Favorite Things #1 – The History

While GM is on his honeymoon, he’s publishing his top ten favorite things about Georgetown. Today we’re finally at number one: the history.
Georgetown is an old place. People have lived here since the mid-eighteenth century. Over the 250 or so years it’s existed, Georgetown has seen many people and stories pass through it. First it was a rough and tumble port. Eventually it grew to be a finely built and respectable municipality. With the decline of the C&O Canal among other factors, the village became the location of poor Irish and African American slums. Roosevelt’s new dealers started the gentrification ball rolling, and now it’s almost uniformly expensive (although GM insists there are still deals to be found if you look hard enough).
That’s the broad-brush history of Georgetown. And yes, frequently the history of Georgetown is told like a walking tour of which famous politician lived in what house. That’s all fine and good, but GM is more interesed in the more obscure history, like how our streets used to be called something else, and the fact they used to make rope in Montrose Park, or the fact that according to the 1920 census, GM’s block was full of cops, government clerks, and tradesmen.
Is that a trait unique to Georgetown? No, of course not. Neighborhoods across DC have their own unique histories as well. And if GM lived in those neighborhoods, it would probably be his favorite thing there too. But as it is, he lives in Georgetown, on a street that was once called “Road Street”, in a home that once housed an Irish draftsman, and discovering odd things like that (or that 31st street used to be a hippy hangout) is by far his favorite thing about living here.
Sadly for GM, his honeymoon is over this weekend. He’ll be back Tuesday to cover all the things he missed while he was traveling on the rails through Europe. Thank you for bearing with him.

Leave a comment

Filed under Favorite Things, History

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s