Georgetown, Jan 20, 1949, East End

Selection from image: National Archives Identifier: 68153293 Series: “Airscapes” of American and Foreign Areas, 1917 – 1964,

While perusing the wonderful Airscapes of American and Foreign Areas collection on the National Archives site, I came across this image of the Lincoln Memorial and vicinity. In the back corner, we get a nice view of some new buildings at the East end of the Branch as well as seeing construction on the Whitehurst Freeway well underway. In this image from January, 1949 we see the new West Heating Steam Plant and associated Coal & Ash House, which was turned out to be the last customer on the Branch until the last train in 1985. We see that the spit of land at the tail end of the yard, known as “The Mole,” has been nearly fully vacated save for a stiff-leg derrick crane.

One thought on “Georgetown, Jan 20, 1949, East End

  1. Some interesting things in this photo:

    – The 30th street yard does seem quite empty. I see just a boxcar and maybe flatcar near the loading dock and a covered hopper closer to the GSA coal house.

    – It looks like a track remains on the river side of the GSA coal house with a boxcar or maybe even a baggage car on it. This may serve the cement warehouse or be remnants of the former freight house.

    – Note the tanks on lower right. These were, I believe, from the former coal-gasification plant located along the spur which ran to the Lincoln Memorial. This facility may have received it’s coal by canal barge, and I think I may spy the remains of a dock to the right of the Rock Creek water gate.

    – Something I’ve wondered about: the coal received by the GSA coal & ash house is well known. What about the ash?

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