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Lost Farms and Estates of Washington, D.C.

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Washington has a rural history of agrarian landscapes and country estates. John Adlum, the Father of American Viticulture, experimented with American grape cultivation at The Vineyard, just north of today's Cleveland Park. Slave laborers rolled hogsheads - wooden casks filled with tobacco - down present-day Wisconsin Avenue from farms to the port at Georgetown. The growing Washington has a rural history of agrarian landscapes and country estates. John Adlum, the Father of American Viticulture, experimented with American grape cultivation at The Vineyard, just north of today's Cleveland Park. Slave laborers rolled hogsheads - wooden casks filled with tobacco - down present-day Wisconsin Avenue from farms to the port at Georgetown. The growing merchant class built suburban villas on the edges of the District and became the city's first commuters. In 1791, the area was selected as the capital of a new nation, and change from rural to urban was both dramatic and progressive. Author Kim Prothro Williams reveals the rural remnants of Washington, D.C.'s past.


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Washington has a rural history of agrarian landscapes and country estates. John Adlum, the Father of American Viticulture, experimented with American grape cultivation at The Vineyard, just north of today's Cleveland Park. Slave laborers rolled hogsheads - wooden casks filled with tobacco - down present-day Wisconsin Avenue from farms to the port at Georgetown. The growing Washington has a rural history of agrarian landscapes and country estates. John Adlum, the Father of American Viticulture, experimented with American grape cultivation at The Vineyard, just north of today's Cleveland Park. Slave laborers rolled hogsheads - wooden casks filled with tobacco - down present-day Wisconsin Avenue from farms to the port at Georgetown. The growing merchant class built suburban villas on the edges of the District and became the city's first commuters. In 1791, the area was selected as the capital of a new nation, and change from rural to urban was both dramatic and progressive. Author Kim Prothro Williams reveals the rural remnants of Washington, D.C.'s past.

32 review for Lost Farms and Estates of Washington, D.C.

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vicky P

    For someone who's been living in DC for 4.5 years and has loved every minute of it, this book was really fun because every other page the name of a farm or a river or a person or an estate made you go 'oh THAT'S where that place got its name'. Clear prose, well-organized information, really excellent choices of photographs and old maps. I think if I could have had one extra thing from this book, it would have been modern maps with modern street names and landmarks with the old maps superimposed For someone who's been living in DC for 4.5 years and has loved every minute of it, this book was really fun because every other page the name of a farm or a river or a person or an estate made you go 'oh THAT'S where that place got its name'. Clear prose, well-organized information, really excellent choices of photographs and old maps. I think if I could have had one extra thing from this book, it would have been modern maps with modern street names and landmarks with the old maps superimposed over them. I recognize that maybe this would have become a bit of a privacy issue for some of the extant houses that are still private homes, so I can't blame the author too much. I really loved this book a lot, and would have been thrilled if it was twice its length, I could tell there was a wealth of research that went into writing it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Annie van Hilst

    This book had some fascinating stories of the development of DC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    I was definitely interested when I heard that the National Archives was hosting a book presentation by the author given the subject is one so little covered in the available literature on the history of Washington and the District of Columbia. It was an excellent presentation and the book is even better. Well researched and well presented with a good assortment of photographs of the subject farms and related buildings that dotted the rural (yes, rural) portions of the Federal District for at lea I was definitely interested when I heard that the National Archives was hosting a book presentation by the author given the subject is one so little covered in the available literature on the history of Washington and the District of Columbia. It was an excellent presentation and the book is even better. Well researched and well presented with a good assortment of photographs of the subject farms and related buildings that dotted the rural (yes, rural) portions of the Federal District for at least half of its history. The book is well foot noted with an almost 7 page bibliography for those interested in diving even deeper into the subject matter. Having been a student of the city’s history for only a few years, I was delighted at how much more I could learn from the author and how many resources she shared for further study. A highly recommended work offering a unique examination of the lesser known aspect of the city’s history.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dru

    4.5 a well researched book on a topic not previously studied. Many pictures, including old maps, enhance the text. A must-have for anyone interested in the history of what is now Washingiton, DC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John

  6. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Harkin

  8. 4 out of 5

    Farleigh

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Gilmore

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Cobb

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tam

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bonita

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erik Moe

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marlee Jacobs

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  21. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Martini

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  26. 5 out of 5

    BJ

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gene Parker

  28. 4 out of 5

    Avery

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trish Graboske

  31. 5 out of 5

    Mary Rank

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kim L-squared

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