So far most of the 1910 census for Truxton has been done (this is part of an ongoing project to track demographic changes from 1880-1930). I’m going to tackle 1900 soon. Once that is done then I’ll do 1920 & 1930.
The view I have of the area so far is a working class neighborhood with a bunch of tradesmen, a few businessmen and even fewer professionals. My own house, as far as the census data is concerned, has been housing for working class Afro-Americans for the past 100 years or so. My house has housed a cop, a bricklayer and a bunch of laborers. Laborer seems to be a very popular job around these here parts. Laborer could mean anything, but I have a feeling that it mainly meant working poor. The crowded conditions of 1880 lead me to think that my street wasn’t middle class at all.
Now going on that bit of logic, it would be pointless to redecorate the interior of the house to look like some bit of victoriana that more than likely never was in this house. I look at the cataloges and see very detailed brass hardware that may have been in a government clerk’s home but possibly not an unemployed laborer’s house. I’m not saying this of all houses, just the really small ones, with no closet space, skinny hallways, and 7 people sharing the 2 bedrooms.
Also 19th century impoverished worker chic just isn’t my thing.

6 thoughts on “Pointless”

  1. I don’t know, I think that is the look I have going on in my place. Of course, that is due to my total lack of taste, shoestring budget and total apathy.

  2. Do you have some pointers about where to look for information about past ownership of these great old houses….?

  3. Oh the Washington Historical Society had some class or program or another about tracking past ownership. So, no. I got nothin’.
    But for me ownership does not equal residency. In the census they tracked whether people owned or rented. More often neighborhood people were renters. Off the top of my head, 9 of 10 households rented.

  4. You may find one of the Census decades missing…sorry I forget which one. The DC records were destroyed in a fire.

    You can find microfishe copies of building permit for your home at the National Archives. In a few cases, you may actually find the blueprints. They have really nice copying machines, so you can make a frameable print.

  5. 1890 was bbq’d, which is why I’m doing 1880, 1900-1930.
    There are also building permit records on microsomething in the Washingtonia division of the MLK Library.
    I am not particularly knowledgible about building history, since I have no interest in it. I’m more of a people above things (buildings) gal.

  6. Also note there is some census and building history online in the Park Service funded Historic Survey of Shaw East. For a number of row houses in East Shaw it includes architect, 1900 census and 1930 census info. In addition it surveys the churches, schools and other civic buildings of East Shaw. Pretty fascinating, with some interesting photos and such.

    Our neighbors over in Naylor Ct./Blagden Alley posted it here on their site:
    (Note: 2 MB pdf download)

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