Barry Farms in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Barry Farm Dwellings
An East-of-the-River View
—Anacostia HeritageTrail —
Just beyond this sign is the edge of Barry Farm Dwellings, built during World War II for African American families. The war had caused acute housing shortages, so people divided large homes into rooming houses, took in boarders, or crammed into apartments. In addition, the government built racially segregated dormitories and housing projects. This section of the old Hillsdale neighborhood was razed for Barry Farm Dwellings, one of ten projects built east of the river to house African American families. Residents had to show they had jobs, marriage licenses, and the ability to pay rent.
Hannah Hawkins was one of Barry Farm's first residents, arriving as a child in 1942. "It was a wonderful place," she remembered, though one with many rules: no laundry on the lines on Sundays and no playing on the grass.
Residents shopped in Almore Dale's market across Sumner Road (since razed). In turn the Dales and their neighbors enjoyed the activities of the Barry Farm Recreation Center.
The rec center brought residents together for movies, team sports, arts and crafts, and concerts. Dances and homework kept young people busy and out of trouble. Adults came for social and political activities. Junkyard Band, known for its hit single "Sardines," got its start at the center before making its name on the city's
Eureka Park, DC's first black-owned amusement park, occupied part of the Barry Farm site from 1895 to 1918. The park offered picnic areas, a merry-go-round, dancing, and live music. Both Eureka and its next-door rival Green Willow Park hosted conventions featuring nationally prominent African American speakers.
Erected 2013 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 3 of 20.)
Location. 38° 51.58′ N, 76° 59.707′ W. Marker is in Barry Farms, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue SE north of Sumner Road SE, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. On the grounds of Birney School behind a fence. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2501 Martin Luther King Ave SE, Washington DC 20020, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Roads That Divide (within shouting distance of this marker); Hillsdale (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Faith and Action (about 600 feet away); Grandpapa's Farm (about 600 A Navy Town (approx. 0.2 miles away); Barry Farm - Hillsdale (was approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Birney School (approx. 0.2 miles away).
Categories. • African Americans • Architecture • Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 2, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.