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1900s

Willard Hotel in 1907

Here’s another lovely old photo showing the Willard Hotel way back in 1907.

Chevy Chase Map From 1907

This lovely old map shows the development in Chevy Chase in 1907. Looking at Connecticut Ave between Northampton and McKinley you’ll see that’s where they planned to put a public school. Today, that’s where the Chevy Chase library sits. Check...

1904 Columbia Heights Real Estate Ad

Check out this great old advertisement from The Evening Star back in 1904. It shows a number of great properties for sale in then-new Columbia Heights, which was booming with development. Source: Library of Congress

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Childs Restaurant, 1423 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Horse Dealers Claim Automobiles a Fad

This is a great old article that we dug up in The Washington Post from May 14th, 1900. We see this same ignorance or protectionist tendencies to this day. Look at taxis versus Uber and Lyft, or hotels versus AirBnB. We...

The President's 40-horsepower White Model M steam-powered touring car. March 1909. Photographed on the White House grounds in the early days of the Taft administration. In the back is the State Department, now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. George Grantham Bain Collection.

U.S. Senate Imposes 50 Percent Tariff on Foreign Cars

No more foreign cars! They’re an abomination and a detriment to our economy … and society at large. Or so said many nearly 110 years ago. No, this wasn’t Trump’s America, it was the land of Roosevelt and Taft. Below...

Wright Brothers plane over Ft. Myer in Arlington - 1909

Wright Brothers Fly Over Fort Myer in 1909

We posted another piece about this event a while back. This is a much higher resolution image from the event at Fort Myer. Source: Library of Congress

Lord Fairfax House

Then and Now View of Lord Fairfax House in Alexandria

Here’s a great photo of the Lord Fairfax House at 607 Cameron Street in Alexandria. By the way, Lord Fairfax was the Baron of Cameron, hence the street name. Source: Library of Congress And here’s the Google Street View today.

Washington, D.C., circa 1906. "Senator George P. Wetmore, Rhode Island."

Can You Identify This 1906 Building?

Whoa, how cool is this old colorized photo. You’re looking at a “horseless carriage” back in 1906. The passenger is Senator George P. Wetmore of Rhode Island. Can anyone identify the building in the background? Source: Shorpy Here is the...

Incredible 1904 Photo of the Willard Hotel

This is one of the best photos we’ve uncovered in quite a while. Click on it for more. This is the new Willard Hotel around this year 1904. What a beautiful building, which thankfully still stands. Source: Library of Congress

1903 map of area around today's World Bank

The Area Around the World Bank in 1903

Thanks for the great opportunity to speak at the World Bank today. I gave the room a sneak peek at this map today and am posting it for all others now. Check it out below. Source: Library of Congress

Stunning Old Raleigh Hotel, Lost Forever

You’re going to love this amazing photo of a long-lost building in our city. You’re looking at the old Raleigh Hotel, formerly located at 12th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. It’s so sad that these iconic structures were taken down. Source:...

House Chamber of the Capitol circa 1908, with a quorum of ghosts in this time exposure.

U.S. House of Representatives in Better Days

This photo shows the old United States House of Representatives in a time when laws were passed, senators would verbally spar on the floor, and spend the evening socializing over whiskey and cigars. The good old days.

Tennallytown in 1903

What … did I spell this incorrectly? Nope, but you should checkout this post about the history of the neighborhood’s name. This map shows the area back in 1903 and it’s fascinating to see up close. Source: Library of Congress...

1903 Map of National Mall’s East End

Okay, it’s been a really long time since we posted anything. Life gets busy when you have Ghost Toddler and a new Ghost Baby. But, a few extra hours after an evening when they both went to bed at a...

Never Built Hamilton Circle at Massachusetts and Idaho

Wait, Hamilton Circle? Do you know where that is? Probably not, because it was never completed. The neighborhood surrounding the circle was once dubbed Fairview Heights, which no longer seems to appear on any contemporary maps. Here’s the full map...

Evening star., May 07, 1904

1904 Capitol Hill Real Estate Ad

This cool old advertisement from 1904 shows some homes at 11th and D St. NE for sale. It looks like each building sold for $5,200 and could get rent of about $540 per year! Source: Library of Congress And this...

The Washington times., May 31, 1903, Magazine Features

1903 Chevy Chase Advertisement

This great old advertisement from The Washington Times was printed in 1903. Click on it for some great details and read through the copy. Source: Library of Congress Here’s an excerpt from the piece above. Chevy Chase is purely a social...

Orville Wright’s Flight Record at Fort Myer in 1909

On July 27th, 1909, Orville Wright sets the flight duration record at Ft. Myer. The flight was over 40 miles with an average speed of also over 40 miles per hour. Source: Library of Congress Below is film footage from...

1909 map of the Palisades

Great 1909 Map of the Palisades

Mrs. Ghost, Ghost Baby, and I spent a nice Saturday afternoon celebrating a birthday at a lovely home in the Palisades. The two parents of the young birthday child (and GoDCers) have a great home with the former Glen Echo Electric...

Washington Post headline

Shots End Alexandria Saloon Brawl

The sub headline for this article was “Walter Bryant Hurls Beer Bottle and Edward Bryant Uses Pistol.” Who do you think won that fight? We dug up this wild article in The Washington Post, printed on April 24th, 1908. Three days...

1900 Howell & Taylor map of Arlington showing early Clarendon

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.

Potomac River

Tragic Potomac Drowning Ends Romance

This is a sad story that we came across in The Washington Postfrom June 29th, 1908. John McCalip, 22 years old, an electrician, at the Senate office building, was drowned yesterday while swimming in Broad Creek, on the Maryland side of...

Taken by Sidney Duff in Washington, DC. Union Station was completed in October 1908. Here, only one of the six statues have been installed over the entrance. Another photo from the set shows the Tidal Basin frozen over, causing me to guess that this is January 1908.

Union Station Under Construction

This is a terrific photo that we dug up on Flickr. It shows Union Station under construction in the early 1900s. We also cross-posted this on Cool Old Photos. Source: Rob Ketcherside

1906 Coca-Cola Advertisement

We love old ads here at Ghosts of DC and this is a great one from The Evening Star, printed on June 24th, 1906. Source: Library of Congress Three weeks later, Alfred Dreyfus was exonerated, bringing an end to the...

1906 map showing the original boundary milestones of the District of Columbia

1906 Map of All D.C. Boundary Stones

Working under commissioners that President Washington had appointed in 1790 in accordance with the Residence Act, Major Andrew Ellicott led a team that placed these markers in 1791 and 1792.

Third in a series of four panoramic photographs of Washington, D.C., from left to right (west to east) taken from a tower in the Smithsonian Institution Building. The Mall area is covered with trees. The streets on the left perpendicular to the Mall are 12th Street and 11th Street. The long building on the right is Center Market bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Avenue, 7th and 9th Streets, N.W. Up and behind Center Market on the right, the large building is the Pension Bureau Building bounded by F and G Streets, N.W., between 4th and 5th Streets, designed by General Montgomery C. Meigs, completed in 1887, later occupied by many government agencies and now known as the National Building Museum

Why Does the National Mall Look the Way It Does?

What do you think? Is Washington the most beautiful city in the world? I have to believe that I’m biased, but I do think it is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Okay, there’s Paris, Vienna,...