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

Holy Hill

Holy Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 1, 2018
1. Holy Hill Marker
Inscription.  "Holy Hill," the site of Georgetown University, the Convent of the Visitation, and Holy Trinity Church, has been the center of Catholic spiritual life in the nation's capital since its beginnings in the late-18th century.

Shortly after the platting of Georgetown in 1751, Roman Catholics, forbidden by law to worship publicly or have churches, gathered in "mass houses" to celebrate the Eucharist. After U.S. independence, Archbishop John Carroll of Maryland purchased land for five shillings to build an academy for boys and a parish church in Georgetown. The school founded in 1789 became Georgetown University, and in 1794 Holy Trinity Church began operating as the first Catholic Church in Washington.

The first congregation of Holy Trinity was marked by diversity. Here on a Sunday you would find blacks, some free, some slaves; Irish and German immigrants; and fifth of sixth generation Catholics from Maryland. Many parishioners traveled difficult roads or sailed the Potomac to celebrate long-denied sacraments.

In 1849-1851 a larger Greco-Roman church was built here on 36th Street. The original church at 3513 N was then used
Holy Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 1, 2018
2. Holy Hill Marker
as a convent and parish hall. Renovated in 1999, the 18th-century church kept its original footprint and steeple but created a pristine and modern interior in which to celebrate mass.

From its inception, Holy Trinity has had a close association with Georgetown University. In the early days, students regularly marched from the campus to Holy Trinity Church for Sunday mass in a uniform described as "plain coat and pantaloons of blue cloth and yellow buttons." They attended a memorial service for President George Washington here when he died in 1799.

President John F. Kennedy was also a parishioner of this church.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Art on Call marker series.
Location. 38° 54.405′ N, 77° 4.223′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of N Street Northwest and 36th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west on N Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1300 36th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Holy Trinity Parish (within shouting distance of this marker); John Fitzgerald Kennedy (within shouting distance of this marker); The Black House (within shouting distance of this marker); Holy Trinity Church (within shouting distance of this marker); La Casa Latina (within shouting distance of this marker); Hollywood on the Potomac (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Exorcist Steps (about 400 feet away); Poulton Hall (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Categories. African AmericansChurches & ReligionPoliticsSettlements & Settlers
More. Search the internet for Holy Hill.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.