Mahaning Heights in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
“What Magic Has Been Wrought Here”
A Self-Reliant People
—Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail —
“No one more than the residents of this area knows what magic has been wrought here at Watts Branch,” observed the First Lady. Hundreds of volunteers had cleared tons of garbage, replacing it with flower beds, trees, and well-manicured grass. But Lady Bird Johnson's Capital Beautification initiative didn't stop with surface beauty. She raised America's awareness of the threats from pollution, urban decay, and lack of recreational opportunities.
Despite the attention to Watts Branch, city officials ignored the blight of Kenilworth Dump, formerly located across the railroad tracks to your right. Back in 1942, when they selected the dump's location, officials simply saw it as remote from downtown. They ignored how close it was to River Terrace, Deanwood, and surrounding communities. For decades, smoke from burning garbage polluted the air and land, and toxic run-off contaminated the landscape, Watts Branch, and the Anacostia.
Still people found ways
Long an 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 emcompasses 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.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 13.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 54.108′ N, 76° 56.551′ W. Marker is in Mahaning Heights, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Northeast and Minnesota Avenue Northeast when traveling east on Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Northeast. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. 100 Years of Afro-American History (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Designed to Compete (about 800 feet away); Eastland Gardens From Gambling to Garden Apartments (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shopping on Sheriff (approx. 0.3 miles away); With These Hands (approx. half a mile away); Fort Mahan (approx. 0.6 miles away); From Gardens to Garden Apartments (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mahaning Heights.
Categories. • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 8, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 7, 8, 9. submitted on May 11, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 10, 11. submitted on December 3, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.