Heights - the home stood at 45th and Klingle.

Glebe Rd. and 13th

Why Is It Named Glebe Road in Arlington?

Learn about Glebe Road. It dates back to the 1700s and initially was known as the "Road to the Falls" taking travelers from Alexandria to Great Falls.

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