Sure you could celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday getting drunk on Guinness at a chain bar, but why not take an opportunity to explore Georgetown’s Irish history?
As you may know, during the early 20th century, parts of Georgetown were heavily Irish. The center of it was on the west side, close to the Catholic landmarks of GU, Trinity and Visitation.
The Irish concentration is long gone, but with the help of old photos you can imagine the ghosts still walking the streets. In the 30s, photographer Carl Mydans walked through the poor and heavily Irish blocks of west Georgetown and captured the scene of children treating the sidewalks as their playroom:
These are all from the 3600 block of O St. (which is now mostly owned by GU).
Next you can walk up to Holy Rood Cemetery on Wisconsin. It offers fabulous views (particularly of the snowy landscape we have today) and it is the final resting place of generations of Georgetown’s Irish citizens. Sadly, the cemetery is in terrible shape:
Photo by Raphael Crawford-Marks.
Finally, take a stroll back down Wisconsin to a living testament to Georgetown’s Irish past: Martin’s Tavern. And then, ok, have a few Guinness, but give a toast to Georgetown’s Irish ghosts.