A Genealogical Find

A few days ago I bought In the Shadow of the United States Capitol: Congressional Cemetery and the Memory of the Nation, a history of the historic cemetery in Washington, DC, by Abby Arthur Johnson and Ronald Maberry Johnson. I didn’t know of this book before Sunday; then I received a email about a saleContinue reading “A Genealogical Find”

LEGOing Up a Webcam Tower

A few months ago at work, I built a LEGO stand for my webcam. I’d bought the camera at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. It was supposed to clip onto the monitor, but I have a curved superwide monitor at the office and the clip, while well-intentioned, wouldn’t attach to that. I had to come up withContinue reading “LEGOing Up a Webcam Tower”

2020: The Year In Review

Do I need to say that 2020 was an awful year? Must I? Let’s watch a Carl Sagan video before I get to my annual review of the first post of each month. This is not the “Pale Blue Dot” video I was looking for. I went through my blog archives, I went through myContinue reading “2020: The Year In Review”

Three Newspaper Clippings and a Genealogical Puzzle

On June 9, 1886, the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Maroons met at Swampoodle Grounds in Washington. That same day, a dozen blocks southeast of the ballpark, following a funeral service that morning in Baltimore, Annie Atwell was laid to rest at Congressional Cemetery in a family plot with the remains of her daughter.Continue reading “Three Newspaper Clippings and a Genealogical Puzzle”

Genealogy in Old Photographs

Facebook reminded me yesterday morning that I went to Washington, DC six years ago — July 4, 2014 — for a Washington Nationals game and A Capitol Fourth. That trip provided me with one of my most-trafficked blog posts of the past decade on why I didn’t stand for “God Bless America” at the NationalsContinue reading “Genealogy in Old Photographs”

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’sContinue 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 inContinue reading “Exploring Georgetown, 1890”

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”

Women Playing Baseball in the 1910s

Recently while digging around on the Library of Congress website I found a series of photographs of young women playing baseball. The photos were undated; they had a range between 1909 and 1923, nothing more specific. The uniforms resembled those worn by Ida Schnall’s New York Female Giants in 1913, though without the stitched logoContinue reading “Women Playing Baseball in the 1910s”

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 CongressContinue reading “Revisiting the Washington That Never Was”