Uber’s Odd Map

Over the weekend, Twitter user, Raynell, noticed an odd map when he accessed Uber’s map via his phone’s browser. The map looked normal, but it was filled with odd historical names.

It appears this is the result of Uber populating the map with data of historical names from the USGS. But GM thought he’d take the opportunity to explain the Georgetown names. (Unfortunately GM couldn’t replicate the map, and can only use the screenshot from Raynell).

Here are the historical references:

City Tavern: This is still around! It’s the City Tavern Club at 3206 M St. It’s a private club with a lovely building filled with remarkable history. For instance, it was a popular social setting for George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson around the time of the creation of the District of Columbia.

Suter’s Tavern: Sadly this building is no more. It once stood near the corner of 31st and K St. It was officially known as the Fountain Inn, but it was owned by John Suter, hence the more commonly used name. It was most famous for supposedly being the location where Washington met with Andrew Ellicott and Pierre L’Enfant to plan the nation’s capital. It was built in 1783, but was eventually torn down with no record. People mistakenly once thought the Old Stone House was actually Suter’s Tavern. This led to the house being preserved, despite not actually being the site of any particular notable events.

McGees Ferry: McGees Ferry (also spelled MaGees) was a ferry that ran from Georgetown, MD to Virginia. This was, of course, before the creation of DC, when Georgetown was part of Maryland. In fact, when the ferry ran (circa 1737) there was no Georgetown. The ferry traveled across the Potomac above what we now call Roosevelt Island. By 1748, the island was owned by George Mason (and called “Mason’s Island”) and he established a new ferry to replace McGees Ferry.

Orems Luck: This was a tract of land patented by Archibald Orme in 1762. There doesn’t seem to be any particular story behind the name.

Herring Hill: Herring Hill was the name of the historical African American community that was centered in east Georgetown. The name came from the fact that its inhabitants often fished for herring out of Rock Creek nearby.

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