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Tag: 1850s

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Smithsonian Castle in 1856

What a lovely old photo of the Smithsonian Castle in 1856. Click on it for incredible details.

View of Georgetown D.C. / lith. and printed in colors by E. Sachse & Co.

View of Georgetown in 1855

This lovely painting shows Georgetown in the distance as it looked in 1855. Source: Library of Congress

Old State Department Building in 1857

Oldest Photo of State Department

This is the oldest known photo of the U.S. Department of State. The photo is from 1857 and shows the old State Department building, before it was located in Foggy Bottom, and even before it was located in the State, War, and Navy Building next to the White House. The building below is the old […]

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.

Beautiful 1857 White House and Conservatory Photo

Whoa. This one is amazing. James Buchanan was the president when this photo was taken — unless it was early that year, then it was Franklin Pierce. Source: Library of Congress The conservatory was eventually demolished to be replaced by the West Wing.

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1861, by D. McClelland, Blanchard & Mohun, Hugh B. Sweeny, and Thos. Blagden, in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the District of Columbia.

Incredible 1850s Map of Washington

Now this has to be one of the best maps we’ve come across recently. It shows Washington in the 1850s, marking all the buildings, roads, and rural property owners. It’s really fascinating to see all the large plots of land outside Boundary Street. Source: Library of Congress

1857 Inauguration

First Known Photo of Presidential Inauguration (1857)

This is an extremely rare photograph of James Buchanan‘s Inauguration at the East Front of the Capitol Building on March 4th, 1857. It’s a little blurry and not the highest resolution, but amazing nevertheless. The exposure took four seconds, which caused the blurriness of some of the people. It makes the photo a little spooky […]

Fisks' burial cases - 1853

1853 Ad for Air-Tight Burial Cases

Here’s a fascinating old advertisement sent in by a GoDCer. Nancy sent in an old ad for her great-great grandfather’s business. Source: GoDCer Nancy

1850s Construction Photos of Treasury Building

Here is a cool series of photographs from the 1850s, when the Department of Treasury’s building on 15th St. was under construction. Source: Library of Congress We have a couple other great photos of the Treasury Department posted here and here.

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 study it. I believe this is a view looking southeast, and the Washington Monument would be just out of the frame on the right. Correct me if I’m mistaken. Also, you should be […]

February 27th, 1857

Wanted: a Sober Man, Without Family

Know any sober gardeners in the area? If so, in 1857, the could have earned $200 per year, with room and board. Good Hope Hill is an area in, what is today, Anacostia. It was later the location of the German Orphan Home.

1854 train tickets

Washington to Chicago for $18 in 1854

This is an old advertisement for railroad tickets between Washington, Baltimore and points west. A ticket from Washington to Cincinnati was $11, Chicago was $18, and St. Louis was $26.50. That ticket to St. Louis is roughly $660 in today’s money. A direct flight from DCA to STL today is about $280. We found this […]

reward for stolen sailboat

$10 Reward for Stolen Sailboat

Here’s an ad in the paper that you’re not terribly likely to see today. It was printed in the Daily Evening Star on July 5th, 1854. Source: Library of Congress I couldn’t find anything about the boat being recovered.  

advertisement for bricklayers in 1853

Help Wanted: Bricklayers for the Capitol Extension (1853)

This is so cool. Montgomery C. Meigs placed an advertisement in the Daily Evening Star on August 1st, 1853, exactly 160 years ago today. Meigs was seeking skilled bricklayers to help in the expansion of the Capitol Building. If you want to see a great photo of the Capitol under construction during that time, check […]

omnibus advertisement - July 5th, 1854

Omnibus Advertisement from 1854

Now this is a cool old (really old) advertisement from the Daily Evening Star, printed on July 5th, 1854. It’s an advertisement for omnibus or coach service to Alexandria. Source: Library of Congress

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