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DID YOU KNOW???? That located south of P Street between Rock Creek Park and 29th Street was a 15-block area called Herring Hill. This area was named after the main supply of food the neighborhood black familes fished from Rock Creek. Most of Black Georgetown, over one thousand families, lived in Herring Hill from the mid-to-late-1800's. The majority of these persons worked as gardeners, cooks, and stable help for the white population in Georgetown.
DID YOU KNOW???? Georgetown at this time was considered to be a transitional neighborhood, a crossroad between black and white families, and 29th Street was the border. During President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, black homeowners were offered high prices by real estate dealers who turned over the renovated houses to white residents.
DID YOU KNOW???? Although the majority of the original black families have moved to other areas of Washington, several of the churches still hold services and are maintained by ancestors of previous congregationers.
For the curious guest, the inquitisitive traveler, the frequent visitor, and the long time resident of Georgetown, this brief guide provides new and unexpected insights into the history of Black Georgetown.
1. MT. ZION CEMETERY - 2700 BLOCK OF Q STREET, NW
2. JERUSALEM BAPTIST CHURCH - 2600 P STREET, NW In 1870, Reverend Alexander of the First Baptist Church helped found a sister church, Seventh Baptist, as the number of Baptists increased in Georgetown. In 1903, the present red brick building with two magnificent stained glass windows facing P Street was completed and the church was renamed Jerusalem Baptist.
3. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GEORGETOWN - 27TH AND DUMBARTON AVENUE, NW Founded by a former slave, the Reverend Sandy Alexander, in 1862, First Baptist Church is the earliest known Baptist Church in Georgetown. The congregation worshiped in a building located at 21st & O Streets, NW before relocating to its present location at 27th and Dumbarton Avenue, NW.
5. EMMA V. BROWN RESIDENCE - 3044 P STREET, NW
6. DR. JAMES FLEET RESIDENCE - 1208 30TH STREET, NW
7. ALFRED AND WILLIAM H. LEE BUSINESS - 2906 M STREET, NW
8. THE BILLINGS SCHOOL - 3100-3108 DUMBARTON, NW
9. SITE OF YARROW MAMOUT RESIDENCE - 3330-3332 DENT PLACE, NW Yarrow Mamout, although almost unrecognized today, was a prominent resident of Georgetown. Mr. Yarrow purchased property, survived the American Revolution, never strayed from his Moslem religion, and lived to be over one hundred years old. His portrait was painted by one of the most accomplished painters in federal America and now hangs in the Georgetown Public Library in the Peobody Collection.
10. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - 36TH STREET BETWEEN O AND N STREETS, NW Since 1787, blacks have been parishoners at Holy Trinity Church. For more than a century, it was the only place in Georgetown where black Catholics could worship. In 1925, in eastern Georgetown near Rock Creek, the Catholic parish of Epiphany was organized. A year later, a chapel for black Catholics was built on Dumbarton Street.
11. GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY - 37TH & O STREETS, NW
12. DUKE ELLINGTON SCHOOL OF THE ARTS - 35TH & R STREETS, NW
Did You Know?
Prior to the purchase of the Old Stone House by the federal government, the lot was a used car dealership.