The Origins of Glover Park
Much of what is now Glover Park lies within the northern extension of the former city of Georgetown (1751-1871). During the 19th century the neighborhood was dominated by the master butchers who supplied the markets of Georgetown and of Washington City with meat; over time, they also accumulated most of the land that was to become Glover Park.
After the Civil War, when local production of food for the city markets began to wane, the most prosperous butchers took steps––incorporating a streetcar line between Georgetown and Tenleytown, for example––to enhance the residential potential of their real estate. Much of the present neighborhood was acquired in 1911 by the banker Charles C. Glover, and the earliest advertisements to use the name Glover Park were placed in 1926.
Where the Russian Embassy is today was formerly Mount Alto Veteran’s Hospital (1919-1965), and the grounds of the present-day Guy Mason Recreational Center was once the Industrial Home School (1875-1954), and, before that, of the Poor and Work House of Georgetown (1831-1871).
The most historic surviving institution in Glover Park is Holy Rood Cemetery––formerly Trinity Church Upper Grave Yard (1832)––the last resting place for seven thousand Catholics of Georgetown, which includes the best-documented slave burial ground in the District of Columbia, and the grave of a Minuteman of the American Revolution.
The earliest known photographs of the neighborhood were taken in the first year of the Civil War, when the Army Signal Corps was founded on the heights overlooking Georgetown. The photographer appears to have been standing north and west of the present intersection of Tunlaw Road and Calvert Street. Beyond the encampment, the distant landmarks include Trinity Church Upper Burial Ground, Back Street, The Cedars, Burleith, and Georgetown College, corresponding to the present Holy Rood Cemetery, Tunlaw Road, Duke Ellington High School, Washington International School, and Georgetown University.
This website has been generously supported by District of Columbia Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B. My thanks to Commissioners Brian Cohen and Mary C. Young, and to Danna McCormick, of DLM Web Development.
I have benefitted from the generosity of historians so often that I concluded that it had to be a defining characteristic of their calling. I am also indebted to the resourcefulness of countless reference librarians, and in particular, to those of the Washingtoniana Division of Martin Luther King Library.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Robert W. Lyle (1922-1996) of the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Branch Library, who first guided me to the records of the part of Georgetown that is now in Glover Park.