Capitol Hill in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Washington Navy Yard: Maker of Weapons
Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail
After the War of 1812, the Navy Yard's shipbuilding dwindled. the Anacostia River was too shallow and remote from the ope sea for building large vessels. By the 1840s, weapons production dominated activities.
In 1886, the Naval Gun Factory was established. During World War II it was the world's largest, producing everything from precision gunsights to enormous 16-inch battleship guns. By 1962 missiles and aircraft made elsewhere had decreased demand for guns, so the factories closed. The yard became an administrative and supply center, with museums and parks. Operations slowed until 2001, when the Navy adapted dozens of manufacturing spaces for offices and the number of employees doubled.
The "castle" to your right is the old Navy Yard Car Barn, built in 1891 by the Washington and Georgetown Rilroad Company for a brief experiment with cable cars. Cars traveled
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 10.)
Location. 38° 52.604′ N, 76° 59.705′ W. Marker is in Capitol Hill, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 8th Street, SE 0 miles north of M Street, SE, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington Navy Yard DC 20374, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Washington Navy Yard: Serving the Fleet (a few steps from this marker); Latrobe Gate - Tingey House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Washington Navy Yard Leutze Park Gun Collection (about 400 feet away); Optical Tower - Second Officers House (about 500 feet away); Second Officer's House (about 500 feet away); The Center for Naval History - The Navy Museum (about 700 feet away); Leutze Park - Marine Corps Historical Center (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Capitol Hill.
More about this marker. [Illustration captions:]
"Awful explosion of the Peacemaker" by N. Currier illustrates the 1844 accident that led to the creation of the Navy Yard's weapons testing facilities. A gun exploded during a VIP demonstration test, killing President John Tyler's Secretaries of State and Navy and nearly killing the President himself.
Commander John A. Dahlgren, top, the "father of American naval ordnance, "created a modern-style research and development program in the 1850s and invented the distinctive
An electric streetcar, adapted from an earlier experimental cable car, awaits passengers on M Street in front of the Navy Yard Car Barn around 1902. In later years this building was known as the Blue Castle.
Over more than two centuries, the Navy Yard has expanded along the Anacostia riverfront, erasing the original shoreline as landfill was added. Employment peaked in 1944 at 26,000.
In 1943 the National Youth Administration sent Juanita Gray to work on a metal lathe at the Navy Yard for $45 per week.
Categories. • Military • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,805 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 4. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.