Monday, August 13, 2007

Picturesque Anacostia

From time to time I will post excerpts from old newspaper articles about or referencing Anacostia. (with a wink to JD who had the same idea)
Check out this pretty amazing article from 1890:
"There is no more beautiful and picturesque suburban village in such delightful proximity to any city than Anacostia is to the Capital City.

"Sweet Auburn" may have been the "loveliest village of the plain," but Anacostia, with her reach of streets up the easy stretch of hills that decline from the Maryland shore to the banks of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac that separates it from the southern section of the city, must claim the prize as the loveliest village of the hills, or "divide the crown" with some extremely beautiful hamlet.

The village from the city looks picturesque, indeed, with its rich emerald background of undulating sward and rich foliage, but from the village, in a gaslight view of Washington, it does not take an extravagant stretch of the imagination to recall the "Loroli" on the River Rhine.

And while the village is borrowing some of its beautiful designs in architecture, it is also imitating the neighboring city in its general business and public enterprise. It is in all its features a very desirable adjunct to the city proper as a place for suburban residence. Its situation is healthful and delightful, many of its most attractive sites being 200 feet above the level of the river. It will soon have greatly increased street car facilities from all parts of the city, which will give an additional impetus to crown its emerald slopes with neat cottages and more pretentious villas.

It has now two churches and a public school-house of no mean proportions. Its stores, both wholesale and retail, compare favorably with like establishments in the city, and enjoy a very considerable trade from the contiguous counties of Maryland, whose trade must pass through its streets to enter the city. The streets are well laid off, lit with gas, and are being rapidly built up and properly graded, and otherwise improved."

excerpt from "Picturesque Anacostia", The Washington Post, June 8, Eighteen-Ninety

Header graphic by DG-rad

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