On the Waterfront: The Godey Lime Kilns

Circa 1930s

As part of his occassional series on the formerly industrial Georgetown waterfront, GM turns his attention to the Godey Lime Kilns. The kilns once stood on the east bank of Rock Creek just at the terminus of the C & O Canal.

Name: The Godey Lime Kilns

Built By: William M. Godey

Date: 1864

Current Use: Only ruins left

William M. Godey began his lime-making business in Washington in 1854. In 1864, he moved his business to just outside Georgetown where the canal meets Rock Creek.

On this site he erected five kilns to burn the limestone coming down the canal to convert it to quicklime:

circa 1965

According to the Historic Building Survey:

By 1884, the family business seems to have been run by Edward Godey, unded the name of the “Washington Lime Kilns.” He advertised his business as occupying 500 fet on the east side of 27th Street and 500 feet on L Street. With 25 workers, Edward Godey boasted of producing 2000 barrels of wood-burned lime per week in five potent kilns. The limestone came down the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from a quarry near Harpers Ferry, and was unloaded, no doubt, on the east shore of Rock Creek beside the Godey Kilns.”

The kilns were taken over by John Dodson in 1897. They were operated until 1907 when they were abandoned.

In 1965, the park service and the District cooperated to excavate and salvage the remaining two kilns:

Circa 1965

Nowadays they look like this:




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One response to “On the Waterfront: The Godey Lime Kilns

  1. Pingback: On the Waterfront: Ray’s Warehouse «

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