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

Washington, D.C. African American Heritage Trail Historical Markers

A set of more than 100 sites celebrating African American history in Washington, D.C.
 
Barry Farm - Hillsdale Marker image, Touch for more information
By Richard E. Miller, July 3, 2009
Barry Farm - Hillsdale Marker
District of Columbia (Washington), Anacostia — Barry Farm - Hillsdale — Bounded by St. Elizabeths Hospital, Alabama Avenue and Morris Road, SE, and the Anacostia River — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
In 1867 the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen’s Bureau) purchased 375 acres from white farmers David and Julia Barry to resettle formerly enslaved African Americans. By 1870 more than 500 families had purchased lots . . . — Map (db m33732) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Anacostia — Nichols Avenue Elementary School/Old Birney School Site — 2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE — African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC
James G. Birney Elementary School (founded 1889) was the city's first public school for African Americans in this area, then known as Hillsdale. Previously, residents organized their own schools. The Old Birney School expanded in 1901 with the . . . — Map (db m100679) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Barney Circle — Seafarers Yacht Club — African American Heritage Trail - Washington, D.C. — 1950 M Street
The Seafarers Yacht Club is the oldest African American boat club on the East Coast. It was founded in 1945 by Lewis T. Green, Sr., a vocational arts teacher in the DC Public Schools who built boats as a hobby. Needing a dock, he contacted the U.S. . . . — Map (db m89445) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Barry Farm — Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church — 2562 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Campbell AME, established in 1867 as Mount Zion AME, was an outgrowth of its overcrowded parent church, Allen Chapel AME, founded in 1850. When it moved to a location near the present one in 1890, Mount Zion was renamed for AME Bishop Jabez B. . . . — Map (db m33749) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Capitol Hill — Ebenezer United Methodist Church — 400 D Street, SE — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Ebenezer United Methodist Church is Capitol Hill’s oldest independent Black congregation. Ebenezer UMC was founded in 1827 by African Americans who left a biracial church on Capitol Hill because the White congregants practiced segregation. The . . . — Map (db m30053) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Colonial Village — Frank D. Reeves — 7760 16th Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Frank D. Reeves (1916–1973), a lawyer and civil rights activist, was part of the team that shaped the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case outlawing school segregation. He advised Senator John F. Kennedy on minority . . . — Map (db m24679) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Columbia Heights — Charles R. Drew and Lenore Robbins Drew — 3324 Sherman Avenue, NW, Apartment 1 — African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC
Dr. Charles R. Drew (1904-1950), renowned for his blood plasma research, was associated with Howard University College of Medicine during most of his career. In 1941 Drew joined a national effort to set up a blood banking process but left because . . . — Map (db m65523) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Columbia Heights — Drum and Spear Bookstore Site — 1371 Fairmont Street, Northwest — African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC
The Drum and Spear Bookstore, founded in 1968 by Charlie Cobb, a former secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, specialized in books written by black authors, and books on Asian, African, and African American subjects. Growing . . . — Map (db m85756) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Downtown — Central Public Library — Mount Vernon Square — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
This majestic building was opened in 1903 as the Central Public Library, popularly known as the Carnegie Library because Andrew Carnegie donated funds to build it. From the start Central was open to all. Mary Church Terrell and historian John . . . — Map (db m18794) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Downtown — Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, D.C.
17th and M Streets, NW This school, completed in 1872, was one of three public elementary schools built for DC's black children just after the Civil War. Its name honors U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who fought to abolish slavery . . . — Map (db m8184) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Downtown — Metropolitan AME Church — 1518 M Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
This church started on Capitol Hill in 1821 as Israel Bethel, was founded by African Americans denouncing White racism at Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church. Later, Pastor Henry McNeal Turner helped persuade President Lincoln to accept Black . . . — Map (db m30056) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Downtown — Wormley's Hotel Site — African American Heritage Trail — 1500 H Street, Northwest
James Wormley (1819-1884), free-born like his parents, was one of a number of African Americans entrepreneurs with downtown hospitality and service businesses. His five-story Wormley's Hotel opened here in 1871, catering primarily to wealthy and . . . — Map (db m87577) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Dupont Circle — Charles Hamilton Houston Residence — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
1744 S Street, NW Charles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950) was a legal theorist and mentor to an entire generation of African American lawyers. As Howard University School of Law's vice dean, the Harvard-educated Houston helped transform the school . . . — Map (db m97798) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Dupont Circle — Historic Kappa House — 1708 S Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington D.C.
Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity was founded at Indiana University in 1911. The ten founders determined from the start that membership would be based solely on achievement. In 1949 the fraternity's Washington Alumni Chapter worked with undergraduate . . . — Map (db m93390) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Dupont Circle — Todd Duncan Residence — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
1600 T Street, NW Internationally renowned baritone Todd Duncan (1903-1998) lived here from about 1935 until about 1960. Duncan originated the role of Porgy in George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess on Broadway. He later refused to . . . — Map (db m97801) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Foggy Bottom — St. Mary’s Episcopal Church — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC — 728 23rd Street, NW
[Panel 1]: St. Mary’s was the first Episcopal church in Washington where African Americans could worship free of discrimination. It was established in 1867 by 28 men and women, many of them formerly enslaved. Two White congregations, St. . . . — Map (db m46905) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Fort Dupont — Woodlawn Cemetery — 4611 Benning Road, SE — African American Heritage Trail
Woodlawn Cemetery, established in 1895, serves the final resting place for Sen. Blanche K. Bruce, Mary P. Burrill, Will Marion Cook, John W. Cromwell, John R. Francis, Rep. John Mercer Langston, Jesse Lawson, Mary Meriwether, and Daniel Murray, . . . — Map (db m42050) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — Emma V. Brown Residence — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
3044 P Street, NW Emma V. Brown (1840-1902) was an accomplished poet and the first African American teacher to be employed by the DC Public Schools. Educated at Myrtilla Miner's school on N Street, NW, and at Oberlin College, native . . . — Map (db m97745) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — First Baptist Church, Georgetown — 2624 Dumbarton Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
The first Baptist church established in Georgetown was funded in 1862 by the Reverend Sandy Alexander (1818-1902), a former slave who led the church until 1889. Among the founding members was Collins Williams, a preacher from Fredericksburg, . . . — Map (db m33773) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Georgetown — Mount Zion United Methodist Church and Heritage Center, and the Female Union Band Cemetery — 1334 29th Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Mount Zion United Methodist Church is Washington’s oldest Black congregation. It was established in 1816 by Shadrack Nugent and 125 other congregants who split from nearby Montgomery Street Methodist Church (now Dumbarton United Methodist) over its . . . — Map (db m32930) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Hillbrook — National Training School for Women and Girls/ Nannie Helen Burroughs — African American Heritage Trail — 601 50th Street, NE
The National Training School for Women and Girls was founded here in 1909 by Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879 - 1961). With its focus on the “three B's” — “Bible, bath and broom” — the school taught skills such as . . . — Map (db m103272) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Judiciary Square — DC Recorder of Deeds Building/WPA Era Murals — 515 D Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
DC’s Art Deco/Art Moderne Recorder of Deeds Building (1941) houses city land records. Many notable African Americans have served as recorders of deeds since President Garfield appointed Frederick Douglass to the post in 1881. These include Branche . . . — Map (db m29657) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), LeDroit Park — Christian Fleetwood and Sara Fleetwood Residence Site — 319 U Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Christian Fleetwood (1840-1914) was one of 21 African Americans to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery during the 1864 Battle of Chaffin's Farm near Richmond. After the Civil War he worked for the federal government and organized . . . — Map (db m77543) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Logan Circle — Belford V. Lawson and Marjorie M. Lawson Residence — 8 Logan Circle, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington D. C.
Belford V. Lawson (1909–1985) and Marjorie M. Lawson (1912–2002) were prominent attorneys. Mr. Lawson helped win landmark civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including New Negro Alliance v. Sanitary Grocery (1938) . . . — Map (db m79362) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Logan Circle — Charles M. “Sweet Daddy” Grace Residence — 11 Logan Circle, NW — African American Heritage Trail – Washington DC
Charles M. “Sweet Daddy” Grace (1881-1960) brought his United House of Prayer for All People of the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith to Washington in 1927, eight years after founding the charismatic Christian denomination in . . . — Map (db m79318) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Logan Circle — Vermont Avenue Baptist Church — 1530 Vermont Avenue, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Vermont Avenue Baptist Church was formed in 1866 by seven formerly enslaved men and women meeting in the home of John and Amy Slaughter. They joined the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church for assistance in organizing their own church. Then, led by . . . — Map (db m54677) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Penn Quarter — National Council of Negro Women — 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
The National Council of Negro Women was founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) to "harness the power and extend the leadership of African American women." Early on, the Council campaigned to outlaw the discriminatory poll tax, develop a . . . — Map (db m30059) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Petworth — Billy Simpson's House of Seafood and Steaks — African American Heritage Trail
3515 Georgia Avenue Billy Simpson's provided DC's African American community with an upscale venue for dining and socializing in the period when segregation was ending and African Americans claimed a larger role in city affairs. The . . . — Map (db m66181) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Pleasant Plains — Howard Hall — African American Heritage Trail, Washington D.C.
607 Howard Place, NW Howard Hall was completed in 1869 as the home of white Civil War General Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), for whom Howard University was named. As commissioner of the Bureau of Refuges, Freedman and Abandoned Lands . . . — Map (db m65707) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Pleasant Plains — Howard University — Sixth Street and Howard Place, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Howard University, one of the oldest Black colleges in the United States, was established by Congress in 1866 to educate formerly enslaved individuals. Its name honors Freedman's Bureau Commissioner General Oliver Otis Howard, a member of the white . . . — Map (db m66401) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Pleasant Plains — Merriweather Home for Children — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, D.C. — 733 Euclid Street, NW
The National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children was established by an 1863 Act of Congress. Elizabeth Keckley (ca. 1818-1907), former slave and seam­stress for Mary Todd Lincoln, was a founding member and spent her . . . — Map (db m84629) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Pleasant Plains — Miner Teachers College — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
2565 Georgia Avenue, NW Miner Teachers College, which operated here from 1914 until 1955, was the principal school training black teachers in the city for more than 70 years. Named for Myrtilla Miner (1815-1864), a white educator who . . . — Map (db m71891) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — African American Civil War Memorial — "Spirit of Freedom" — Civil War to Civil Rights and Beyond
This memorial is dedicated to those who served in the African American units of the Union Army in the Civil War. The 209,145 names inscribed on these walls commemorate those fighters of freedom. [Names of the officers and enlisted men who . . . — Map (db m41748) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Ben's Chili Bowl / Minnehaha Theater — 1213 U Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Ben's Chili Bowl, founded in 1958 by Ben and Virginia Ali, is one of the oldest continuous businesses on U Street. It is also one of the few to survive both the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and the years of the disruptive . . . — Map (db m20341) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Dunbar Theater/Southern Aid Society — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC — 1901-1903 Seventh Street, NW
The Southern Aid Society, one of the nation's oldest black insurance companies, opened this building as its headquarters in 1921. At the street level it housed the Dunbar Theatre, a popular movie house owned by the Murray family. Offices occupied . . . — Map (db m84762) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Edward “Duke” Ellington Residence — African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC
1805 13th Street, NW Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899—1974), the internationally renowned composer and musician born in Washington, DC, spend part of his youth here at 1805 13th Street, NW (1910—1914). During . . . — Map (db m79980) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Frelinghuysen University/Jesse Lawson and Rosetta C. Lawson — 1800 Vermont Avenue, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Frelinghuysen University was founded in 1917 to provide education, religious training, and social services for Black working-class adults. Founders include Jesse Lawson, a Howard University-educated lawyer; his wife Rosetta C. Lawson, an advocate . . . — Map (db m48407) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Griffith Stadium Site — African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC — 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW
Before Howard University Hospital was built in 1975, Griffith Stadium stood here. Constructed in 1914, the stadium was one of the few public spaces that were open to everyone during the segregation era. It was home to the Homestead Grays of the . . . — Map (db m84793) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Howard University Gallery of Art — African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC — Lulu Vere Childers Hall, Howard University Campus
The Howard University Gallery of Art was established in 1928 on the lower level of Rankin Chapel. Professor James V. Herring (1897-1969), founder of the University's Art Department, and professor and artist James A Porter (1905-1970) were its first . . . — Map (db m85112) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Industrial Bank of Washington — 2000 11th Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Industrial Bank stands as a testament to the Black business movement that began in the 1880s in downtown Washington and spread to the U Street area by the 1900s. Industrial Bank was the only Black-owned financial institution in the city when . . . — Map (db m41804) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Lincoln Theatre and Lincoln Colonnade — 1215 U Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
The Lincoln Theatre , built by white theater magnate Harry Crandall, opened in 1922 under African American management as U Street's most elegant first-run movie house. With 1,600 seats, it also was one of the biggest. In addition to films, the . . . — Map (db m33736) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Mary Ann Shadd Cary House
[Panel 1:] Mary Ann Shadd Cary House Has been designated a National Historic Landmark This site possesses national significance In commemorating the history of the United States of America. An African American . . . — Map (db m61813) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia — 1000 U Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
The first African Masonic order south of the Mason-Dixon line was founded in the District of Columbia in 1825. Social Lodge No. 7, as it was known, combined with two other lodges in 1848 to form the Union Grand Lodge. Later, the name was changed to . . . — Map (db m33737) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Phyllis Wheatley YWCA — 901 Rhode Island Avenue, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
This was the city’s first Young Women’s Christian Association and the nation’s only independent Black YWCA. It was organized in Southwest Washington as the Colored YWCA in 1905 by members of the Book Lovers Club, a Black women’s literary group led . . . — Map (db m41742) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — 8 of 14 — The Whitelaw Hotel and “the Duke” — City Within a City — Greater U Street Heritage Trail
They found a lobby with fine rugs and potted palms, a richly decorated dining room, comfortable rooms, and convenience shops on the first floor. The Whitelaw was the creation of African America business entrepreneur John Whitelaw Lewis, who . . . — Map (db m41952) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), Shaw — Washington Afro-American Newspaper Office Building — 1800 11th Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail. Washington, DC
The independent weekly Afro-American, one of the most enduring Black newspapers in the country was founded in Baltimore in 1892 by John H. Murphy, Sr. The Washington Afro-American began publication in 1932, and operated from this . . . — Map (db m55538) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), U Street Corridor (Shaw) — Georgia Douglas Johnson Residence — African Amerian Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
1461 S Street, NW During the 1920s and 1930s, this house hosted a Saturday evening literary salon, welcoming such luminaries as Alice Dunbar Nelson, Angelina Grimkι, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Kelly Miller, and Jean Toomer. Poet and hostess . . . — Map (db m96274) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), U Street Corridor (Shaw) — John Wesley Cromwell Residence — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
1439 Swann Street, NW Lawyer, scholar, and publisher John Wesley Cromwell (1846-1927) lived here from 1894 until his death. Born enslaved in Portsmouth, Virginia, Cromwell moved to Washington in 1871 to study law at Howard University. He . . . — Map (db m96273) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), U Street Corridor (Shaw) — Louise Burrell Miller Residence — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
1204 T Street, NW Louise Burrell Miller led a group that successfully sued the DC Board of Education in 1952 to have deaf African American children educated within the District. Until Miller v. the Board of Education, the children, . . . — Map (db m96272) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), U Street Corridor (Shaw) — Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church — 1425 V Street, NW — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church began in 1858 when African American congregants of the Saint Matthew's Church departed to organize their own day school. The group raised funds—even held an event on the White House lawn—and . . . — Map (db m80470) HM
District of Columbia (Washington), U Street Corridor (Shaw) — Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression — Harriet Gibbs-Marscall/Mary P. Burrill — African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
902 T Street, NW The Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression, which operated in this building from 1903 until 1960, was one of DC's earliest African American arts institutions. Harriet Gibbs-Marshall (1868-1941), the first . . . — Map (db m96270) HM

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