The first house of worship in Georgetown — a town dominated by Presbyterian Scots — was a log church built in 1769 by a Lutheran congregation where the present Lutheran church now stands (opposite). The Presbyterian Burial Ground, once the resting place of both Revolutionary and Civil War dead, was located in the next block. It is now the busy and beautiful Volta Park, restored by its neighbors and the city in the 1990s and maintained by the Friends of Volta Park.
South of the park is the charmingly restored Pomander Walk, an alley once known as Bell's Court. Named for Alexander Graham Bell, who lived and worked at the west end of Volta Place, the alley's ten tiny dwellings each sheltered two African American families who worked as domestics and laborers. The houses had no running water or electricity. By the late 1940s the families were evicted as part of the city's effort to eliminate substandard housing.
At the west end of Volta Place is the Volta Bureau. It is the headquarters of the Alexander Graham Bell Associated for the Deaf, founded by Bell to promote teaching deaf children to speak. Bell made many scientific inventions, notably the telephone and the phonograph record, but this great passion was helping the deaf. The Bureau was named for the Volta Prize, awarded to Bell by France for scientific
achievement in electricity. Helen Keller, the deaf and blind woman who inspired millions turned the sod at the groundbreaking in 1893. Bell's parents lived at 1527 35th Street, and the inventor used the small stucco carriage house behind as a workshop.