Reader Submitted GDoN From Back in the Day

Kate’s Newspaper, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

Does this count as a reader-suggested Good Deal or Not?? I think it’s a great deal at that price! That’s barely the price of a new iPhone and a weekly Chipotle burrito!!

I’m kidding, of course. A friend collects old magazine/news ads and found this one at a show this weekend. It’s from 105 years ago — an Evening Star ad for sales of housing (58 units total) in the area around Harvard between 7th and 11th Streets. Probably might be of interest to some of your readers, and it would be cool to find out if this model home still stands at 726 Dearborn Street, see how it’s held up all these years.”

Very cool.

16 Comment

  • I just did a quick sloppy google on average salaries 1904 and came up with $34,000 – which makes this place a real deal. But does anyone have some better stats? Who would have been able to buy this in 1904?

  • did you think before posting? $34k was probably the average salary in 1980. I think most hill rats make less than that today. Check

  • in 1904, the annual U.S. salary was 22c an hour.

  • There is no Dearborn Street in Columbia Heights today. The streets were renamed in that part of town during the early 20th century. I used to have some old maps showing the original names, but I’ve misplaced them.

  • If anyone wants to see more D.C. real estate ads from this era, the 1900-1910 issues of the Washington Star available through Chronicling America are loaded with them – a few more:

  • Anon @7:57 — I sent in the original post, albeit with a sloppily worded thought about the home in the picture. I, too, noticed that Dearborn Street was no more and figured it to be a victim of street re-naming. Given that Harvard Street appears to be the only name that has stuck around, I wonder which street that is today — if anyone knows, I’m curious. I assume this house still is on a 700 block somewhere.

  • (Sorry if this is a repost, had a wordpress error).

    The reference to three streets right next to each other (Harvard, Princeton, and Dearborn) implies an area of CH was being developed. If you look at the 700 blocks of Harvard, Gresham Place, and Girard, on google maps or (for the bird’s eye view) you will see a bunch of houses that look like this.

    I would guess that Dearborn is Girard (since it is the third street of the three from north to south and is the third listed in the ad). If the house numbers haven’t changed, this should be on the South side of Girard which it clearly isn’t any more. However, if the house numbers on the block changed with the street renaming, this house could be on the north side of Girard (where there are houses that look like this) or even on Gresham if my guess about Dearborn being Girard is incorrect.

  • No central air? Def not a good deal.

  • bored, you beat me to it. I would also guess that Girard is what used to be Dearborn, and that the old 726 Dearborn is on the north side of the 700 block of Girard. Those houses look essentially just like the one pictured, accounting for the ravages of time and remodelling.

    If you look at this map, , Harvard, Princeton and Yale were side by side (it seems existing streets are in yellow, proposed, with new names, in red, so it’s a bit confusing). My guess is Yale > Dearborn > Girard as the alphabetical scheme developed.

  • Found a map from 1893 which shows the area. Going north on 14th Street, the first streets after Florida avenue are: Stoughton on the left; next Chapin on the left; then Welling on the left and Clifton on the right; then Euclid on the left and Roanoke on the right which becomes Irving near 7th St (now Georgia). Then Huntington on the left, Yale on the right, becoming Bismark at 7th; then Binney on the left, Princeton on the right remaining Princeton to 7th. Then Bacon on the left and Harvard on the right to 7th. Then Columbia on the left and right but it’s not yet connected to Steuben at 7th. Then Kenesaw which becomes Wallach at 7th; then Kenyon on the right which becomes Marshall. Then Mt. Pleasant. The next three north on 7th are Farragut, Sheridan, and Whitney. Sherman was Sherman. I see no mentioned in the area of Dearborn. I have one more place I can look this evening. A 1914 map has the names as we know them today.

  • Here’s a 1905 tidbit from the newspaper archive rockcreek sent that includes a little insight on how some of these street names changed, New Names for Streets in North Washington. I have not seen Dearborn among the list of names I could see.

  • That article says that “Deerborn” Place was changed to Gresham Place. Great find.

  • Andy, great find. djdc, great observation. And, HA! I guess realtors listing their properties under questionable neighborhood — particuarly Columbia Heights — designations goes way back. Even back in 1905, Todd & Brown’s subdivision was getting pawned off as “Columbia Heights.” Sheesh, realtors. What are you going to do?

  • Ha! There it is – glad somebody spotted that reference to “Deerborn” becoming Gresham Place because I didn’t see it.

  • And yes, though google maps won’t show it very well, this house is still on Gresham Place.,+Washington,

  • Even back in 1905, Todd & Brown

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