The Seventh Street Turnpike

The Seventh Street Turnpike (HM1DRZ)

Location: Washington, DC 20012
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 58.053', W 77° 1.661'

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Battleground to Community

— Brightwood Heritage Trail —

On July 11 and 12, 1864, this intersection was the center of the only Civil War battle fought in the District of Columbia. Here, Union sharpshooters at Fort Stevens, supported by forces across the northernmost of Washington's ring of forts, stopped General Jubal A. Early's Rebels. Early attacked from the north, along the Seventh Street Turnpike and the Georgetown Turnpike (now Georgia and Wisconsin avenues).

Completed in 1822 as a dirt road connecting the Potomac River to Rockville, Maryland, the Seventh Street Turnpike soon grew deeply rutted. In 1852 it was paved with wood planks to create an eight-foot-wide surface. Although the planks sank in the mud, the road accommodated scores each day. The roads private owners placed a toll booth just north of Emory Church, prompting Brightwood residents to create a free bypass (essentially today's Piney Branch Road). In 1871 the city acquired the turnpike, abolished the toll, changed the name to Seventh Street Road, and paved it with macadam, a layer of crushed rock and cement. In the late 1880s Brightwood citizens arranged to rename the road Brightwood Avenue.

In 1909 residents traded the naming rights to Georgia Senator Augustus Bacon in exchange for his support for community improvements. Bacon was irritated that "Georgia Avenue" in 1900 applied to a few disheveled blocks near the Navy Yard, and wanted a grander thoroughfare to honor his state.

By the 1930s, as the neighborhood filled with family housing, children enjoyed pony rides on a lot here, and churches held carnivals.

Across the intersection was the latest fad: a miniature golf course.
Marker Number10
Year Placed2008
Placed ByCultural Heritage DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 25th, 2014 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324331 N 4315130
Decimal Degrees38.96755000, -77.02768333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 58.053', W 77° 1.661'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 58' 3.18" N, 77° 1' 39.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6352-6398 Piney Branch Rd NW, Washington DC 20012, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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