Wm. E. Wiley and Son on Nichols Ave.  My dad was Clyde E Wiley.  I am in Ft. Collins, Co.  I will be back with a lot more history.  Dad went to school and was friends with George Curtis.  Okay, a little reminiscence.  I miss Felix Grant and his


I was searching for a source for Valati's and could not believe what popped up!!  I am a 4th generation Washingtonian.  My mother was from Georgetown and my father from Anacostia.  His Dad helped build Anacostia Methodist Church and had

 late night show.  Also, Weaver and ? was it on the morning show of WMAL?  So many good memories!  Thanks for the work.  We had a cottage at Highview near Deal.

Saxton Wiley 

Greetings !

       I grew up in Arlington, and recall (but was too young to  
attend) live televised dance parties for Milt Grant's show behind our  
house at the pool of the Rausch estate on Wilson Boulevard.

      Do you have any knowledge of live shows broadcast there from  
north Arlington?

        All the best,

             Todd Crespi

There was no Virginia Beach in Arlington. However, on the N bank of Four Mile Run, just W of the Alexandria Canal which adjacent to the road preceding Jeff Davis Highway (Route 1), was a 40-acre amusement park called Luna Park. The trolley line ran parallel to the road and a spur branched off for the "Luna Park Special".  There was a 16-page booklet in 1906 that described Luna Park as "unquestionably the grandest and most complete amusement and recreative place between the great ocean resorts... architectural fashion plate, and the scenic beauty is unsurpassed in this country...magnificent buildings, ball rooms, restaurants, roller coasters, soot-the-chutes, circus performances, exhilarating rides and exposition shows... It is an ideal outing place... the impressions will linger in our memory."


A concrete reservoir up the hill near Fort Scott (right at the end of our property) supplied water for the 80-foot lagoon which looked like a bad copy of Venice. Special features were brought in for short periods, rented from Coney Island. Four trained elephants came, they broke free and were scattered all around the county. Some roamed around the VA Theological Seminary. Three were eventually caught in Fairfax County.  A few years later, the park was severely damaged by fire and it was abandoned. The elaborate entrance gates and some of the buildings remained until around the mid-1950's.  There's no mention, however, of a beach. 


There's a public sandy beach on the Potomac River near Westmoreland State Park in Colonial Beach, VA. There is no reference to Virginia Beach in either my Arlington Heritage or Northern Virginia Heritage books.


At Donaldson Run, the mouth was a favorite swimming hole and a boat-landing.  It was called Swimming Landing Run, but this was on the land records before 1900. Also, the current of the Potomac was  and still is very dangerous around there. It's along the palisades off N Glebe Road. A few people committed suicide there, including Mrs. Donaldson, who also killed 2 of her children under the ice - a 3rd child escaped.   


I was born in River Terrace and attended Benning Road Elementary for kindergarten; Raymond Elementary for grades 1, 2 (still remember the school song); finished at Keene Elementary; was graduated from MacFarland JHS in 1957; At Coolidge in 1957-1958; then got caught using a false address, and we moved to MoCo where I was graduated from Northwood HS 1960. I was graduated from Mount Vernon Junior College in DC - a women's school and now part of GWU and coed.  I have lived in Arlington in what is now Pentagon City, since November 1968. I was working on contract to the Institute for Defense Analysis (the IDA building) at 400 Army Navy Drive and working in what was then called the NMCSSC in the bowels of the Pentagon. Still live on Army Navy Drive. Our entire condo condo shook on 9/11 and the smell of the jet fuel filled my home for more than a day. I was watching it happen on tv, as I felt and smelled it. 


As far back as I can remember into the 1940's, there was never a beach in Arlington, and we came over here a lot by car. All around Arlington House was Freedman's Village, and the other "colored" villages established after the Civil War and several were around the area of Pentagon. But the waters around there haven't been clean in > 75 years., and there was always dredging going on. 


There's a great Arlington Room at the central library on N. Quincy Street.


And Julie might want to check the Washingtoniana Room at the main library in DC re: Kaywood Gardens, which I'll bet was built by Kay Builders. You can even call the Library and I've always had great luck with whoever was on the desk in the Washingtoniana Room.




We added our memories and they were included on Page 15.  Somehow, 
another (same) set of our memories got added to Page 16.  We were using 
a new e-mail program so probably, somehow, submitted them twice.
Anyway, we would love to hear from any of the other persons who have 
contributed to the "Memories of DC."  We are especially interested in 
hearing from those who were born around 1928.
Our e-mail is
We have a genealogical web-page with pictures of my Davis ancestors and 
Eleanor's Deyoe ancestors -- some at famous sites in DC.  That site is
We are looking forward to hearing from any and all of you.
Lester B  and Eleanor D. Davis

I found your site doing a search for Hot Shoppes Chicken Noodle Soup!  What a wonderful surprise.  Less calories this way.


I wanted to let the person who is searching for friends of his/her mother, Gail Richter to contact me at:  We lost touch when we went to different schools after Coolidge High School.  I might be able to suggest some contacts to get more details.


As for some of my favorite memories, my family moved around to different parts of DC from 1940-1980 so I have a wide pool of locations to draw from:


Earliest memory is doing a somersault over the handrail of the set of stairs from the old Georgetown Hospital that takes you down to M Street. (This site later became famous in the movie, The Exorcist!)  My mother, meanwhile, was giving birth to my brother.


Taking walks with my father and mother up Georgia Avenue to get frozen custard from the walk-up stand with the life-size polar bear in front...(and, what about the life-size taxidermied polar bear in front of the furrier Zlotnick?? downtown) was a real treat.


Taking a rowboat ride to get to the other side at Hains Point where we'd go swimming at the end of the work day with our parents.  And, taking the streetcar through the woods to the swimming pool at Glen Echo on the weekends were big adventures.  If we were lucky, we could go on the rides that they had there, too.


On Sundays, my grandfather would take me for a bus ride...  Really.  That was his thing.  We'd get on the bus and transfer all over town.  We had no destination.  I could be a busdriver now.  He knew every route and wanted to share.  All on one token!   We didn't always head for the tourist spots, either.  Sometimes, we went to different parts of town to see how different people lived.  It was a real education for me.  My parents never knew what we were up to.


Does anyone remember the market on Florida Avenue?  My grandmother would take me there with her on Fridays to watch her pick out a live chicken for dinner.  Then, we'd take it to a butcher around the corner and wait awhile.  When it was ready, we'd carry it on the bus and ride back home where my grandmother would make chicken soup.  If the chicken had any unfinished eggs inside, she would put them in the soup and save them especially for me.  Truth be known, it never did take much to make me happy:)


Other good memories include the art shows, outdoor movies and fireworks on the mall.  The Medical Museum that I loved to take my out-of-town cousins to see because it was so creepy. 


Probably my favorite of all was in the Loew's Capitol Theatre on F Street where my mother would take me to see a live stage show and movie.  Here you could explore secret nooks that led to nowhere.  The ladies room was a delight with velvet settees and bronze statuettes to enjoy.   In addition, there was another room with probably 30 separate makeup tables with chairs and mirrors; each had its own special lighting, and all this went around the room from one end to the other.  You could imagine how glamorous it was at night when the adults would be there.  (I always wondered how the Men's room looked in comparison but every time I tried to peek in, when no one was watching of course, someone would be coming out.)


Later, we lived at 15th and Swann Street, NW, my friends and I would go around the corner to a store on 14th Street where they had what I recall as the biggest selection of penny candies in the world.  My favorite candy would not be politically correct anymore but, in those days (Since I was included as one of the black children, anyway), we all could affectionately call the licorice candies "nigger babies" and enjoy every taste without feeling guilt.


We went to the theatre near 15th and U Street, where the black people sat upstairs and the white people sat downstairs.  I sat upstairs with my friends.  When my father got a job near 7th and M Street, the friends I made over there took me with them to the theatre but this time the black people sat on the left side of the divider and the white people sat on the right and I had to sit on the right side!  The manager made sure I would stay where I "belonged."   He even took the time to complain to my father that if I didn't sit still in the white section, I wouldn't be welcome to go there.


A few years later, I would go to the lunch counter at the Chastleton Hotel at 16th and R to get candy but my friends couldn't come in with me.  I couldn't believe that it was all right to treat people differently just because of their skin color and I sure wasn't having any of that (I think I was 9 by this time) and so I asked the waitress if this was true.  She told me that she was sorry but that's how it was and so I bought some ice cream and left without eating it or paying for it as my little statement to the establishment.  Today, I'm still an activist.


It took all those years that I was growing up and attended Coolidge High School before the friends of my childhood could have gone to school with me. 


What memories.











My teacher, Miss Malloy, taught us always to spell out the name of our city, always, never DC.  She taught us songs like, "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, and "Silent Night" in German.  We had music, science and Victory Gardens and a firm base for future learning.  Believe me, it was hard but the older I get the more I appreciate my schooling in Washington, D.C.  People really won't believe now if I go on too long about how great it was to grow up there.  I took my children to visit my old home in SE some time ago and they were appalled and one said, "Gee, Mom, I didn't know you lived in a slum".  Well, how wrong that was! There was free access to a great library at Seventh and Pennsylvania where a librarian asked me one day if my mother knew I was reading "Gone With the Wind" and myths of the Grecian civilization.  Wow, how many even know who you are today much less knowing who your mother is?  I have three friends today in this area on the Eastern Shore who lived there also and we all agree it truly was wonderful.  We all had the same memories of being free to visit Capitol Hill, the Folger, the National Gallery of Art, and all those museums, climbing up to the top of the Washington Monument and walking up to the White House.  Those marble palace-like buildings are just as beautiful to me now and on each trip back to "home" I am struck with how fortunate we were to live there.  Many a cold day I walked into the Botanic Garden just to get warm. Has anyone mentioned the National Cathedral?  God surely lives there!   I still get a thrill going there. as welll as Union Station.  We went on trains then to New York and it was a long trip once.  Many years later my son went to school at Gonzaga  but by that time he could not understand my love of the city because it was scary on North Capitol St. then.  Well, we moved to a suburban neighborhood where no one knew you and everyone was from somewhere else and one had to have a car to get the kids to school, etc. Better schools, though. Yes, it was "safe" but oh so blah.   Now I am so pleased that my grandchildren are knowledgeable about the city and enjoy it often with their parents.  I even got to take the boys to the Kennedy Center for a concert at Christmas.  They were suitably impressed by the acres of red carpet and marble halls along with the sounds of the tympani and choirs.  My brother, Donald, died in Korea and is buried in Arlington.  I like to remember him playing baseball on the Ellipse.  Thanks for the memories!  Carol Winters


I lived in DC, (actually Anacostia) in the early 60's. Hot shoppes, White Tower burgers, The big chair in front of the furniture store in Anacostia, taking the bus and then street car from Barney Circle way down Pa. Ave and then walk a couple of blocks to the Lionel train store, swimming in the big pool in Anacostia park, going to kramer junior High school, and how about the WW2 submarine down by the navy Yard ? Also watching the airplanes take off from the Air Station and fly over John Phillips Souza Bridge. I live in Wisconsin now....a loooooooong way from DC.  Haven't been since the early 90's.......must know that "Fish & Cow" guy. I grew up on Minnesota Ave. and am 62 now................What a website !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..dave Patterson

I grew up in Silver Spring in the sixties, but have lived in Alexandria for about 20 years. My sisters took piano lessons at the district line, just off Georgia avenue, and I would spend time with my dad, in Silver Spring while we waited for them. We hung out at Wilson Pontiac on Georgia avenue, and had breakfast at the Hot Shoppes across the street. Down the road a little there was a cool entrance to a diner in the shape of a coffee pot. It was at the corner of Georgia and possibly East-West highway. I worked at the main Post Office in Silver Spring, right next to the Silver Spring Acorn, where the actual spring is located. There's a little plaque about the man who discovered it with his daughter. I believe it was the Blair family. Does anyone have a photo of the polar bear ice cream place that was in Silver Spring? I still recall how it looked, but I'd love to see it again. There's a great tape available on the history of Silver Spring put out by WETA. -Doug

My mother, a resident of the District of Columbia since 1940,  
recently passed away. At her funeral my Uncle Richard Fitzgerald said  
that he used to work at Fairlawn, riding the horses, and on the week- 
end he would stay with my Mom and Dad at their apartment on Minnesota  

As a child, I heard the word Fairlawn, but do not know what it is. I  
recognize many of the old favorites on the Memory Pages:  Velati's  
candy, Woodies at Christmas, Garfinckel's where the ladies wore white  
gloves, taking the streetcar to Glen Echo, Uline Arena, Griffith  
Stadium, the vegetable monger with his horse and wagon, the old  
market on Seventh Street in southeast, Milt Grant, Pick Temple (my  
favorite bread's Heidi) and many more.

Three generations of our family grew up on South Carolina Avenue next  
to Garfield Park. The Parks Department would show movies in the  
summer time on the side of the Parks Building.

In those days, our neighborhood was called Southeast, as opposed to  
Far Southeast which was across the Anacostia Bridge.  Real Estate  
people renamed it Capitol Hill much later.

We used to get fliers from the District Commissioners  slid under our  
door as the spring time approached urging us residents to be polite  
and helpful to the tourists who would soon descend upon our little city.

I have many wonderful memories, but  I do not remember Fairlawn. Can  
you help?

Many Thanks

Ellen Fitzgerald
Born in Old Providence Hospital

Dear Debi,
Many thanks for what you are doing. Please add the following genuine memories to your pages:
—Jimmy Ortte

It was so much fun and exciting reading the WDC memories. My mind raced for hours flooded with joy, recalling what we all shared together. Especially when it was my neighborhood and places I frequented.

My very earliest memories were of the late ‘40s. Horses in the alleys. Water troughs on Nichols Avenue SE for horses. At night lots of people sitting on their apartment stoops, smoking, talking about tire shortages, etc. While we kids ran amok on our tricycles, playing tag and hide ‘n seek, and dressing up as cowboys. I lived in a house surrounded by apartment buildings on Mellon St., SE, Congress Heights. I recall the coal chute and coal bins for the apts. The milk trucks grinding grears. The Good Humor man and Jack and Jill Ice Cream trucks. Enormous weighing scales outside People’s and Mellon’s drug stores.

One day they told me you’re going to school. Congress Heights Elementary Kindergarten. Adults walked me there for the first week; after that we kids walked ourselves. 1950 first grade at St. Peter’s, SE Capitol Hill. I was introduced to nuns, a new school and D.C. Transit—all in one week. We rode the bus to/from school by ourselves. Second thru sixth grades back at C.H. Elementary. I was a latch key kid as both parents worked. I recall Safety Director Dick Mansfield and Sgt. Pike coming to CH Elementary.

1951-59: I attended the police Boys Club and Camp Ernest W. Brown for 2 weeks every summer. In SW DC we had a day camp called Bald Eagle, near Fort Drum, so much fun. A friend just told me they still have Christmas displays at stores downtown.

For me, as a child at Christmas, Hechts, Kanns, Lansburg’s were the ones we shopped at, then rode the bus home with arms full of packages. At Congress Heights Elementary, who could forget Liffs DGS Market next door and the D.C. Rec Center one black away with plenty of woods and creek nearby. Every year I walked down Portland St. to Bolling AFB for Armed Forces Day. To see those early jets fly over was stunning.

Highs Dairy ice cream was awesome; also Good Humor and the one-gallon glass jug of milk was challenging to carry; Jack & Jill and Stevenson pies were a treat once a month. In SE, Bob’s Frozen Custard and Leaning Tower of Pizza were my favorites.

Can’t forget Hurricane Hazel and its aftermath—and whatever happened to the Big Chair at Curtis Bros.?

As a teenager, fast cars were fascinating. Early drag racing on Mellon St. and from Hart Jr. High we raced to McDonalds in Eastover for lunch. 45 cent 3-course meals. Also, the teen twist at Mighty Mo. And no one has yet mentioned the Ranch Avenue Drive-in—dusk-to-dawn marathon free coffee and donuts. Teenage drinking for me was at Fort Carroll Tavern—great juke box (good rock), underage drinking no problem. Then you would load up on Little Tavern hamburgers.

Great memories of Penn Theatre and others there. My dad hung out a 3-4 joints across from Marine Barracks on 8th St. Sometimes I tagged along. I loved the Wineland Theatres—Congress, Atlantic, Naylor, Anacostia; ABC and Super Chief drive-ins.

We had a cottage at Selbey on the Bay. Loved North Beach & Triton and slot machines in Southern Md. Many Harleys at N. Beach and summer carnivals in PG County.

Memories of Pick Temple, Glen Echo, Marshall Hall, Milt Grant, Griffith Stadium, D.C. streetcars, and the smell of Wonder Bread near Griffith Stadium.

Those years now bring a smile to my face and a yearning to turn back the clock. Perhaps we could ALL meet to reminisce.

Many thanks,
Jimmy Ortte

Do YOU have any memories of D.C.? If so, please e-mail me and I will add them to this page.