Now and a Long Time Ago: Potomac

Potomac

This week for Now and a Long Time Ago, GM returns once again to the great William R. Ross Postcard Collection. This time it’s a shot of the Potomac shoreline sometime in the 1910s or 1920s.

Right off the bat, it’s not the most exciting historic overlay. You notice Healy Hall and the Washington Canoe Club, both of which appear pretty much the same today. But look closer and you can see how much this part of Georgetown has changed.

For instance, check out the steam train chugging by:

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The B&O Railroad sent trains down these tracks until the 1980s.

Moreover, look at all the houses that were subsequently torn down:

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The rowhouses across the center of this clip were on Canal Rd. and the higher homes were on Prospect, as you can see from this survey from 1919:

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The map suggests that 37th St. once went down from Prospect to Canal, but a closer look suggests that only a wood staircase made the trip:

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GM’s not sure why so many homes were torn down and replaced with nothing but trees. The street that had those four homes seen immediately above became St. Mary’s Place at some point. The land underneath them is now just a field and some trees:

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