Map of the Week Vol. 8 – 1890 Real estate map of the B&O Railroad Company between DC and Rockville

Click map to enlarge. Source: Library of Congress

Map of the Week is written by David A., a systems librarian and map geek living in Mt. Pleasant. David previously wrote about City of Washington in 1792.

Title: Real estate map of the Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company between Washington, D.C., and Rockville, Md.

This week’s 1890 map of the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad has some great detail north of the original city limits. The Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad connected DC with the B&O main line in Point of Rocks, MD. Highlights include names of property owners, locations of parks, railroads and the skeletal outlines of several Maryland towns including Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Bethesda and Rockville. The Metropolitan Branch made stops in DC at New York Avenue, University (presumably Catholic University), Terra Cotta (near Ft. Totten), Lamond and Takoma.

In addition to great detail north of DC, this map shows a nice snapshot of the northern part of the city. Petworth’s grid and two circles appear on this map, carving out space between larger parcels of land to the west and north. There are plenty of other interesting details here. It’s worth zooming in.

You can see a much larger version of the map here.

5 Comment

  • Once again, an amazing map! Get the big version to check details, as they’re really great. I feel pretty certain I live in what is marked as the “J. York Heirs” property along Piney Branch.

    You can see the legacy of some of the roads on here in current maps, even where there’s no hint of the original road. For example, 17th in Crestwood has this odd crookedness that probably is because they took some of Fourteenth Road, which curved through there, when they laid out the neighborhood fully.

    I wonder how many of these roads really existed in 1890 or were just notional.

    • I wonder about which of these roads were actually real at this point in time, too. The area north of Florida Ave around N Capitol shows some roads that I don’t think were ever built, but match with the projections on that 1870’s map posted earlier.

  • Hechinger Mall is built on Graceland Cemetery!!!

  • 123 years later… still my train line home!

  • nice! for all you map ‘geeks’ Coursera is offering a free class on creating digital maps.

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