Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Logan Circle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Logan Circle, Just Ahead

A Fitting Tribute

 

—Logan Circle Heritage Trail —

 
Logan Circle Just Ahead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
1. Logan Circle Just Ahead Marker
Inscription.
Front:
Some of the City's finest Victorian Houses ring Logan Circle. While the area appears on the L'Enfant Plan of 1791, it took Alexander “Boss” Shephard's improvements to make these grand houses of the 1870s and '80s possible.

Three Union leaders of the Civil War set up housekeeping on the new Iowa Circle, as Logan Circle was originally named. General Eliphalet Whittlesey of Number 8 worked for the Freedman's Bureau after the war and helped start Howard University. Captain Allen V. Reed, wartime commander of the USS Kansas lived at 6 Logan Circle; his daughters remained there into the 1930s. General Benjamin Brice, Paymaster general, lived at number 20.

Most notable was former Union Army General John A. Logan. On June 12, 1885, African American bands played and a crowd cheered as Logan arrived home at Iowa Circle. The recently re-elected U.S. senator from Illinois was known for promoting civil rights and establishing Memorial Day in 1868. After thanking the crowd, Logan invited all inside, where he reportedly shook a thousand hands. In 1901 veterans joined Congress to fund the circle's monument to Logan.

By 1930 nearby Howard University had attracted many affluent black families to Logan Circle. With U Street's “Black Broadway” so close, and segregation
Logan Circle Just Ahead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
2. Logan Circle Just Ahead Marker
barring African Americans from white-owned hotels, entrepreneurs converted some large houses into lodgings that catered to black travelers. Myrtle Williams, who opened the Cadillac Hotel at 1500 Vermont Avenue in 1941 explained, “We like to travel, but we could never find a decent place where a colored person could lay his head.” The Negro Green Book listed DC's welcoming accommodations.

Back:
The Logan Circle Neighborhood began with city boosters' dreams of greatness. The troops, cattle pens, and hubbub of the Civil War (1861-1865) had nearly ruined Washington, and when the fighting ended, Congress threatened to move the nation's capital elsewhere. So city leaders raced to repair and modernize the city. As paved streets, waster and gas lines, street lights, and sewers reached undeveloped areas, wealthy whites followed. Mansions soon sprang up around an elegant park where Vermont and Rhode Island Avenues met. The circle was named Iowa Circle, thanks to Iowa Senator William Boyd Allison. In 1901 a statue of Civil War General (and later Senator) John A. Logan, a founder of Memorial Day, replaced the park's central fountain. The circle took his name in 1930. The title of this Heritage Trail comes from General Logan's argument that Memorial Day would serve as "a fitting tribute to the memory of [the nation's] slain defenders."

As
Logan Circle, Just Ahead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 2, 2017
3. Logan Circle, Just Ahead Marker
the city grew beyond Logan Circle, affluent African Americans gradually replaced whites here. Most of them moved on during World War II, and their mansions were divided into rooming houses to meet a wartime housing shortage. By the 1960s, with suburban Maryland and Virginia drawing investment, much of the neighborhood had decayed. When civil disturbances erupted after the 1968 assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it hit bottom. Ten years later, however, long-time residents, newcomers, and new city programs spurred revival. A Fitting Tribute: Logan Circle Heritage Trail takes you through the neighborhood's lofty and low times to introduce the array of individuals who shaped its modern vitality.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC, Logan Circle Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 6 of 15.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington DC, Logan Circle Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.641′ N, 77° 1.75′ W. Marker is in Logan Circle, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Vermont Avenue NW when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1532 Vermont Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
Boss Shephard image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
4. Boss Shephard
Alexander “Boss” Shephard promoted Logan Circle's development in part because he owned land here.
Close-up of photo on marker
of this marker. If These Mansions Could Talk (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles M. “Sweet Daddy” Grace Residence (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pratt House (about 400 feet away); Belford V. Lawson and Marjorie M. Lawson Residence (about 400 feet away); John Logan Memorial (about 400 feet away); Major General John A. Logan (about 400 feet away); 6 Logan (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Logan Circle (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Logan Circle.
 
Categories. African AmericansMan-Made FeaturesWar, US Civil
 
General Elphalet Whittlesey image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
5. General Elphalet Whittlesey
General Elphalet Whittlesey A founder of Howard University.
Close-up of photo on marker
General John A. Logan & Family image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
6. General John A. Logan & Family
This 1887 tribute to the man who created Memorial Day sold to his admiring public shortly after his death. The engraving commemorates John A. Logan's achievements as a politician, military leader, and family man. The deathbed scene was a typical expression of mourning.
Close-up of image on marker
Death Bed Scene image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress, November 30, 2014
7. Death Bed Scene
Detail of Kurz & Allison card.
Benjamin Brice image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
8. Benjamin Brice
Early Logan Circle resident General Benjamin Brice.
Close-up of photo on marker
Generals of the Army of the Potomac image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
9. Generals of the Army of the Potomac
John A. Logan , for whom Logan Circle is named, posed in June 1865 with other generals of the Army of the Potomac from left, Horatio G. Wright, Logan, George G. Meade, John Grubb Parke, and Andrew A. Humphreys.
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
Black Broadway image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
10. Black Broadway
Among the nearby Black Broadway attractions of the 1930s: Club Prudhom.
Close-up of photo on marker
Jackson's Tourist Home image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
11. Jackson's Tourist Home
13th and “O” Street N.W.
Close-up of photo on marker
The Negro Motorist Green Book image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
12. The Negro Motorist Green Book
This page from the 1940 Negro Motorist Green Book, shows listings for DC.
Close-up of photo on marker
  8 Logan Circle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
13.   8 Logan Circle
This house was the home of General Eliphalet Whittlesey before it belonged to Belford and Marjorie Lawson.
  6 Logan Circle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
14.   6 Logan Circle
This green serpentine stone mansion was the home of Captain Allen V. Reed.
  4 Logan Circle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 30, 2014
15.   4 Logan Circle
John A. Logan's House
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 8, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 393 times since then and 72 times this year. Last updated on December 2, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 8, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3. submitted on December 2, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on January 8, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement