Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Market Space: Yesterday’s Town Square
Civil War to Civil Rights
—Downtown Heritage Trail —
“Hay for the horses, produce for the table, live chickens for the pot, and a hat for your head.”
All this and more could be had right here during the Civil War. The triangular area just ahead to your left was called Major Space. The city’s sprawling City Market stood just to your left, where the National Archives is today.
The jumbled haymarket, indispensable in a world of horse-drawn vehicles, was just west of the City Market on Ninth Street. Up and down Pennsylvania Avenue a shopper could find clothing and other necessities in the little stores nestled between the city’s most popular boarding houses and hotels.
This area was the heart of 19th Century Washington. Seventh Street was the main route for farmers traveling to and from the city with their produce. During the Civil War, it was a strategic route for soldiers traveling to some of the 68 forts that surrounded the city. Pennsylvania Avenue linked the White House and the Capitol. For more than a century, the place where these streets crossed would be the city’s town square.
The Civil War (1861 - 1865) transformed Washington, DC from a muddy backwater to a center of national power. Ever since, the city has been at the heart of the continuing struggle to realize fully the ideas for which the war was fought.
Civil War to Civil Rights Downtown Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided tour consists of three distinct loops: West, Center, and East. Each one-mile loop offers about an hour of gentle exercise.
A free booklet capturing the trail's highlights is available at local businesses and institutions along the way. To download the free Civil War to Civil Rights Audio Tour, and learn about other DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CuturalTourismDC.org.
Erected by Tourism DC. (Marker Number .1.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civil War to Civil Rights marker series.
Location. 38° 53.567′ N, 77° 1.307′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 7th Street, NW south of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20004, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. National Intelligencer National Council of Negro Women (within shouting distance of this marker); Grand Army of the Republic (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Winfield Scott Hancock (about 400 feet away); 601 Pennsylvania Avenue (about 400 feet away); Protecting Consumers and Competition (about 400 feet away); Ceremony at the Crossroads (about 400 feet away); America's Main Street (about 500 feet away).
Categories. • Animals • Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 14, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,011 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on February 14, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 1, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on February 14, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.