All Aboard!

All Aboard! (HMGCV)

Location: Washington, DC 20024
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 52.624', W 77° 1.302'

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River Farms to Urban Towers

— Southwest Heritage Trail —

Before bridges spanned the Potomac, ferry boats took people and goods across the river. You could ride to Alexandria from Greenleaf's Point (now Fort McNair), or between the landings where today's 14th Street Bridge touches ground. Sailboats came here from Norfolk, Virginia (and points south) and Baltimore, Maryland (and points north). Unfortunately for Washington's hopes of international trade, Baltimore and Norfolk had deeper harbors and became thriving ports as the 1800s unfolded. Washington fell behind, focusing more on regional business.

Regular steamboat service began on the Potomac in 1815 between Washington and Aquia Creek, where the Potomac bends near Fredericksburg, Virginia. There passengers disembarked and rode overland to Richmond and the South. Because of political wrangling, travelers heading south from Washington were forced to ride steamboats until around 1860, when a rail connection was finally built linking Washington to Richmond. Still, overnight steamers remained popular until 1957, nearly a century after they were no longer necessary for southern travel.

Washingtonians have long enjoyed cruises from here to amusement parks on the Potomac. African American millionaire Lewis Jefferson, Sr. (1866-1946) ran the Independent Steam Boat and Barge Company at the turn of the 20th century. Jefferson's vessels sailed ten miles to Washington Park, his amusement park for African Americans. The businessman, banker, contractor, ship builder, and real estate developer invested heavily in Southwest and was an admired community leader.
Marker Number11 of 17
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 9:19pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324627 N 4305077
Decimal Degrees38.87706667, -77.02170000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 52.624', W 77° 1.302'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 52' 37.44" N, 77° 1' 18.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 700-1000 Water St SW, Washington DC 20024, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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