There’s a great new resource for people interested in house history in Washington. It’s an interactive map called History Quest from the DC Historic Preservation Office that shows a range of fabulous information for 127,000 houses in the District - dates of construction, architect, builder, original owner, materials used - though some of the older homes don’t have as much info. Click on the picture above to check it out.
The map certainly helps amateur local historians like me. I’ve been researching some of the oldest homes in our area, and the map makes that task much easier than digging through old paper and microfilm records at MLK library or the DC Archives. I’ve been looking particularly for still-extant houses built before Brookland was first subdivided in 1887. Back then it was all farmland, the homes were primarily farmhouse style, and only a handful remain. Below is an 1887 G. M. Hopkins map, showing the Brookland area just before subdivision. As you can see, there was no village, just farm tracts of various sizes dotted with a few houses. I’ve circled the location of the houses mentioned in this post.