The Great Anacostia!
The name "Anacostia" comes from the anglicized name of a Nacochtank Native Americans settlement along the Anacostia River. Captain John Smith explored the area in 1608, traveling up the "Eastern Branch"—later the Anacostia River—mistaking it for the main body of the Potomac River, and met Anacostans. Before the arrival of whites, the Nacostine villages in this area were a lively center of trade visited by Native Americans such as the Iroquois of New York. Even after the founding of Maryland, Leonard Calvert, in a letter to a merchant in London, described "Anacostan" as one of the three best places in the colony for trading with natives.
Around the year 1668, native peoples previously living south of Anacostia were forced northward by war. Anacostine Island, which first appeared on a 1670 map drawn by Augustine Herman, was settled by the Anacostans around this time.
The core of what is now the Anacostia historic district was incorporated in 1854 as Uniontown and was one of the first suburbs in the District of Columbia. It was designed to be affordable for Washington's working class, many of whom were employed across the river at the Navy Yard; its (then) location outside of and isolated from the city made its real estate inexpensive. The initial subdivision of 1854 carried restrictive covenants prohibiting the sale, rental or lease of property to anyone of African or Irish descent. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, often called "the sage of Anacostia," bought Cedar Hill, the estate belonging to the developer of Uniontown, in 1877 and lived there until he died in 1895. The home is still maintained as a historical site in Anacostia.
During the Civil War, Anacostia was protected by a series of forts upon the hills southwest of the city. Following the conclusion of the war, the forts were dismantled and the land returned to its original owners.
Anacostia, always part of the District of Columbia, became a part of the city of Washington when the city and District became coterminous in 1878.
Anacostia's population remained predominantly European-American up until the late 1950s and early 1960s, with Whites comprising 87% of the population. During the 1960s, the Anacostia Freeway (I-295) was constructed. The highway imposed a barrier between the Anacostia neighborhood and the Anacostia River waterfront. Numerous public housing apartment complexes were also built in the neighborhood. With the flight of much of the middle class out of the neighborhood during the late 1950s and 1960s with the opportunity to move to newer housing in postwar suburbs, Anacostia's demographics changed dramatically as the neighborhood became predominantly African American.
Shopping, dining, and entertainment facilities throughout greater Anacostia are limited, as development slowed with a decrease in income in the area. Residents often must travel to either the suburbs or downtown Washington for these services. Anacostia, however, does have a year-round ice skating rink at Fort Dupont Park; the city police boys' club; and a "tennis and learning center", combining sports with academic tutoring in Congress Heights.
In 2005, Building Bridges Across the River opened the 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) which is home to eleven nonprofit organizations, all of which share the goal of helping children and adults reach their full potential. Free summer evening jazz concerts are also given weekly in Fort Dupont Park. The annual Martin Luther King Birthday Parade is a notable annual event along the Avenue bearing Dr. King's name. Starting in 2006 the annual parade date was changed from January to April. (Also see the separate article on Congress Heights). In January 2007 a new large supermarket opened to serve the neighborhood.
- Source Wikipedia
Fast forward to 2017, Anacostia is becoming a very hot-market. Drive through Anacostia and you will still see the affects of "decay and failure" of government policies, but you will also see a community which is transitioning and becoming a great place to live. The renovations are all over the place. And very soon, Prosperity will bring to the market three beautiful properties in Anacostia - 1621 W St. SE, 1625 W St. SE, 1486 Bangor St. SE.
With its proximity to downtown DC, Capitol Hill, and its current level of affordability, Anacostia will soon be "the place" to live in DC. Feel free to check out our fine homes for sale. If you have a property that you need to sell, go to dc.cash.