Georgetown Time Machine: Georgetown Branch

GM is back to the great collection of old photos of the Georgetown Branch. Rather than try to merge this one with a modern shot, he decided to treat it as a Time Machine post and present the whole picture as is.

This is the description from the collection’s description:

Switching the west end of Georgetown
2/23/1947

Here we see several covered hoppers being passed by the B&O Scale House (to the right, behind the cars). Note the brakemen standing next to the cars. In the foreground is a B&O Section House, complete with jigger tracks in front for the hand car. In the distance an S unit is seen as the power for this train. Also seen in the distance is the pedestrian foot bridge over the GB, with a telltale to protect brakemen atop cars. To the left are some of the local boat houses on the Potomac River. There are 2 missing, no doubt from a recent flood. And, if my eyes don’t deceive me, if you look real hard, you can see what appears to be smoke & a headlight from a waiting steam engine just to the right of the center steeple of the boathouse in the background. There’s definitely something smoking back there. View is West. Photo is taken from atop the Aqueduct Bridge.

GM can’t add anything to the discussion on trains, but he can provide a bit more about the boathouses.

The far boathouse is the Washington Canoe Club, which still exists (although the building is in bad shape and is partially condemned). The club was founded in 1904 and the building was built in 1905.

The next building is Dempsey’s Boathouse. It was built in prior in 1903 by Patrick Dempsey (this article is from 1914 and is about an expansion to the existing building):

Here’s another article from 1913 describing Dempsey’s:

Sadly it burned down in 1961:

NPS proposed finally using this land for boating purposes again. But rather than allow for the construction of a major building like Dempsey’s, they called for small storage sheds and areas, somewhat like Key Bridge Boathouse.

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