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

Shopping on Sheriff

A Self-Reliant People


—Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail —

Shopping on Sheriff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 22, 2017
1. Shopping on Sheriff Marker
Inscription.  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.
Shopping on Sheriff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 22, 2017
2. Shopping on Sheriff Marker
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 Henry Parker opened Suburban Market and a filling station at 49th Place and Grant Street in 1944. Some 30 years later the marked moved to 4600 Sheriff Road. After Parker's death, his son Irving ran the market, while son Reginald opened a barber shop across the street. The Parkers supported neighborhood activities, including the Roper Recreation Center's baseball team.

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
Shopping on Sheriff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 22, 2017
3. Shopping on Sheriff Marker
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 their own homes and created communities where for years no one locked their doors, adults treated all children as their own, and children behaved accordingly. On this trail you will see rich parkland, handcrafted dwellings, and religious and social gathering places that have made Deanwood an oasis of dignity and self-determination for generations.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 9.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail marker series.
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 Northeast, on the right when traveling west on Sheriff Road Northeast. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4600 Sheriff Road Northeast, Washington DC 20019, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 (was approx. 0.3 miles away but has been reported missing. ); 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 AmericansIndustry & Commerce
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Credits. This page was last revised on March 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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