Posts Tagged DC Public Library
Washington City schools once had separate boards for its “colored school” and white schools. In the early 1930’s there were only “white schools” in Anacostia. The Birney School, named after abolitionist James G. Birney, outside of Old Anacostia at the junction of Howard Avenue and Nichols Avenue was the local “colored school.” Today the building still stands as the Thurgood Marshall Academy.
The “white schools” located on this map are Ketcham Elementary School which today is at the corner of 15th Street and Good Hope Road, formerly Adams Street and Good Hope Road, and the Van Buren School and the Van Buren Annex which were on W Street, formerly Jefferson Street, and V Street, formerly Washington Street.
Anacostia High School, which was built in 1935, is not represented on the map. Additionally, the old Saint Teresa School, which opened in 1908 and is now abandoned, was a Catholic School and is not represented in this map of city schools.
This 1930 map from the collection of the Washingtoniana Division – Special Collections Department of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library shows Anacostia and surrounding environs pre-Suitland Parkway, which opened in 1944, and pre-Interstate-295, which opened in the 1950s
You might notice the train tracks that were still in use…
Map of the Permanent System of Highways; District of Columbia: Prepared Under the Direction of the Engineer Commission in the Office of the Surveyor, 1930
Although changes are slowly creeping through Anacostia there remain many vacant lots within the residential area and numerous parking surfaces lining the commercial strip. Here is a map from 1980 that diagrams the varied land uses in Anacostia. Notice any significant differences?
Yellow: detached and semi-detached dwellings
Brown: row dwellings
Salmon: flats/garden apartments
Burgundy: mid and high rise apartments
Orange: retail, office and hotel
Green: parks, open space and cemeteries
Light blue: local public facilities
Dark blue: private institutions
Blue: federal facilities
White: vacant or parking
“Indian Fort of the Anacostia River and Review of Anacostin Tribal History in the District of Columbia” by Louis Dow Scisco (1955)
The old Indian fort at the Eastern Branch is not important historically, but its former existence lends a touch of glamour to the vague picture that we have of the District of Columbia in the early colonial period. It is natural that one should become curious about the position where the old fort once stood as a remaining relic of the Indian life that was here. In his research on the question of location the writer was fortunate in being able to reach the Poplar Point section before the destruction wrought by modern engineering. He came in time to see the old vestigial ridge, to trace the former shore line of the estuary, to wander over the ancient hillside of the valley slope, and to look down on Stickfoot Creek in its narrow ravine. He can. therefore, write of these features with knowledge. although they no longer exist at this later day.
Evening Star, 5 December 1891, p. 7