Racing at Brightwood

Racing at Brightwood (HM1DRQ)

Location: Washington, DC 20011
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 57.355', W 77° 1.997'

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Battleground to Community

— Brightwood Heritage Trail —

Fresh Water Springs in this pleasant high ground once drew European settlers. Farmers called the area "Crystal Spring." In 1859 the half-mile Crystal Spring Racetrack opened on land to your left. For 75 cents, Washingtonians hopped a stagecoach from Washington City (south of Florida Avenue) for a day at the races. Later known as the Brightwood Trotting Park, the course attracted laborers, congressmen, and everyone in between. Over time horses, bicycles, autos, and even mules competed along the track. A reservoir was built near the track in 1899, and tennis courts were added later. Racing continued until 1909. In 1936 the reservoir was filled in for the courts and playing fields of today's Rock Creek Tennis Center on 16th Street.

The Brightwood racetrack made headlines in 1894, when hundreds of unemployed men camped there during the nation's first mass march on Washington. An economic crash had forced thousands out of work, leading Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey to mount a campaign to persuade the U.S. government to create jobs by building modern roads and public facilities. His followers, dubbed "Coxey's Army" by reporters, walked hundreds of miles to present this new idea to Congress. To cheering crowds, they paraded from Brightwood to the Capital. But Congress found the new political tactic threatening. Coxey was arrested on the Capitol steps, and his petition was never presented.

.The bus turnaround just behind you was built in 1936 for the number 52 streetcar. The first streetcar arrived in 1907 as an extension of the 14th Street line from Park Road.
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HM NumberHM1DRQ
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Marker Number1
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 2:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323817 N 4313850
Decimal Degrees38.95591667, -77.03328333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 57.355', W 77° 1.997'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 57' 21.30" N, 77° 1' 59.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5427 14th St NW, Washington DC 20011, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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