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1840s

Kalorama estate after the fire in 1865 (Library of Congress)

A Kalorama “Pic-Nic” With Wild, Romantic Scenery

“Kalorama” is a Greek word meaning “fine view.” It’s also the name given to one of the finest neighborhoods in Washington. Here is a quick “Why is it Named…?” The neighborhood takes its name from an old estate, formerly located...
Sam Houston

Who Was the First Senator From Texas?

The United States annexed Texas in 1845 and Sam Houston was elected with Thomas Jefferson Rusk to become the Longhorn State’s first two Senators. The former President of the Republic of Texas, and one of only four men to have...
Drawing shows stables in the foreground and view of the city of Washington from southeast with the United States Capitol on the right, the White House in center background, and the Smithsonian castle and Washington Monument on the left.

View of Washington in the 1840s

Here is a painting of Washington from the late 1840s or 1850s, done by Augustus Köllner. The view is from an angle south of the Capitol, looking northwest. We just came across this watercolor while digging through the Library of Congress archives.
Lincoln movie poster

Abraham Lincoln and The Black Code of the District of Columbia

I recently saw “Lincoln” with Mrs. Ghosts and was blown away by the history and power of the film. A number of visually stunning scenes depicted life in Washington during the waning years of the Civil War. The historic imagery and...
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.
General Post Office from the corner of 8th Street and E Street, NW, Washington, D.C., the shop of Elija Dyer, merchant tailor, on the left

One of the Oldest Photos on D.C. (1846)

Following up on our Postal Service theme from earlier today, here’s a great afternoon photo for you to stare at for a bit. It’s a daguerreotype taken by John Plumbe in 1846 featuring the post office at 8th and E...
1846 photo of the Capitol Building

Amazing 1846 Photo of the Capitol Building

Here is an amazing photograph (or daguerreotype) by John Plumbe taken in 1846. It shows the east front of the Capitol Building, noticeably different than it looks today. Source: Library of Congress
White House daguerreotype by John Plumbe, Jr. in 1846 (Library of Congress)

Earliest Photograph of the White House

This is an amazing old photograph of the White House taken by John Plumbe, Jr. in 1846. The 11th President of the United States , James K. Polk, was the building’s occupant, having succeeded President John Tyler just the year...
Picture of Washington (1840)

Making Sense of D.C. Taxes in 1840

I’m reading a very interesting book about Washington published in 1840 titled “A Picture of Washington.” I just got to the part where it starts talking about the taxes in the city … I have to share these with you...
Arlington House (Library of Congress)

Why Is It Named Arlington?

Arlington is the epicenter of recent college graduates working as paralegals, consultants or in information technology. They fill the high-rise apartments or group homes lining Wilson Blvd., Fairfax Dr. and the Orange Line from Rosslyn out to Ballston. Every Thursday...