A Mid-19th-Century View of Harrisburg

While poking around on the Internet this afternoon, I found something that would excite me — a bird’s eye view painting of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, done by an artist for Edward Sachse’s company in 1855. Sasche is an artist I’ve mentioned before in conjunction with my family genealogy — he did bird’s eye view maps of … Continue reading A Mid-19th-Century View of Harrisburg

The Grave of a 19th-Century Astronomer

Before the world went into its COVID-imposed lockdown, I discovered, quite by chance, while reading about Mary Ann Hall, that a photograph of my great-great-grandfather’s gravesite in Washington, DC’s Congressional Cemetery is on Wikipedia. No one but me would care that, in the background of the photo, is the gravesite of William Gardner, but it’s … Continue reading The Grave of a 19th-Century Astronomer

Exploring Georgetown, 1890

I saw this on Twitter Wednesday morning. It’s a photograph from the Georgetown University archives of Georgetown in 1890, looking out at the Washington Monument, taken from Georgetown’s Healy Hall. In the fall, I wrote about digging into a street map of Washington, circa 1883 and using it to find where my ancestors lived in … Continue reading Exploring Georgetown, 1890

Teddy Roosevelt in Baltimore

This is something I found a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to share. On September 28, 1918, former president Theodore Roosevelt visited Baltimore and delivered a speech at Oriole Park on Greenmount Avenue to extol the Fourth Liberty Loan (ie., war bonds), and this video shows TR and dignitaries delivering a speech … Continue reading Teddy Roosevelt in Baltimore

The Most Notorious Brothel Owner in Civil War Washington

This week, I explained to several colleagues at Diamond what the desktop wallpaper on my monitor at work is, which you can see above — a painting of Washington, DC done by Edward Sachse in the early 1850s. (Be sure to check out this Maryland Historical Society article on his Bird’s Eye View of Baltimore.) … Continue reading The Most Notorious Brothel Owner in Civil War Washington

Revisiting the Washington That Never Was

You haven’t lived until you’ve digitally clipped mid-19th-century cursive from a scan of a faded and dirty print. This is B.F. Smith’s landscape of Washington, showing projected improvements in the capital city — the Washington Monument, a stone bridge across the Washington City Canal — from 1852. I found this on the Library of Congress … Continue reading Revisiting the Washington That Never Was

Exploring an 1883 Map of Washington, DC

A few months ago, the novelist Howard Weinstein posted to Facebook a link to Adolph Sachse’s “Bird’s Eye View” map of Baltimore in 1869, and I poured over it, finding the location where my great-great-grandmother and her father lived at the time and the church where my great-grandparents might have married in 1900, as it … Continue reading Exploring an 1883 Map of Washington, DC

The Washington That Never Was

While looking through the Library of Congress’ website yesterday, I found this vintage 1852 image of Washington, DC, done by the same company that did the map of Baltimore of 1868. “Oh, wow,” I said. “This is cool. There’s the Smithsonian Castle, designed by James Renwick. There’s Trinity Episcopal, also designed by Renwick. There’s the … Continue reading The Washington That Never Was

Exploring an Old Baltimore Map

Yesterday afternoon, Howard Weinstein shared an interesting find on Facebook, E. Sachse, & Co.’s 1868 map of Baltimore City. Weinstein is writing an historical novel set in Baltimore about a decade later, and he said it would be helpful in his research, and perhaps to others as well. I had ancestors in Baltimore in 1868 … Continue reading Exploring an Old Baltimore Map