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

Uniontown, DC's First Suburb

East-of-the-River View

 

—Anacostia Heritage Trail —

 
Uniontown, DC's First Suburb Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
1. Uniontown, DC's First Suburb Marker
Inscription. Today's Anacostia Historic District began in 1854 as Uniontown, Washington's first planned suburb. The Union Land Association saw the large Navy Yard workforce across the Anacostia River as potential customers for building lots they carved out here from 240 acres of farmland. The association named streets after presidents and designated this block-long park as a town square and market place. As was common practice, the developers barred sales to “any [N]egro, mulatto, or person of African blood.”

Half of the lots sold quickly. Land association partner John Van Hook built himself a gracious two-story brick house on a nine-acre hilltop overlooking Uniontown. A handful of elegant houses rose along the new streets, including one for Dr. Charles H. Nichols, superintendent of the new Government Hospital for the Insane (later called St. Elizabeths). But building proceeded slowly. Unfortunately for Van Hook and his partners, after the Civil War ended in 1865 Navy Yard ship production slowed, and then in 1873 economies around the world crashed. The Union Land Association declared bankruptcy, and Frederick Douglass purchased Van Hook's property. Other developers took over, building more modest houses.

In 1886 Congress changed Uniontown's name to Anacostia because numerous “Uniontowns”
Old Market House Square<br>Historic Anacostia image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
2. Old Market House Square
Historic Anacostia
had appeared around the nation after the Civil War.

Anacostia Lodge No. 21 of the Free and Accepted Masons built 2002 14th Street in 1890, leasing its first floor as a movie theater. After the Masons moved to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in 1963, a succession of churches used the solid structure.
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 17.)
 
Location. 38° 51.931′ N, 76° 59.126′ W. Marker is in Anacostia, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 14th Street Southeast, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. In Old Market House Square Park. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20020, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Sage of Anacostia (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Education Matters (about 600 feet away); Mother Churches and Their Daughters (about 600 feet away); Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Growlery (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Big Chair (approx. 0.2 miles away); Booth's Escape (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Big Chair (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anacostia.
 
Categories. Notable Places
 
Uniontown, Anacostia P.O. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
3. Uniontown, Anacostia P.O.
On this 1878 map Uniontown's streets are named for presidents (14th St. is Pierce St.). Note the estate owned by “Frederick Douglass”.
Close-up of map on marker
Old Market House Square image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
4. Old Market House Square
Old Market House Square began as Logan Park, the center of 14th St. it was photographed in 1914 during a landscaping project.
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
1312 U St. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
5. 1312 U St.
The James Nutall family poses in 1974 at 1312 U St., their Italianate home one block west of this sign. The house is a rare example of early Uniontown architecture.
Close-up of photo on marker
Engine Co. No. 15 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
6. Engine Co. No. 15
The firehouse seen here at 1345 V St. in a view from around 1920 protected Anacostia from 1898 until it was replaced in 1968.
Close-up of photo on marker
1312 U Street, Southeast image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
7. 1312 U Street, Southeast
Engine Company 15<br>1345 V Street, Southeast image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
8. Engine Company 15
1345 V Street, Southeast
Map - You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 26, 2016
9. Map - You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 391 times since then and 196 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 19, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7, 8, 9. submitted on July 21, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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