Posted tagged ‘Georgetown’

A Lighthearted Impression of Georgetown in 1908

May 8, 2014

In looking through the 1908 Washington Times, I found a curious series of cartoons and texts that focuses on a few of Washington’s neighborhoods. Even though the text is somewhat gossipy and some of the subjects of the articles are a little obscure today, I thought they provided some interesting insight into what the neighborhoods were like back then.

I’ll post each article in turn, starting with the first one here, which featured Georgetown.

Georgetown bannerGeorgetown 1908 cartoon

The article accompanying the above cartoon is below:

Both Find Food for Thought and Pen, Which They Present After Their Characteristic Fashion.


Family Trees Are Discovered in All Back Yards, Zealously Guarded by Honorable Genealogists.


A STRANGER generally wonders what that “only” means when he sees a “Georgetown Only” car piking around the corner. There’s an excellent way to find out if you’ve got the price to ride out there.

Yes, sir, they do say Georgetown folks are rather exclusive. As soon as the presence of a new face is noted the reminiscent residents of Georgetown and ask two questions:

What is his name?

Does he belong here?

Now it really doesn’t matter about what name your laundry shows, but the answer to the latter question positively, emphatically, must be affirmed. If he “belongs” he may be allowed to join the canoe club, the citizens’ association, or the Coming Men of America. If he doesn’t, the people go indoors, interest ceases, and the stranger has about as much company as the milk man at 4 a.m.

Which reminds one of the exuberance of the family tree in Georgetown. No one rents a Georgetown flat and expects to become friendly with his neighbor across the back fence unless he possesses a family tree.

Genealogists Flourish

The genealogist flourishes in Georgetown. When a new family moves on the block the neighbors watch nonchalantly the unloading of the kitchen utensils, father’s carpet slippers, and the imitation mahogany bedroom suite. Suddenly there is a pricking of ears, an arching of eyebrows.

Hark! what is it that approaches? ‘Tis the genealogist, with the all important genealogical tree, not a twig missing, strongly in the foreground.

After which the genealogist takes the first floor front room, becomes a fixture, and the new family can borrow provisions from anybody on the block.

Citizens’ associations are great institutions. Georgetownites who do not keep reminiscences handy may belong to the associations and talk there. (more…)

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