Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Mar 4 2006 - Downtown DC Heritage Hike (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Colin Babb
Participants:Colin Babb, Ian Wright, Tom Reichelderfer, Linda Werner, Chuck Hildenbrand, Cynthia Hildenbrand, Ricardo Bulala, Kimberly Engle, Bob Laird, Andrew Singleton, Drew Compston, Chuck Kaslavage, Jennifer Storch, Parva Fattahi, Lori Bowes, John Fogle, Ian Preuss

Write Up:
This was a lovely late winter day in DC to go for a hike, with lots of sunshine and cool temperatures. Even though the entire 'hike' was over asphalt and pavement and never more than a few feet away from the trappings of civilization, I think everyone got a nice workout and hopefully a few tidbits of information one might not have know about our nation's capital. Among other things, we also learned that there is no safety in numbers when it comes to being accosted by street people—one of whom decided to solicit our entire group all at once.

We took a roundabout route around downtown DC, essentially north of the Mall and Capitol and east of the White House, what was in the 19th century the heart of the city (which I suppose it still is, but it was more so then). Among the places we visited were the site of what was once the largest purpose-built market in America (where the National Archives is now), the site of antebellum Senator Daniel Webster's house, the Old City Hall (now a courthouse), the National Building Museum (constructed to house the Pension Bureau for Civil War veterans in the 1880s), the house where Mary Surratt lived and hosted meetings with John Wilkes Booth and other Lincoln assassination conspirators, the old Patent Office (now the National Portrait Gallery) and old Post Office (now a hotel next to the Spy Museum), the alleyway behind Ford's Theater where Booth escaped after shooting Lincoln and the theater itself, then went by the other Old Post Office (on Pennsylvania Avenue), the Willard Hotel (famous in the Civil War as a haunt for spies, reporters, politicians, and generals), and the Presbyterian church that Abraham Lincoln attended.

On our way back to the metro, some of us came upon an elderly lady who had taken some kind of fall on the sidewalk. One of us called 911 and we stayed and watched over the lady as the woman's daughter went to get their car. They drove off to the hospital just before an ambulance arrived--but at least we had done our good Samaritan duty. We all returned happily--and safely.

Thanks to everyone who came out and I hope everyone had a good time.

--Colin Babb

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