This site was created to bring together in one place historical information, genealogical notes, maps, photographs, oral history and reminiscences––primarily of Glover Park, and, to a lesser extent, of Burleith, Cathedral Heights, Wesley Heights, and Massachusetts Avenue Heights, which are contiguous neighborhoods of Washington, DC.
The expanded scope of this project reflects a time before the development of residential neighborhoods, when the only significant local boundary was that of the City of Georgetown––which, as it turns out, included much of what is now Glover Park.
Beyond that line, in Washington County, lay the various rural properties that would give rise to the neighborhoods we know today.
The earliest settlers of what is now Glover Park––Peter Colter, a German immigrant, and Murray Barker, a free black man––appear in Georgetown tax assessments between 1808 and 1810. Colter and Barker raised families along what is now Wisconsin Avenue, and both supported themselves, in part, as truck gardeners, growing produce for the local market.
These photographs documenting the military activity on the heights overlooking Georgetown also reveal the look of the land as it appeared in the 19th century, when the neighborhood was dominated by a syndicate of master butchers, suppliers of meat to the markets of Georgetown and of Washington City, who 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, Joseph Weaver, Jacob H. Kengla, and Benjamin F. Hunt, who were among the most prosperous of these butchers, took steps to enhance the residential potential of their real estate, incorporating a streetcar line between Georgetown and Tenleytown.
Much of the present neighborhood was acquired in 1911 by the banker Charles Carroll Glover from the estate of Henry Kengla, and the earliest advertisements to use the name Glover Park were placed in 1926.
The most historic surviving institution in the neighborhood is Holy Rood Cemetery––formerly Trinity Church Upper Grave Yard––which dates to 1832.
The last resting place for seven thousand Catholics of Georgetown, it includes the best-documented slave burial ground in the District of Columbia, and the grave of Joseph Nevitt, a Minuteman of the American Revolution.
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.