Revisiting Swampoodle Grounds

A week and a half ago I discovered Adolph Sachse’s “bird’s eye view” map of Washington, DC, circa 1883-1884, and I was able to find where my ancestors lived in Washington from the Civil War to the mid-1880s. There was something else I was interested in. Swampoodle Grounds. Swampoodle Grounds, also known as Capitol Park, … Continue reading Revisiting Swampoodle Grounds

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

Touring the National Cathedral

Today I took at tour of Washington’s National Cathedral. This is something I had been wanting to do for a while, ever since they announced they were building a LEGO replica of the cathedral, and it was just a matter of finding the time. A vacation day was scheduled, a ticket for that night’s Washington … Continue reading Touring the National Cathedral

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

A Cemetery Find, Five Years Past

Five years ago today, I visited Washington’s Congressional Cemetery for the second time. The Cubs were in Washington, the game was in late afternoon, and before the game I went to Congressional Cemetery to do some exploration and, more importantly, confirm the location of my great-great-grandfather William Gardner. My first visit had been in September … Continue reading A Cemetery Find, Five Years Past

Swampoodle, in Color!

Two weeks of work, off and on, and I’ve finished my colorization of Washington’s 19th-century baseball field, Swampoodle Grounds. The “heavy lifting” — the field itself, the McDowell & Sons building over the wall in right-center, a couple of buildings toward center, the sky itself — was accomplished two weeks ago in a blitz of … Continue reading Swampoodle, in Color!

An Off-Season Project: Colorizing Swampoodle Grounds

Sometime between 1886 and 1889, in either late March or early April, in the late afternoon, a photographer set up a camera and took a picture of the Washington Nationals practicing at Swampoodle Grounds, with the Capitol dome looming over the right field wall (and the McDowell & Sons Steam Elevator building). At work, the … Continue reading An Off-Season Project: Colorizing Swampoodle Grounds

A Vacation Day in the District

Thursday I took a vacation day. I went to Washington, DC for the day. I hadn’t been in the District since March for Shamrock Fest (though I had been to a baseball game in Bethesda at the beginning of August), and I hadn’t made it to a Nationals game yet this season, and I’d been … Continue reading A Vacation Day in the District

Taken: Why Am I Even Watching This?

Why do I keep watching Taken, the NBC television series ostensibly inspired by the Taken film franchise? I use the words “ostensibly inspired” because I have absolutely no idea what this series has to do with Taken. Clive Standen can’t be playing a young Liam Neeson for the simple fact that the television series takes … Continue reading Taken: Why Am I Even Watching This?