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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Little Gray Schoolhouse: 1917

Little Gray Schoolhouse: 1917

Circa 1917. "Said to be the first school in the District of Columbia, 4th & C Streets S.E." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.



On the Google Map you will notice a tree lined boulevard on the other side of the gas station - that is likely where the streetcar tracks were located. I live on a similar street with a boulevard where trolley tracks were located at one time. We even found a spike in our front yard - must have been tossed when they took the tracks up.

Display window

I find it interesting that there appear to be two display windows on the front of the building.

[It had been repurposed as a shop at some point. - tterrace]

Same tree?

It appears that nothing from this photograph has survived - with the possible exception of the tree at the left of the Street View image. I'm no arborist, so I ask those who are wiser in these matters - is it conceivable that the tree shown below is more than 96 years old, and was present when the 1917 photograph was taken?

[Not unless it decided it was tired of being a maple. - Dave]

[At the risk of further exposing my arboreal ignorance, I was talking about the tree at left, that's mostly cut out of the inline Street View (it was visible in the view I originally posted) - scroll left a bit and you'll see it. To me, it resembles the one at the left of the 1917 photo.]

[I was talking about the tree at the left too. Which has completely different leaves. - Dave]

[Consider me edified. A plant detective I shall never be.]

View Larger Map

Ghost train

Behind the former school seems to be a passing train, more likely a streetcar. Besides being the first school in DC it also looks like the building has the first awnings.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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