Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Early African American Georgetown
Georgetown's first African Americans were brought as slaves to labor for the tobacco industry and for domestic service in the houses of wealthy tobacco merchants. Others came as freed men and women before and after the Civil War. Over time, in the face of laws and customs restricting right of African Americans, a self-reliant community formed that was centered on the church. Mount Zion United Methodist Church, at 1334 29th, is the oldest of the four African American churches remaining in Georgetown. Founded in 1816, it was a school, neighborhood meeting place and a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Land for Mount Zion was purchased from Alfred Pope, a prominent member of Georgetown's new African American leadership, who represented Georgetown in Congress in 1870. Originally a slave, Pope owned a wood and coal yard on 29th Street as well as real estate. By the 1920s, other African American businesses included an ice house on P Street, cobbler and tailor shops on O Street, the Districts largest feed store, and three pharmacies. The three black doctors made house calls even when signs put out warned of scarlet fever, diphtheria or smallpox. On a smaller scale, stands offered lemonade, grapes from backyard vines and local figs.
Rose Park, at 26th and O Streets, included an interracial playground, but when in
Fire alarm boxes such as this one (originally painted red) were installed in the District after the Civil War. In most boxes, the alarm was activated by opening a door on the front of the box and pulling a lever. An automatic telegraph system transmitted the box number to a central office that directed
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Creates Public Art Program
District Department of Transportation
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Citizens Association of Georgetown
The Charles Churchill Read Family
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
Location. 38° 54.414′ N, 77° 3.494′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of N Street NW and 29th Street NW, on the right when traveling north on N Street NW. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2903 N Street NW, Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stately Houses and Gardens (within shouting distance of this marker); The Colonial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mount Zion United Methodist Church and Heritage Center, and the Female Union Band Cemetery (about 400 feet away); John Laird (about 400 feet away); Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Parsonage (about 600 feet away); Epiphany Catholic Church (about 600 feet away); Ross and Getty House (about 600 feet away); Thomas Sim Lee Corner (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Industry & Commerce • Sports •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 51 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.