Deanwood in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Shopping on Sheriﬀ
A Self-Reliant People
—Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail —
Sheltered from the overt bigotry many African Americans experienced when venturing downtown, Deanwood shoppers of the 1950s patronized Sheriff Road's mostly African American businesses, including Mouse Gordon's tailor shop, Tip Top Grocery, Deanwood Pool Hall, Fat's Barber Shop, 4501 Soda Bar and Grill, a pharmacy, printer, and bakery.
Among the businessmen was Earl E. King, Sr., who started selling ice and coal from his home near Sheriff Road and 45th Place in 1925. King and his family also delivered ice for home iceboxes. In the late 1950s, he installed the only 14-home, self service ice machine in Northeast, still visible behind 4501 Sheriff Road. He also offered limousine service.
Al and Ida Mendelson were among the Jewish proprietors who ran businesses here. In the 1940s they lived above their Certified Food Market at 4400 Sheriff, where cash-strapped customers could simply sign "the book" and settle accounts later. Their son Maury developed "big burger" patties and sandwich steaks for sale to area restaurants. The Mendelsons sold the grocery in 1948 to focus on Murry's Steaks, offering wholesale frozen meat products. In its third generation, the business continues as Murry's family of Fine Foods, retailing in Washington and the Mid-Atlantic.
Another multi-generation business began when
Long a Country Town at the edge of Washington DC's urban center, Deanwood was forged out of former slave plantations during decades following the Civil War. It became one of Washington's earliest predominantly African American communities.
Greater Deanwood today encompasses the historic neighborhoods of Deanwood, Burrville, Lincoln Heights, and Whittingham.
In the 1800s, much of Washington's development followed decisions made by city leaders and investors, who favored areas northwest of Anacostia. Land here remained relatively untouched, and many streets were unpaved into the 1960s. Because builders chose not to apply racial restrictions on who could buy here, African American migrants found Deanwood welcoming, affordable, and convenient. The pioneering National Training School for Women and Girls, founded by Nannie Helen Burroughs (whose portrait appears on each Deanwood Heritage Trail sign), attracted educators to the neighborhood. New residents often built
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 9 of 15.)
Location. 38° 54.17′ N, 76° 56.188′ W. Marker is in Deanwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Sheriff Road Northeast and 46th Street NE, on the right when traveling west on Sheriff Road Northeast. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4600 Sheriff Road NE, Washington DC 20019, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. With These Hands (approx. 0.2 miles away); Designed to Compete (approx. 0.2 miles away); 100 Years of Afro-American History (approx. ¼ mile away); From Gardens to Garden Apartments (approx. 0.3 miles away); “What Magic Has Been Wrought Here” (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Whirl on the Ferris Wheel Lederer Gardens (approx. 0.4 miles away); From Rural to Residential (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deanwood.
Categories. • African Americans • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 5, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 69 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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