1830s

1830 Georgetown Map

Here’s a cool old map of Georgetown from 1830. You’ll notice the street names have since changed. Wisconsin Ave. was High St., M St. was Bridge St., and you’ll notice east-west numbered streets. Source: Library of...
1835 map of Washington

Washington Almost Gave Georgetown Back to Maryland in 1839

Now here is an interesting article that we dug up in the old archives. We found an article in The Baltimore Sun, from January 28th, 1839, discussing the possibility of retroceding Georgetown to Maryland. Most of you...
1835 map of Washington

1835 Map of Washington, D.C.

Here is an old map of Washington before the retrocession of the western portion back to Virginia. This was when the territory had three cities within it: Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria, plus two counties in Washington...
1839 print of Pennsylvania Ave.

In 1839, There Were Cows at 7th and Pennsylvania

Seriously. This city has come a long way from lost sheep and cows on Pennsylvania Ave. Check out this print from 1839. Source: Library of Congress
Slave Market of American broadside (Library of Congress)

Slave Market of America

Below is a fascinating old broadside that we came across in the Library of Congress archives. Here is the description … A broadside condemning the sale and keeping of slaves in the District of Columbia. The...
Chain Bridge at the end of the Civil War (Library of Congress)

Why Is It Called Chain Bridge?

In 1872, Congress appropriated $100,000 for a bridge made of iron. Construction lasted until 1874, when it was rechristened "Chain Bridge" without chains.

All the Single Ladies … in 1837

In the 1830s, the Baltimore Sun was a far more prominent paper, covering the daily happenings of life in Washington City. We came across an interesting piece from the Baltimore Sun correspondent in Washington. You may...
Silver Spring, MD

Silver Spring: History of the Name and Neighborhood

Why is it named Silver Spring? Francis Preston Blair (i.e., Blair House near the White House) came across a mica-flecked spring in Acorn Park.
Bloomingdale row houses (source: gullivers-nest.blogspot.com)

Why Is It Named Bloomingdale?

It has been a really long time since we did a “Why is it Named…?” post, and since at least a quarter of GoDCers live in Bloomingdale (I totally made that number up), we are going to...
Smithsonian Castle in the 1870s (Shorpy)

The Smithsonian’s English Birth

Some of you may not be aware of this, but an Englishman, who had never set foot in America, provided the financial backing for the nation’s greatest museum: The Smithsonian Institution. James Smithson was a wealthy...
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