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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Tenleytown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Reno City

Top of the Town

 

Tenleytown Heritage Trail

 
Reno City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 1, 2018
1. Reno City Marker
Inscription.  Before the Civil War (1861-65), the land behind you was part of the 72-acre farm of Giles Dyer. As a Southerner, Dyer depended on enslaved people to work his fields.

Because of its elevation, Dyers land was taken by the Union Army in 1861 for a fort and observation post. After the war, the Dyer family recovered the property, then sold it to developers. Soon "Reno City" lots sold for $25 with a $5 down payment.

Frederick "Fritz" Bangerter, a young Swiss immigrant, bought several lots to establish a dairy farm, raise a family, and build houses to rent. African Americans who had sought safety and work at Fort Reno during the Civil War also bought lots or rented Reno City houses, as did other white and black families. Many worked nearby as laborers and domestics. By 1900 Reno City was 75 percent African American with three black churches, a black Masonic lodge, and a black school among its 100 buildings. Generally black and white families lived side by side.

In 1902 the U.S. Senate Park Commission suggested preserving the city's historic ring of Civil War forts, including Reno, as parks. The plan was shelved,
Reno City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 1, 2018
2. Reno City Marker
but as land around Reno filled in with new housing for whites, federal planners again eyed Reno City as a good spot to create a park, schools, and reservoirs. Doing so would also satisfy those desiring to remove the aging, racially mixed enclave. Thus, between 1928 and the early 1950s, the federal government bought or condemned Reno City houses and razed them, dispersing the 80-year-old community and its businesses and institutions.
 
Erected 2010 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArchitectureCharity & Public WorkWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Defenses of Washington, and the Tenleytown Heritage Trail series lists.
 
Location. 38° 57.037′ N, 77° 4.731′ W. Marker is in Tenleytown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Memorial is at the intersection of 40th Street Northwest and Chesapeake Street Northwest, on the right when traveling south on 40th Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4646 40th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Civil War Defenses of Washington (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Reservoir / Reno City (about 400 feet
Reno City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 1, 2018
3. Reno City Marker
away); Fort Reno (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (about 500 feet away); Luis Alves De Lima E Silva (about 600 feet away); In Touch with the World (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tenleytown.
 
Reno City image. Click for full size.
1930
4. Reno City
The Reno City houses in the foreground of this 1930 view from atop the Tenleytown water tower were about to be removed for Alice Deal's playing fields. The apartment buildings seen at upper right are located on Connecticut Ave.
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
The Bangerter's House image. Click for full size.
circa 1890
5. The Bangerter's House
Frederick and Christiana Bangerter's Reno City home, 1890. Frederick stand to the left of the tree, with Christiana behind the fence under the window.
$5 Receipt image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 17, 2019
6. $5 Receipt
The receipt for Frederick Bangerter's $5 down payment on the lot.
Lillian Bangerter & Dolley, 1910 image. Click for full size.
By photo courtesy of collection of Eda Offett, 1910
7. Lillian Bangerter & Dolley, 1910
Because Bangerter couldn't read, he had customers place orders with colored tickets.
The Children of Francis Scott image. Click for full size.
By courtesy of collection of Spencer Scott
8. The Children of Francis Scott
The Children of Francis Scott pose on the grounds of Wilson High School across Chesapeake St. from the family's home. The family lost their house to the creation of Fort Reno Park.
Belt Road Market image. Click for full size.
9. Belt Road Market
Close-up of photo on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 173 times since then and 17 times this year. Last updated on March 8, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   4, 5, 6. submitted on May 19, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7, 8, 9. submitted on May 20, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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Apr. 4, 2020