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

Walter Pierce Park

Roads to Diversity

 

—Adams Morgan Heritage Trail —

 
Walter Pierce Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 18, 2016
1. Walter Pierce Park Marker
Inscription.
The Rock Creek Valley, once home to Native Americans, had attracted European settlers by 1703. Before he became president in 1825, John Quincy Adams purchased Adams Mills on Rock Creek from his cousin. The mills, just down the hill, processed flour and plaster. While other millers here relied on slave labor, the anti-slavery Adams refused to do so.

The park to your left was once part of a pair of cemeteries established back when this hilltop lay beyond the city limits. After the Smithsonian began building the National Zoo in 1889, the cemetery associations moved remains nearest the zoo to other locations, including Woodlawn Cemetery in Southeast Washington.

In 1941 excavations began for new apartments where the park is today. In 1981 residents succeeded in creating Community Park West on the empty site. In 1991 the park was re-named for the late Walter Pierce, a high-profile member of the coalition that created it. That coalition included Washington’s Society of Friends (Quakers) and Charlotte Filmore, founder of the Filmore Early Learning Center. Filmore was born in 1898 and lived to the age of 104. Her center provided low-cost and free day care to more than 500 African-American children. Its last location was 1811 Ontario Place, to your right.

During winter you can see a mansion on the Zoo grounds. It is Holt
Walter Pierce Park Marker reverse image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 18, 2016
2. Walter Pierce Park Marker reverse
House, named for a physician, Dr. Henry Holt, who farmed the area.

Captions:
During the Civil War, Cliffburne Barracks and Hospital occupied this area.

1909 map shows where the Society of Friends and Union Benevolent Association cemeteries once were located.

Planting a garden in Community Park West, 1978.

Henry Holt, son of Dr. Henry Holt and last private owner of Holt House, sits in front of the house, 1899.

Walter Pierce, above, and Charlotte Filmore, two leaders in efforts to create a park.

Reverse:
The Adams Morgan story begins with its breezy hilltop location, prized by Native Americans, colonial settlers, freedom seekers, powerful Washingtonians, working people, and immigrants alike. Unlike most close-in neighborhoods, Adams Morgan has never been dominated by any of these groups. Today’s rich diversity is the legacy of each group that has passed through.

Follow the 18 signs of the Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail to discover the personalities and forces that shaped a community once known as “18th and Columbia.” Along the way, you’ll learn how school desegregation led to the name Adams Morgan, and you’ll meet presidents and paupers, natives and immigrants, artists, activists and authors.

Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail, a booklet
Walter Pierce Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 18, 2016
3. Walter Pierce Park Marker
The park is in the background in this view.
capturing the trail’s highlights, is available at local businesses. To learn about other DC neighborhoods, check out City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail, beginning at 16th and U Streets, and visit: www.CulturalTourismDC.org.

Roads to Diversity is dedicated to the memory of Carolyn Llorente (1937-2003).

Contributors and sponsors of the Adams Morgan Heritage Trail.


Caption: Clean-up Day in Community Park West, 1978
The Washington Post
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 11 of 18.)
 
Location. 38° 55.435′ N, 77° 2.668′ W. Marker is in Adams Morgan, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from Adams Mill Road, NW, on the right. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2633 Adams Mill Road, NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The ›Duke‹ Ellington Memorial Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Artistic Life (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lanier Place (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Latino Community (approx. 0.3 miles away); Urban Renewal Era (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Roots of Reed-Cooke
1811 Ontario Place, NW, last location of the Filmore Early Learning Center. image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 18, 2016
4. 1811 Ontario Place, NW, last location of the Filmore Early Learning Center.
The building is triangular-shaped, at the corner of Ontario Place and Ontario Road, NW.
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Million Dollar Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Adams Morgan.
 
Categories. African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesCharity & Public WorkMan-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 194 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 5, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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