“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Capitol Hill in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

At the Crossroads

Tour of Duty


—Barracks Row Heritage Trail —

At the Crossroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, September 8, 2018
1. At the Crossroads Marker
Inscription.  The large building that wraps around this corner was constructed as a department store in 1892 by Elizabeth A. Haines. She proudly advertised it as "the largest store in the world, built, owned and controlled by a woman." Back then extended families typically had six to fourteen people, and Haines knew that hundreds of potential customers passed this intersection daily.

More than a century earlier, before Washington's founding in 1791, Pennsylvania Avenue was a bumpy dirt road connecting the Maryland countryside beyond the Anacostia River to the port of Georgetown on the Potomac. Its stagecoach, cart, and carriage traffic grew with the new capital. Lewis DeBlois noted the traffic, and in 1795 he built one of the area's first taverns. It was once located ahead of you on the corner occupied in 2004 by a gas station. William Tunnicliff soon took over the tavern and it became known as Tunnicliff's Tavern. It offered food, lodging and spirits to travelers and residents here before he moved the business closer to the Capitol and its politicians.

Washington grew dramatically during and after the Civil War, and so did Eighth
At the Crossroads Marker [Reverse] image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, September 8, 2018
2. At the Crossroads Marker [Reverse]
Street. New businesses served the military and a growing population of government clerks and Navy Yard workers. When the widow Haines arrived in 1882, she and her children lived above a small store nearby on 11th Street. After ten successful years, she commissioned noted local architect Julius G. Germuiller to design this grand department store. Haines's store - "fifty stores in one" - was the largest enterprise here. Most others were modest family businesses like George J. Beckert's cigar store at 405 Eighth Street.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 2.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Barracks Row Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 53.037′ N, 76° 59.697′ W. Marker is in Capitol Hill, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Street Southeast and Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, on the left when traveling south on 8th Street Southeast. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 8th Street Southeast, Washington DC 20003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edge of the Row (within shouting distance of this marker); Commerce and Community (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Healing the Wounded (about 600 feet away); The Old Naval Hospital (about 700 feet away); Meet You At the Market (about 800 feet away); A Neighborhood For Everyone (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eastern Market (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oldest Post of the Corps (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Capitol Hill.
Categories. Industry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesWomen
More. Search the internet for At the Crossroads.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 9, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 69 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 9, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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