U.S. Census

Walter Johnson at 12 Years Old in 1900 U.S. Census

This is cool. We dug up a really rare U.S. Census record from 1900 showing the Johnson family of Humbolt, Kansas. Their 12-year-old boy would eventually grow up to be on of the greatest pitchers in...

1940 U.S. Census List of Residents in the Mayflower Hotel

We haven’t done one of these “They Were Neighbors” posts in a while, and we stumbled across this great collection of U.S. Census records from 1940. Below are all the pages listing the residents of the...
1300 block of Corcoran St. NW

They Were Neighbors: Five Families on Corcoran Street in 1890 … and a Feud

If you’re not a genealogy buff, you may not know this, but much of the 1890 U.S. Census was destroyed in a massive fire in January 1921. It was a tragic loss for genealogists and historians...
The Northumberland (Wikipedia)

Three Stories from the Northumberland Apartments

Faithful and extremely patient GoDCer Jeff requests some time ago that we do a piece on the Northumberland, just north of U St. Our apologies for the long delay in getting to your request, but hopefully...
Walter Spangenberg, captain in the Woodrow Wilson High School Cadet Corps at the school's Regimental Ball during WWII - October 1943 (Shorpy)

Walter Spangenberg of Woodrow Wilson High School Cadet Corps

This is a far more charming photo of Washington in 1943 than the mock execution being held on the grounds of Woodrow Wilson High School. More than likely, Spangenberg was in the background of that photo,...
1940 U.S. Census

1940 Census: D.C. Was Bigger Than Today, Housed A “Hobo Jungle Camp”

This is a guest post by Aaron. Newspapers called it a “New Deal Boom.”  The Great Depression was coming to an end.  The District’s peacetime population exploded as government grew and workers – men and women...
Colorado Building at 14th and G St. NW

The Crazy Family Problems of Real Estate Man William Matteson

Initially, this was going to be part of the previous post about Cathedral Highlands, but it was too good. This deserves it’s own post. Trust me when I say this is crazy. We learned from the...
Chevy Chase Circle (Wikipedia)

Three Things That Happened At Chevy Chase Circle

We haven’t done a “Three Things…” post in a while, so let’s go to the far reaches of the District, up to the Maryland line, and talk about some things you didn’t know happened there long...
Tivoli Theater (photo by Flickr user dbking)

If Walls Could Talk: Tivoli Theater Was “The Temple of the Arts”

You can’t walk past the Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights and not admire it, imagining what the surrounding streets were like in the late 1920s. The arrival of Harry Crandall’s new theater was a big deal...
Inside of lodging house and opium den in San Francisco, 1890s (Wikipedia)

There Was an Opium Den on Pennsylvania Avenue?

You may be aware of the blight that lined Pennsylvania Avenue in the 1970s with the proliferation of sleezy strip clubs and porn shops, but did you know that over 100 years ago, you could head...
Walter Reed Army Hospital flu ward circa 1919 (Shorpy)

Children Across D.C. Left Orphaned by Spanish Flu

I was researching a couple of stories and I came across an article that was so sad that I had to share it with you. It’s from the Washington Times on October 19th, 1918. The world was...
Miss Ann O'Connell (1924)

They Were Neighbors: Annie O’Connell and The Irish Block

Every time I see an old photo like this on Shorpy, I want to know more about the person staring back at me. Where did they live? What was their occupation? Who were their family members?...
Robert H. Muir's World War I Draft Registration Card (Ancestry.com)

Robert H. Muir: Manager of The Cairo

There were a couple of requests a short while back to do a post on The Cairo, the most famous residential building in the city. You can Google it or check it out on Wikipedia, so...
Smith Commons ground floor

If Walls Could Talk: Smith Commons

Curious about Smith Commons on H St. in DC? Check out our latest “If Walls Could Talk” post. The winner of our second IWCT poll is the H Street hot spot, Smith Commons (I don’t think...
Columbia Heights roller hockey (1926)

Before Ovechkin: Columbia Heights Roller Hockey

Before Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, we had Barkley, Morrow, Harrison, W. Whiting and H. Whiting
Mrs. Bliven Featured

This Ain’t Your Regular Soccer Mom

This photograph from 1908 caught my eye. It is of 28-year-old Mary A. Bliven (wife of Frank S. Bliven) and Bertha, her 7-year-old daughter, sitting in a 1907 Franklin Model D.
District National Bank, Dupont Circle (1924)

District National Bank Branch Office (1924)

WOW. This one is awesome. It’s a colorized photograph from 1924 and it shows cars lined up outside the District National Bank, Dupont Circle branch. I’ll need a little help locating exactly where this is. It’s highly...
The Looking Glass

If Walls Could Talk: The Looking Glass Lounge

This next installment of “If Walls Could Talk” will be the Petworth watering hole, The Looking Glass Lounge. This is one of my favorite places for a Sunday afternoon beer, especially in the warmer months, out...
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