Georgetown District of Columbia

Ancestry US

Georgetown – (Tohogare; Indiantown). First designated as town in 1751. Incorporated as city in 1789. Existed as town and city for 120 years, under three Sovereigns of Great Britain, then State of Maryland, and then United States in D. C. Charter repealed in 1871, and Georgetown declared belonging to, and under, the municipal government of the District. Even in Colonial days a town of wealth, culture and commercial importance. Took active part in French and Indian War. During Revolution shops here manufactured guns and ammunition, and warehouses Stored army supplies. The Committee of Safety re-fused to permit taxed tea to be landed here, and forced its return to England. After Revolution, became home of foreign Ambassadors, and men distinguished in camp and cabinet. The American docks of the famous East Indian Company were located here, with patronage extending as far as Newport, R. I.

Potomac St., below M – Cherry Alley – In 1776 the lower part of Potomac St., was called Cherry Alley, and was the court end of town where many prominent citizens resided.

Water St., 250 feet west of Wisconsin Ave. – Rock Creek Store of Robert Peter (who engaged in tobacco trade along Potomac River); Stood here in 1752.

Jefferson St., below Canal – On west side of Street was home of Valentine Reintzel, where Masonic Lodge of Georgetown met for many years. Reintzel was elected the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District in 1811. He was Master of Lodge No. 9 at laying of corner Stone of Capitol in 1793. Was handed gravel by Washington which is still in possession of Georgetown Lodge.

1047 Jefferson St., south of Canal – Said to be residence of Thomas Jefferson when Secretary of State in 1792.

3049 M St. – Said to have been the head-quarters, in 1791, of George Washington when surveying the District. Also of Maj. Charles L’Enfant.

3518 M St. – Site of Key Mansion, where Francis Scott Key, author of the “Star Spangled Banner,” resided 1808-1828, and where his ten children were born.

3221 M St.- In 1795-6 the home of Dr. William Thornton, who served as City Com-missioner and first Commissioner of Patents, and was the architect of the U. S. Capitol, the Octagon House, Tudor Place and other notable buildings.

3119 M St. – Birthplace of W. W. Corcoran. House built by his father in 1791, and still in possession of family.

M St., between 33rd and 34th Sts., north side – Site of the “Bank of Columbia,” chartered by the legislature of Maryland, Dec. 28, 1793. The first bank within the limits of the District.

M St., south side, west of Wisconsin Ave. – On site formerly called “The Warehouse Lot,” now occupied by Washington and Georgetown Railway Company, Stood large Tobacco Inspection Warehouses, called Rolling Houses. First house erected between 1734-48. Called the beginning of the future city of Georgetown, for it was the center of trade, and public meetings were often held there.

2921-2929 M St. – The old Union Hotel, also known as Union Tavern. Original building erected in 1796 and destroyed by fire in 1832. Rebuilt in 1836, and a large part of this building is still intact. Notable guests here have included Louis Phillipe, Count Volney, Baron Humbolt, Robert Fulton, Talleyrand, Jerome Bonaparte, Washington Irving, Gen. St. Clair, Lorenzo Dow, Francis Scott Key, John Randolph and others. A favorite stopping place for Congressmen in the early twenties.

1301 Thirtieth St.- Site of the Seminary for Young Ladies founded by Miss Lydia English in 1826. Attended by girls of highest social position.

3014 N St. – Present residence of Robert T. Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln.

3241 N St.- Barber Homestead. Site of Columbian Academy. Here the Columbian Library, one of first libraries in District, was established in 1794, conducted by Rev. Stephen Balch. Went out of existence in 1810.

3302 N St. – Home of Rev. Stephen Balch at time of his death in 1833. One of best known characters in Georgetown history. Said to have planted the gospel here. Founder, and pastor for fifty years, of Bridge Street Presbyterian Church. Served three years in the Revolutionary War. Married great-granddaughter of Ninian Beall, patentee of “Rock of Dunbarton.”

N St., cor. 34th St., Georgetown – In 1834 residence of Commodore Charles Morris, who was with Decants at Tripoli, and gave distinguished service in War of 1812. He commanded the “Brandywine” on which Lafayette returned to France in 1825.

2803 P St. – Built by Reuben Dorr during War of 1812. Funds for the war were advanced by citizens of Georgetown, who were allowed to get old castings in payment. Mr. Dorr procured some old muskets, from which w r as made the fence sur-rounding this house.

3108 P St. – Built prior to 1810 by Judge Morsell of Maryland. Occupied by Count de Portestad of the Spanish legation during Grant’s administration. Later occupied by Gen. George C. Thomas in 1870.

P St., north side, just west of 31St. – Georgetown Presbyterian Church. Oldest Presbyterian Church in District – Organized in 1780, and known as Bridge Street Church from location of its first church on Bridge Street (now M and 13th, S. E. corner), built in 1782. Rev. Stephen Bloomer Balch, pastor 1780-1833. George Washington and Andrew Jackson were occasional hearers of Dr. Balch. Church moved to present location in 1879.

R and 28th Sts. – Oak Hill Cemetery – Land previously known as Parrott’s Woods, given to Georgetown by W. W. Corcoran. Grounds originally laid out by famous landscape architect, Baron de la Roche. Burial place of Marcia Burnes Van Ness; Gen. Uriah Forrest, Rev. Stephen Balch, John Howard Payne, whose body lies here through efforts of W. W. Corcoran; Edwin M. Stanton; Lorenzo Dow; W. W. Corcoran; Bishop William Pinckney; Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southward; and other distinguished Americans.

Square between 29th and 29th, Q and R Sts. – “Mackal Square.” Large double brick house in center of square; home of Col. Benjamin Mackall, selected by the Maryland Convention of 1776 to raise troops for the Continental Army. Afterwards Lieut. Commander, and chairman of Committee of safety and observation.

Square between 29th 30th, Q and R Sts. – “Washington Place,” home of Col. George Corbin Washington, great-nephew of Gen. Washington. Dwelling still stands.

Square bounded by 30th, 31st, Q and R Sts. Eastern Half – In 1798 home of William Craik, son of Dr. James Craik, Washington’s physician. In 1808 sold to David Peter, who built stately mansion, afterwards occupied by Baron Sir John Crampton, British Ambassador. Later became French Embassy. House since destroyed by fire.

Square bounded by 30th, 31st, Q and R Sts. – Western half – Site of residence of Brooke Williams, whose daughter, Harriet, married at 16, Baron Bodisco, the Russian Ambassador. Henry Clay gave away bride at wedding.

R St., between 31st and 32nd. – Montrose Park. This Park, originally part of the adjoining estate, “The Oaks,” was donated to Georgetown by the heirs or Col. Henry Blount. Many or original flower beds remain. See “The Oaks.”

R St., between 30th and 32nd Sts. – “Lovers’ Lane” is Eastern boundary of “The Oaks.” Opened in 1800, said to be oldest street in Federal District. Formerly known as Parrot’s Lane and Boyce’s Lane.

R St., N. E. cor. 32 St. – “The Oaks.” One of the largest estates in Georgetown. Building begun in 1801 by William H. Dorsey, Judge of Orphans’ Court. Home of Edward M. Linthicum, founder of Linthicum Institute and of John C. Calhoun, while Senator, Secretary of War and Vice-President, also of Col. Henry Blount. For a time called “Monterey.” Now being remodeled (1922) by Robert Woods Bliss.

3238 R St. – At one time home of Gen. U. S. Grant.

Square bounded by R St., 32nd, Wisconsin Ave and Q St. – “Lee’s Hill.” Property on which the old reservoir now stands was purchased in 1796 by Thomas Sims Lee, distinguished Revolutionary patriot and war governor of Maryland.

3400 Prospect Ave. – Col. Benjamin Stoddert, prominent in the Revolutionary War, and the first Secretary of the Navy, lived in house on this site.

Prospect Ave. and 35th St., S. W. cor., Georgetown – “Steele-Morris House.” Georgetown home of Franklin Steele, one of the founders of Minneapolis, and his daughter Mary, who was the wife of Commander George Upham Morris, hero of the Cumberland-Merrimac fight.

Prospect Ave. and 35th St., N. E. cor, – Residence of Dr. Worthington, first president of the Medical Association of the District ; later residence of Col. James Kearney, U. S. Engrs.

3600 Prospect Ave. – Home of Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth for nearly fifty years. Died here in 1899.

3123 Dumbarton Ave. – Built for his daughter, Mrs. Samuel McKenney, by Henry Foxall, who established the Foxall Foundry. Owned by family.

Volta St., between 33rd and 34th Sts., north side – Site of old Presbyterian Cemetery, acquired in 1802. Now municipal playground.

Wisconsin Ave. and Water St. – Town Wharf. The foot of Wisconsin Ave. marks the site of the first wharf in the District of which we have any detailed description. Ordered built by Georgetown Council in 1763.

Wisconsin Ave. and Volta Place, N. W. cor. – Lutheran Church. Col. Charles Beatty, later an officer in the Revolutionary army, and one of the original founders of Georgetown, set apart this lot in 1769 for the sole use and benefit of the Lutheran Church. Shortly after this a small building was erected by the German Lutherans, said to be the first church building erected in Georgetown and the second in the District.

Wisconsin Ave., East side, south of M St. – Here stood Suter’s Tavern, or White Tavern, where, on March 30, 1791, the proclamation directing the Commissioners to lay out the District of Columbia was signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Here also met the Commissioners, Gen. Thomas Johnson, Dr. David Stuart, and Daniel Carroll, September 9, 1791, and agreed that the territory selected should be named the “City of Washington.”

1623 28th St. – “Evermay,” the northern part of which is now Oak Hill Cemetery. Home of Samuel Davidson, one of the “original proprietors” of the city. Later occupied by Bosch Spencer, Belgian Minister.

28th St., between N and Olive Sts. – In 1795 the first Methodist Church in the District was built on this site, although there had been Methodist services since Dec. 24, 1772.

29th St., west side, between M and Olive Sts. The first Lancastrian School in the District here. Organized Nov. 1811, by Robert Ould.

31st and Q Sts., N. W. cor. – “Tudor Place.” Designed by Dr. William Thornton, and built about 1805, by Thomas Peter, the husband of Martha Parke Custis, Mrs. Washington’s grand-daughter. Still t he residence of lineal descendants of, Martha Washington, and contains many family heirlooms. Lafayette and other distinguished visitors entertained here.

30th and Q Sts., S. W. corner – Hammond Court. Site of home of Henry D. Cook, Governor of the District.

2725 Q St.-“Bellevue,” or Rittenhouse Home. Built shortly before 1801. In 1805 became home of Joseph Nourse, Revolutionary patriot, who was secretary to Gen. Charles Lee, and later auditor of the Board of War. He was the first Register of the Treasury. Washington was a frequent guest at this home. In 1813 it was acquired by Charles Carroll of “Bellvue.” In 1816 bought by Samuel Whitehall of Philadelphia, whose daughter married Charles E. Rittenhouse of Philadelphia. Property later of John L. Newbold.

37th and O Sts., N. W. – Georgetown University. Oldest and largest Jesuit institution of learning in country. Founded by Bishop John Carroll. First building erected in 1789. Made a university in 1815. Two old guns in courtyard are from fort at St. Mary’s, first capital of Maryland; brought to America in 1634 by Leonard Calvert on board The Ark and The Dove.

O and Potomac Sts., S. E. cor. – St. John’s Church. Founded in 1796. Original building completed in 1806. For many years the only Episcopal Church west of Christ Church, Navy Yard, and had large and fashionable attendance from Washington. Francis Scott Key was a vestryman here, and Presidents Adams, Jefferson and Madison among its attendants.

O and Potomac Sts. – St. John’s Churchyard. Beall Bowlder. Dedicated to Ninian Bell, patentee of “Rock of Dunbarton” (the site of Georgetown), a member of the Maryland House of Burgesses, and a distinguished Indian fighter who was voted an “act of gratuity” by the Maryland Assembly in 1699. Tablet erected by the Society of Colonial Wars, 1910.

3322 O St. – Residence of Alexander de Bodisco, Minister of Russia, who married, in 1849, Harriet Beall Williams.. He was fifty, she a beautiful Georgetown school girl of sixteen.

Notes About Book:

Book Source: Historical Directory of the District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, D. A. R.

Notes about Online Publication: This manuscript has been ocr’d and edited. These records have been reproduced as clearly as online publication will allow us, but not all are exactly the way they were in the original work. The structure of this manuscript has been changed to allow better online presentation. No Spelling changes have been made to names.


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