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

A Potential Genealogical Discovery

I found something interesting yesterday, a reference to my great-grandfather in one of Baltimore’s German language newspapers, Der Deutsche Correspondent, on December 1, 1899. Der Deutsche Correspondent was Baltimore’s daily German newspaper, and it was published for nearly eighty years, from the early 1840s to 1918. It reads (translated thanks to Google): Marriage LicensesMarriage licenses … Continue reading A Potential Genealogical Discovery

An American Flag, Sewn in Scotland, Returns Home

In 1918, a troop ship carrying American soldiers to Europe was torpedoed off the coast of Scotland. Though many were saved from the waters by other ships in the troop convoy, the bodies of nearly 200 soldiers washed ashore on the island of Islay. What ensued was a recovery of the bodies by the island’s … Continue reading An American Flag, Sewn in Scotland, Returns Home