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The Georgetown Metropolis

Dumbarton Oaks Park

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Pools Won’t Open This Year

All summer the Departments of Parks and Recreations held out the possibility that the public pools would open. Pools were identified as things to open in Phase II, and DPR prepped the pools across the city to open quickly.

But they didn’t open with the arrival of Phase II on June 22nd. There was talk that they would be delayed until July 15th. But that came and went with no news.

Well the city has finally yesterday acknowledged what was becoming increasingly obvious: the pools would not open at all this year. Splash parks will remain closed too.

But you know what won’t be closed? Indoor restaurants. You can also keep huffing to the oldies at your gym. Want to meet up with your friends over some beers at an outdoor bar? Go to town, champ. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

1400 block of 34th St.

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Students Collaborate to Research History of Those Buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery

Photo by WAMU 88.5.

A group of middle school, high school and college students gathered last week to celebrate an inaugural project to document the lives of the individuals buried at the historic Mt. Zion and Female Union Band Cemetery on Mill Road in northeast Georgetown. GM was sadly out of town and missed the event but according to the event’s release:

The Mt. Zion Female Union Band Society Historic Memorial Park, Inc. and Eagle Eye Tutoring, Inc. jointly announced today the successful completion of their summer study project (the Project) which has provided unique opportunities for a multi-racial group of middle school, high school, and college students to conduct original historical research to uncover and memorialize some of the hidden history of Georgetown’s African Americans.

The resultant database of vital statistics, biographies, interviews, photos, audio, and video will be donated to the Mt. Zion – Female Union Band Cemetery at the Final Class, which will be held at the Cemetery (2501 Mill Road Northwest, Washington, DC 2007) this Thursday, July 30, 2020, at 2 pm – 4 pm.

The cemetery is a fascinating and hallowed ground. It is reported to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad and is the final resting place of thousands of Black Georgetown residents, both enslaved and free, with burials ranging from the 18th century up until 1950.

The cemetery has obviously fallen into disrepair, which the organization listed at the beginning of the release is trying to remedy. But its place at the heart of Georgetown’s story has not weathered at all. It’s fantastic to see the stories of those buried there getting documented before the names are washed away from the stones forever.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

1400 block of 34th St.

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Lost Georgetown: Montrose

One of the loveliest spots in Georgetown is Montrose Park. But few realize it was once a private estate. This week on Lost Georgetown, GM is exploring the Montrose estate.

The area that is now Montrose Park was first developed into something other than a forrest by Richard Parrott. Parrott purchased the property in 1804 and transformed it into a private estate, with a federal style house, an orchard, and a rope factory. The rope-making is commemorated by the Parrott Rope Walk that runs down the center of the park from R St. to the playground. This is meant to reflect the long narrow workshops that once made ropes at that site. (It’s important to mention here that the labor for this rope factory was provided by enslaved workers owned by Parrott).

The rope factory burned down and Parrott abandoned the property. The estate became known as Parrott’s Woods at this point, and was a popular recreation spot for Georgetowners seeking some air. It was purchased by Clement Smith, a man who was the first cashier at the Farmers and Mechanics Bank (the bank which eventually occupied the building which is now the PNC at Wisconsin and M St.) and rose to be its president. He named the property Elderslie. In 1837 it was sold to William Boyce, who renamed it Montrose, in honor of his familial connections to the Scottish Earls of Montrose.

Although his family continued to own the property until 1911, they did not live in it after 1858. It fell into disrepair, although some tenants brought it back into shape shortly in the 1880s. Eventually, however, it became totally abandoned and derelict. Georgetowners, led by Sarah Louise Rittenhouse, successfully petitioned Congress to purchase the land and dedicate it as park in 1911.

The house was too far gone at this point and was demolished the same year. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • The Kate Spade appears to have closed for good.
  • Georgetown’s old Britches clothing store reborn in Warrenton, Virginia, with longterm plans to come back to Georgetown.

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The Georgetown Metropolis

2900 block of K St.

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