Category Archives: History
We’d been hoping to make it Harpers Ferry for quite awhile, so we were quite excited to make the trip this summer. Of course, we also couldn’t resist hitting up the Maryland wineries we saw along the way. Here was our itinerary:
10:00 am – Leave Cleveland Park. Head North on I-270.
11:00 am – First stop, Elk Run Vineyards. Turn off 1-270 just past Germantown. Just past Mt. Airy, you’ll find a cluster of wineries with cute small tasting rooms situated in the middle of small vineyards in the rolling hills of Maryland. In the tasting room, you can pick six wines to try from their large selection–we particularly enjoyed some of their award-winning reds. For those currently into the Rose trend, they also had a tasty, summery rose.
11:30 am – Next stop, Black Ankle Vineyards. Just down the road, you’ll find Black Ankle Vineyards, where you can sip five of their wines in their gorgeous new eco-friendly tasting room, made mostly from materials grown on-site. While there, grab a light lunch of local cheese and salami and a baguette.
12:30 pm – Finish the wine tour at Loew Vineyards. There’s a reason we put this winery after lunch – their sweet wines seem most appropriate for after dinner sipping. But for their low tasting fee, it was fun to try some dessert-y (many containing fruit) wines in their tiny tasting room.
2:00 pm – Arrive at Harpers Ferry, WV. We took US-340 W straight down to Harpers Ferry. Plan to park outside the town, where you can take a shuttle in to the sites. (For any history buffs: Make sure to stop off at the shuttle stop Bolivar Heights, a former Civil War site, where we got to see a Civil War reinactment!) Enjoy stepping back in time for an afternoon while visiting this influential historical town where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. There’s something for everyone in this little town – hiking, shopping, museums, and lots of picturesque views.
6:00 pm – Head back to Cleveland Park. After a long day, you’ll be back in time for a relaxing evening.
Tip: If you go during the summer months, make sure to stop at some of the farm stands along the side of the road. Great way to go locavore and fill up your fridge with lots of delicious veggies without paying Whole Foods prices.
Looking to make it a weekend trip? Head over to Charlestown, WV and spend a night watching horse races at Charlestown Races & Slots.
Over 150 people contributed to the Cleveland Park Historical Society survey recently. We were thrilled to hear about the survey and even more excited about the possibilities that could emerge. Some highlights from the survey include:
- Planning more talks and tours for the coming year, including walking tours in September and a house tour in October.
- Planning more historical content for the Historical Society’s site and for upcoming issues of Voices.
- Working on providing specific design advice to homeowners and builders.
- Meeting with the city’s Historic Preservation Office to offer support for the preparation of Cleveland Park-specific design guidelines.
- Continuing to seek ways to coordinate the Historical Society’s design review with the ANC’s in order to streamline the process for property owners and architects.
- Forming a working group to bring together neighbors interested in an oral history project.
We think that CPHS could and should take a leadership role in the neighborhood. There’s only one problem… it’s understaffed. CPHS consists of one quarter-time staff member, Carin Ruff, who also moonlights as a full-time student in historic preservation. According to Ms. Ruff, she does the following: “maintain the website, Facebook page, and Twitter account; write content from my own research and reading; respond to residents’ queries by doing historical research and connecting residents with city officials or whoever else has the information they need; coordinate and attend meetings of the Architectural Review Committee; answer architects’ questions; liaise with Historic Preservation Office staff; maintain membership records and coordinate membership and other event mailings; help plan events; edit and lay out printed publications like our newsletter; etc.” In other words, as much as we’d like to see CPHS do more, it faces significant institutional constraints.
Therefore, the onus is on us as volunteers to help propel CPHS forward. This can mean simply putting CPHS in touch with the “historians” in the neighborhood or volunteering to take on one of the initiatives listed above. Ms. Ruff mentioned to us that, “We’re especially interested in hearing from people who might like to participate in a neighborhood oral history project or who might like to write blog posts about neighborhood history for our website.”
Some of the survey responses indicate that there may be room for CPHS to partner with other DC organizations to help achieve its goals. For example, Ruff mentions that “The Washingtoniana Division at the MLK Library already runs regular workshops on researching house histories, so that’s an example of an area where we might be looking to collaborate with other local history organizations, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel or duplicate what’s already out there.”
We also believe that neighborhood businesses should take an active role in partnering with the organization. Sponsoring events that bring people to the neighborhood during the daytime on weekends would be mutually beneficial. We’d love to see a Cleveland Park Holiday House tour, or some variation, to mimic the successful tour in Logan Circle. That could be hard Ruff mentions because “the calendar gets really crowded around the holidays, it’s hard not to end up scheduled opposite another event that attracts the same audience, and the people who need to do the heavy lifting for a big event like the house tour are less available.”
Despite the difficulties involved in implementing some of the survey results, such an initiative helps create a road map for the CPHS. In addition, we hope that it is the impetus for desperately needed neighbor participation in the organization.
Just when we credited the Porter St disrepair with lowering revenues for the newly installed speed camera, we get word of a whopping $875 in fines for one person during one month. As WMAL reports, Cleveland Park resident Ann Wog has received 11 infractions in the mail recently all stemming from mid-December and beyond. Unfortunately for Wog, the first warning of her transgression did not come until 28 days after it occurred.
I recall hearing that people have gotten out of these “successive” tickets, but cannot find any evidence of that. Have any Cleveland Parkers been in a similar situation?
In today’s news for the 1 percent, the Washington Business Journal reported last week that Domaine Wine Storage and Appreciation has leased 11,000 square feet of underground space at 4221 Connecticut Ave NW. This address is current home to the vastly underrated Indian Ocean restaurant and the new Sushi Para. Exactly what value does Domaine seek to provide in the Upper Northwest market?
Wine storage appeals to both collectors who lack space to store their own bottles and serious investors who require precise temperature controls. Domaine will charge members between $2.50 and $4 per case per month to store wine, depending on what services they require. At the higher end, Domaine can digitally catalogue and monitor a customer’s collection.
The service is available at a pre-opening price of $1/month for storage of 1-149 cases.
Last week we brought you an old advertisement for new construction in Cleveland Park. Today, we fast forward four years from that last post to bring you an original real estate advertisement from the Washington Herald. This advertisement is from May 1911. I could not determine the exact address, let me know if you have a guess.
Snow lovers and random-day-off prayers have had a disappointing winter. With just two dustings thus far (Halloween weekend and January 9th), we’ve avoided any significant accumulation. Average snowfall in Washington, DC is around 15 inches, a number that seems to be ambitious for 2011-2012. Last year’s total was 10.1 inches. Most prognosticators predicted a rather moderate winter, including the Old Farmer’s Almanac which said “winter will be drier than normal.”
There’s a pretty good analysis of why this could be over at Capital Weather Gang, blaming our dearth of snow on La Nina. The biggest snowstorms in DC tend to be of the Nor’easter variety. Historically, February (6.3″) has been the month with the most snow in DC, so perhaps there is room to hold out hope. January is the second snowiest month (6.2″), but its half way over and the extended forecast does not indicate snow. Even March has produced a few whoppers … the last being the “Superstorm” of 1993 which dumped 13 inches on us.
And now, in place of real snow a few more Snowpocalyse 2010 pictures from Cleveland Park. That 2009-2010 season was Washington’s snowiest with a whopping 55.9 inches of snowfall. For some this rare double blizzard, was an unmitigated disaster. Most, however, found some fun or relaxation in the storm, even if it came after digging your car out from under two feet of snow.
“A bit of the country, yet of the city, having just enough of the best of each.” So reads an old newspaper advertisement from April 14, 1907 in the Washington Times. What’s for sale? Houses in Cleveland Park. Earlier today we started a regular installment that reviews real estate along Connecticut Ave. Tonight, we go back over 100 years and find homes starting at “$6,500 and upward.” Some of the great selling points of the neighborhood back then? Two car lines, no houses in rows, special police and fire protection, and no unsightly structures.
The agent purchasing the ad is Moore & Hill. This company was originally the exclusive real estate company of neighborhood developers, Cleveland Park Company. When the Cleveland Park Company filed for bankruptcy in 1905, Moore & Hill was in a good position to reap the benefits of the oncoming development and speculative stampede. In fact, this advertisement encourages investing in Cleveland Park properties, stating that it can rent houses within “ten days—and then have calls for more.”