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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 

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Follow the Brightwood Heritage Trail.
 
Racing at Brightwood Marker image, Touch for more information
By Allen C. Browne, May 1, 2013
Racing at Brightwood Marker
District of Columbia (Washington), 16th Street Heights — 1 — Racing at Brightwood Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Fresh Water Springs in this pleasant high ground once drew European settlers. Farmers called the area "Crystal Spring." In 1859 the half-mile Crystal Spring Racetrack opened on land to your left. For 75 cents, Washingtonians hopped a stagecoach . . . — Map (db m109288) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), 16th Street Heights — 2 — Mayor Emery and the Union Army Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
The City Park across the street was once Emery Place, the summer estate of Matthew Gault Emery. A prominent builder, Emery was Washington City's last elected mayor during the period of home rule. He was succeeded in 1874 by a presidentially . . . — Map (db m72816) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), 16th Street Heights — 3 — Hold the Mayo! Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
English, Irish and German settlers, as well as enslaved and free African Americans, were the first non-natives to claim Brightwood. Farmers dominated until the Civil War. Then in the 1890s electric streetcars allowed government workers to live . . . — Map (db m121018) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), 16th Street Heights — 4 — Crossroads Create Community Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
The Grand, Neo-classical Revival style building that you see across Georgia Avenue north of Missouri opened in 1925 as the Bank of Brightwood, thanks to efforts of the Brightwood Citizens Association. Designed by Treasury Department architect . . . — Map (db m72818) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 5 — Build It And They Will Come Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
In 1818 the Private Rockville and Washington Turnpike Co. began building a road to link Washington City to Rockville, Maryland. This road helped create a village. A toll gate on what today is Georgia Avenue between Quackenbos and Rittenhouse . . . — Map (db m72819) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 6 — School Days Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
The School Building Just Ahead of You Opened In 1912 as the Military Road School, the area's third public elementary for African Americans. For decades it was the only public school serving black children in Upper Northwest and nearby . . . — Map (db m110235) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 7 — An African American Enclave Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Even before emancipation freed Washington's enslaved people in April 1862, a free African American community had developed here amid the European American farmers. The District of Columbia, unlike its neighbors, permitted the formerly enslaved . . . — Map (db m72821) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 8 — Early Entrepreneurs Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Apple and Peach Trees once covered the slopes to your left, some 40 acres' worth, all planted by noted horticulturalist John Saul (1819-1897). In the 1870s Saul was one of Brghtwood's largest landowners. In addition to these orchards, he . . . — Map (db m72822) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 9 — Never Again Such Homes At the Price! Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
We have Harry Wardman to thank for the rich variety of Sheridan Street rowhouses. Wardman, considered Washington's most prolific developer, built hundreds of offices, apartments, hotels, and comfortable rowhouses from 1899 to 1939. When he . . . — Map (db m72823) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 10 — What a Beautiful Location, Brightwood Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
In the 1930s as now, this area was a family friendly, "move-up" destination for hard-working government clerks and professionals. Like many DC neighborhoods, Brightwood had covenants prohibiting sales to certain white ethnics and African . . . — Map (db m72777) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 11 — The Seventh Street Turnpike Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
On July 11 and 12, 1864, this intersection was the center of the only Civil War battle fought in the District of Columbia. Here, Union sharpshooters at Fort Stevens, supported by forces across the northernmost of Washington's ring of forts, . . . — Map (db m123226) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 12 — Automobiling on The Avenue Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
This busy section once was a "Country Road" to Washingtonians looking for peace and recreation. If you drove by here a century ago, you would have passed woods and large estates, and might even have seen fox hunters. Across Georgia was the . . . — Map (db m72813) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Takoma — 13 — Battleground National Cemetery Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
After the rebels were turned back as the Battle of Fort Stevens ended in 1864, scores of Union Soldiers lay cold and silent. Forty-one of them are buried here in this tiny plot dedicated to their sacrifice. President Abraham Lincoln, who . . . — Map (db m72825) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 14 — Park and Shop! Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Back in the 1920s, most people walked or rode a streetcar to go shopping. Then cars became affordable, and people drove everywhere. Soon the shopping center, with free parking, was born. In 1937 Brightwood's "Park and Shop" opened on Georgia . . . — Map (db m72826) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 15 — The Rock on Brightwood Avenue Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Across Quackenbos Street Emory United Methodist Church. Named to honor Bishop John Emory of Maryland (1789-1835), the congregation dates from 1832. From the beginning, Emory welcomed all races but, like most Washington churches then, seated . . . — Map (db m118907) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 16 — “Get Down You Fool” Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Hearing those words, President Abraham Lincoln ducked down from the Fort Stevens parapet during the Civil War battle that stopped the Confederates from taking Washington. On July 9, 1864, some 15,000 Rebels led by General Jubal A. Early . . . — Map (db m72829) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 17 — Aunt Betty's Story Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
Elizabeth Proctor Thomas (1821-1917), a free Black woman whose image appears on each Brightwood Heritage Trail sign, once owned 11 acres in this area. Known, respectfully in her old age as "Aunt Betty," Thomas and her husband James farmed and kept . . . — Map (db m72830) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Brightwood — 18 — A Streetcar Named Brightwood Battleground to Community Brightwood Heritage Trail —
The Large Structure across Georgia Avenue opened in 1909 as a "car barn" for the Brightwood Railway. The facility could service more than 40 streetcars at once, and often did so late at night. As a young boy in the 1950s, Thomas Reardon . . . — Map (db m72831) HM

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