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Big Bird: 1918

Big Bird: 1918

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Emergency Fleet Corporation, building exterior." E and Sixth streets N.W. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Big Bird's nest

appears to be resting curbside at the foot of the stairs. Perhaps he's been evicted!

The neighbors

Next door is Charlie Moy's "First-Class Hand Laundry," and an auto parts store (tires in the window, and a motor oil sign), and around the corner on Sixth is the Women's Christian Temperance Union (note the big W.C.T.U. sign).

Demon Rum

That would be the Woman's Christian Temperance Union down the block. You know, the Carrie Nation-ish prohibitionists?

Every home should have an eagle

That eagle statue on the lawn is certainly interesting, because whatever it's made of, stone, wood, or cast metal, it's definitely been painted. Not a common practice with most American representational sculpture later on.

Oh, and I'll meet you at W.C.T.U. headquarters for Happy Hour.


who didn't know what the Emergency Fleet Corporation was:
I guess they needed various random old buildings around town to store stuff.

[These buildings were used for office space. - Dave]


It's a bit decrepit, but there's a guy on a ladder just visible in one doorway, and what looks to be construction debris piled outside the other. And the spooky guy in the window, maybe with a rag in his hand. I think they're sprucing it up.

Before Salmon there was Silas

Salmon Chase bought this house from the estate of Silas Holman Hill, who died in 1860. Silas Hill came from New Hampshire to head the "Select Classical Academy" founded by Chase, and later went on to sit in the city council for ten years and run as the "Know-Nothing" candidate for mayor in 1856 and narrowly lost to Dr. William Magruder. So there is some irony that the building later housed a Catholic charitable organization.

Salmon P. Chase House

In a finer time, this building was home to Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. Prior to use by the EFC, the building served as clubhouse for the Fraternal Order of Eagles, hence the big bird. After the war, the Catholic Women's Service Club moved in for many years.

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