Tenleytown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
On the Circle
Top of the Town
—Tenleytown Heritage Trail —
Directly across the circle is Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church. Founded as Mount Tabor Baptist Church in 1880, it first occupied land donated by parishioner Mary Burrows at 4620 Wisconsin Avenue. When the city widened the avenue in 1924, nearly erasing its lot, the church moved. This building is its third home.
The handsome stone structure on the rise behind you was the Seminary of Our Lady Immaculate, established in 1905 by the Sisters of Providence. Immaculata
(Marker reverse, same on all markers in this series)
Tenelytown’s story begins with Native American footpaths that crossed at the highest natural elevation in what became Washington, DC. European settlers broadened the paths into roads, and in the late 1700s the enterprising John Tennally opened a tavern at the intersection of today’s Wisconsin Avenue and River Road. Soon a community known as Tennallytown surrounded the tavern. Until the early 1880s Tennallytown remained a village amid rural Washington County, where about a dozen tightly knit and often inter-married families dominated daily life. Then modern transportation made Tenleytown easily accessible to downtown and pushed it into the 20th century.
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail shows you where, during the Civil War, the Union Army created Fort Reno. See where a mostly African American community grew up on—and eventually was erased from—the grounds of the old fort. Discover traces of Tenleytown’s rural past. Witness the neighborhood’s important role in both world wars. And discover where legendary
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided tour of 19 signs, just under three miles, offers about two hours of gentle exercise.
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail, a free booklet capturing the trail’s highlights, is available in both English and Spanish language editions at local businesses and institutions along the way. To learn about other DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail is produced by Linda Donavan Harper, Alisha Bell, Laura Brower, Mara Cherkasky, Sarah Fairbrother, Helen Gineris, Elizabeth Goldberg, Carmen Harris, Pamela Jafari, Jane Freundel Levey, Akilah Luke, Yillah Rosenfeld, Leon Seemann, Frank Stewart, and Pat Wheeler of Cultural Tourism DC in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Tenleytown Neighbors Association, the Tenleytown Historical Society, and the Tenleytown Heritage Trail Working Group. Special thanks to Working Group Chair Carolyn Long and Historian Carole Abrams Kolker, and Working Group Members Pat Morders Armbruster, Ed Ashe, Lynn Bergfalk, Cheryl Browning, L.S. "Bill" Chamberlain, Jr., Rev.
Thank you also to ANCs 3E and 3F, Jim Anderson, Jean Bathurst, Brian Bowers, Yvonne Carignan, Jane Charter, Dustin Davis, John and Linda Derrick, James Embrey, Kathleen Franz, Pamela Gardner, Matt Glassman, Nicole Goldman, Mark Greek, Ashley Hair, Jeannette Harper, Ron Harvey, Faye Haskins, Mary Herbert, Judith Helm, Bill Jarrett, Joel Kemelhor, Maryanne Ball Kendall, Brian Kraft, Susan and Greg Lewis, Camille Martone, Lisa McCarty, Susan McElrath, Alison McWilliams, Eda Offutt, Elvi Moore, Anne Manoukian Page, Eddy Palanzo, Lewis Parker, Khalim Piankhi, Brian Porto, Bill Reeves, Priscilla D. Ricker, Nelson Rimensnyder, Donna Burrows Rose, Kathryn S. Smith, Barbara D. Tate, Barry Tillman, Rebecca Trachtman, Emma Byrum Weaver, Hayden Wetzel, Jerry Wheat, and Bruce Yarnall.
Photo of Fort Reno Park water towers (1928) on
(Marker shows a copyright dated 2010.) Design by Karol A. Keane Design, Map by Bowring Cartographic.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 14.)
Location. 38° 56.773′ N, 77° 4.753′ W. Marker is in Tenleytown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Tenley Circle and Yuma Street at Wisconsin & Nebraska Avenues, N.W., on the right when traveling south on Tenley Circle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20016, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. To the Rescue (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Country Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Spirit of Community (approx. 0.2 miles away); For the Children (approx. ¼ mile away); In Touch with the World (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Reno (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Civil War Defenses of Washington (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tenleytown.
More about this marker. There are a number of photographs on the marker.
♦ Caption of large photograph above text on the reverse (common)
♦ Caption of large photograph above text, “Immaculata Seminary students practice archery.”
♦ Upper right inset, “The 1903 view shows Immaculata Seminary and St. Ann’s Church before Tenley Circle was built.”
♦ Starting below, counterclockwise, “The Immaculata basketball team, 1963.”
♦ “Despite two years of protests including the one at right, Immaculata closed, holding its final graduation in 1986, ♦ below.”
♦ “Young members of Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church, above, and a Sunday School class, 1950s” ♦ to the right.
♦ “Inside Gauley’s Pharmacy, 1939.” above.” The building is visible at the right edge of this 1950s view of the Wisconsin Ave. streetcar” ♦ on the left.
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 1, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 750 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 1, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on October 2, 2011, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 5, 6. submitted on January 25, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.