Hillsdale Historical

Hillsdale Historical (HM1X3J)

Location: Washington, DC 20020
Country: United States of America

N 38° 51.509', W 76° 59.739'

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An East of the River View

—Anacostia Heritage Trail —

You are standing in the middle of what once was a large estate owned by James Barry. The Washington City merchant, land speculator, and councilman purchased part of the "St. Elizabeths" tract hoping to profit as the city expanded eastward.

By the end of the Civil War (1861-1865) some 40,000 refugees from slavery had arrived in Washington. They settled where they could, often in terrible conditions. To provide them with housing and education, the U.S. government established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. In 1867 the Freedmen's Bureau bought 375 acres from Barry's heirs to establish a model community. The Bureau sold one-acre lots here, induding building materials, and required buyers to construct a 14 X 24-foot two-room house with a peaked roof.

Within two years, more than 500 African American families, both refugees and established Washingtonians, had bought lots. Together they cleared trees and built houses, a church, and a school. After working all day, many families trudged out to Anacostia in the evenings to dig, saw, and hammer by candlelight.

Most Barry Farm men worked blue collar Jobs, often at St Elizabeths Hospital or across the river at the Navy Yard or the Washington Gas Light plant. But some made livings as government clerks, teachers or professionals. Prominent
among these were Frederick Douglass's sons Charles, Lewis, ,and Frederick Jr., and attorney and justice of the peace John Moss, the first African American judicial officer in DC. Smithsonian Institution employee Solomon Brown may have been the most respected. In 1811 voters black and white alike elected him to represent Anacostia in the DC House of Delegates for the first of three terms. Brown introduced the measure changing Barry Farm's name to Hillsdale.
HM NumberHM1X3J
Placed ByAnacostia Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, March 4th, 2017 at 5:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 326841 N 4302964
Decimal Degrees38.85848333, -76.99565000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 51.509', W 76° 59.739'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 51' 30.54" N, 76° 59' 44.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2629 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washington DC 20020, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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