Reader's Choice, Three Things... / 30.03.2012

Your second major stop on the WABA "Down the Tubes" bicycle ride on Sunday is going to be the O Street Pumping Station, down by the Navy Yard. This is a beautiful old Beaux-Arts building from the early 20th century, and I'm a little jealous of you all, since I won't be on the ride to see it. So, our second "Three Things..." post in support of the WABA ride will be about this building.
From the Crazy Vault / 16.03.2012

I came across a sad and shocking article in the Washington Post from Saturday, July 20th, 1946. Three men jumped to their deaths off of three bridges in Washington. On Thursday, Samuel Hall, a Pullman porter living at 1327 T St. NW, jumped to his death off the 11th Street Bridge into the Anacotia River. He had been in a taxi with a Mrs. Pearson and her 9-year-old son. The details in the article are scant, but it says that he had been estranged from his wife for three years and she was separated from her husband. They had been arguing earlier in the day about visiting his family in Virginia.
Other Cool Stuff / 13.02.2012

Captain John Smith sailed up the Eastern Branch of the Potomac and was well received by the Nacotchtank, the Native Algonquin people in present-day Anacostia. The Captain's oldest map, published in 1612, marks the area as Natcotchtank. In 1621 the small sailing vessel, Tiger, headed up the Potomac from Jamestown, Virginia, with 26 men aboard. The goal of the trip was to trade corn with the Native Americans met by Captain Smith. The Nacotchtank ambushed the group and all the men were killed or taken prisoner. Henry Fleet was among those taken captive, and remained with the Natcochtank for five years, learning their language, customs and way of life. After returning to Jamestown, Fleet made a few more journeys up the river to trade with his former captors. On one trip in 1632, he described in great detail his journey upriver. An entry of importance in the journal was the first referral to the location with the anglicized name of Nacostine, rather than Natcotchtank. The next step in the etymology the name appears to be found in reports sent to Rome by the Jesuit fathers accompanying Leonard Calvert, the first Proprietary Governor of the Colony of Maryland. These reports refer to the area and the natives as Nacostine and add the prefix "A" to becoming a more recognizable Anacostines or Anacostans. John Smith's map below is pretty amazing. Click on it to get a blown up version of it.