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1870s

The Real Estate Directory of the City of Washington, D.C., Suburbs of Washington City, Serial Number 50 is a series of maps of recorded subdivisions beyond the city limits published by Faehtz & Pratt in 1874. Maps show streets, lot numbers and dimensions, property lines, and some building footprints. Landowners and estate names are included for large parcels. Outside of Georgetown, subdivision maps showing only property lines indicate that they were undeveloped at that time.

1874 Map of Suburban Mt. Pleasant

This is a great old map, about a decade earlier than this one of Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant. Click on it for a larger version to see more details. In this, Howard is Newton St. and Sheridan is Monroe,...

1874 Map of Georgetown’s Old Street Names

Check out this terrific 1874 map of Georgetown with the old street names. Source: Dig DC
Plat of Curtis & Burdett's subdivision of Carlin Springs, Alexandria County, Virginia : 260 ft. above sea level

Carlin Springs Subdivision Map from 1887 and 1890

Here is a map of the Carlin Springs subdivision in Alexandria, now Arlington County. Source: Library of Congress The above map shows the area south of Arlington Blvd. and east of S. Carlin Springs Rd. Check out the Google Map...
Ulysses S. Grant, full-length portrait, facing left, standing alongside his war horse, "Cincinnati"

Which President Got a Speeding Ticket on a Horse?

Ulysses Grant was arrested for directing by William West, an African-American metropolitan policeman. This is a great historical story.

Proposed 1873 Design for Library of Congress

This is what the Library of Congress could have looked like if Leon Beaver’s design from 1873 was selected. Here’s a second rendering of the building with some perspective. Check out a few more of his drawings here.
Swampoodle Houses

Irish Thief and Family Arrested in Swampoodle for Assaulting Officers

This is a colorful story for the lost neighborhood of Swampoodle. We came across the article in The Washington Post, printed on October 20th, 1879. Morris Connors, a notorious Swampoodle thief and rough, tumbled out of a restaurant on G near...
1873 Inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant

1873 View of Ulysses Grant’s Second Inauguration

Here’s an old print from 1873, showing Ulysses Grant’s second inauguration, looking down Pennsylvania Ave. Source: Library of Congress

Beautiful 1879 Panorama of Washington

What a cool series of old photos from 1879. We’ve published so many posts that we can’t remember if these went up before, but nevertheless, sharing them twice isn’t such a bad thing. Source: Library of Congress
map around the National Mall

1872 Street Paving Map of Washington

You think the roads are bad today, with all the potholes? I assure you, they were worse in the 1870s. Here’s a really cool old map that we dug up at the Library of Congress, marking the street pavements for...
Proposed design for the completion of the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

Unbuilt Proposed Design for Washington Monument (1877)

Check out this cool proposed design to finish the Washington Monument. Construction didn’t restart on the unfinished monument until 1879 after Congress appropriated another $200,000 to complete it. Below is one of the proposals on the finished design, from 1877,...