10 Sep 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: The Navy Yard in 1830

Two weeks ago, I looked into the Jonathan Elliott guide to Washington, published in 1830. Today, I want to look at its description of a place near to my heart: The Washington Navy Yard. Elliott’s guide spends about 7 pages describing the Navy Yard, beginning with the usual explanations of its history, its size, the brick […]

26 Mar 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: Henry Hyde and his Ship Brake

I wrote of the Experimental Model Basin last week, and mentioned some of the tests that had been done there for the Navy. The basin was, however, also used by private citizens, as we will see in today’s episode. Stopping a ship has always been a problem. Anyone who has ever tried to smoothly berth […]

12 Mar 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: The Richardson Hydroaeroplane

Last week, I wrote about the wind tunnel at the Washington Navy yard. Today, we will look at one of the first products thereof – the Navy’s first seaplane. While the US airplane industry was slow in developing –especially in contrast to that of the Europeans– the outbreak of war in 1914 spurred the government […]

22 Jan 2018


Lost Capitol Hill: Rear Admiral McCormick

When I started looking at the McCormick family two weeks ago, I found myself looking forward to the third of the line. Not only had he been a Rear Admiral in the Navy but a Commandant at the Washington Navy Yard as well. This was, I thought, enough to ensure that he would have stories […]

14 Mar 2016


Lost Capitol Hill: Benjamin Franklin Gallaher

The beginning of the Civil War brought all sorts of troubles to the Washington Navy Yard. On top of the need to ramp up the production of ordnance, there was the issue of saboteurs, the question as to how to secure the yard; not to mention, the logistics of putting up hundreds of troops and […]

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