Preparing for Washington DC History Conference- Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be presenting at the 2024 DC History Conference and I’ll be talking about the Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle.

So if you are available Saturday, April 6th at 10:15 at the Neighborhood History and Housing panel, come see me. Ask some questions.

You can register now for the April conference, and take a look at the program here.

So in order to get ready for the conference I’m going to slightly ignore the blog for a bit. Also I have some personal things I need to deal with. Even once the conference is done, there will still be some personal things that will need to be dealt with, maintained? So I’m thinking of a schedule of one researched post a week with a few Memory Lane posts. I’d like to get around to actually getting something published outside of the InShaw blog about Truxton Circle and that’s going to take some focus and time, in addition to some of those personal things I’ve been ignoring.

WSIC- Taking a break

Well, the newspaper search was very tedious and right now I am Washington Sanitary Improvement Companied out.

There is more to explore.

I was telling a friend who doesn’t live in the DC metro area about this project and about the WSIC. It started as an experiment in housing, mixing charity with capitalism. She asked if WSIC achieved their goals. Answering that question is something I’d like to take a stab at. Unfortunately, the answer would involve other areas of the city that I am less knowledgeable about.

So I’ll get back to it. If I don’t remind me would you?

I’m also going to slow down on posting on the blog. I want to garden, do stuff with the family, yadda, yadda. Blogging and researching are great when it is cold and horrid outside. I’ll probably ramp up when it is too hot and sticky and buggy to go outside.

New Year, New Job, New Goals 2022

Last year I moved out of Truxton Circle after selling my home of 19 years to the wilds of PG County. Despite that I am still the world’s expert on Truxton Circle History and it is not a skill I will be giving up anytime soon.

Speaking of skills, doing the Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle series, has helped me get a new job. Nineteen seems to be a magic number, as I worked in the same Bureau of Fight Club (they are funny and don’t want me to talk about them) department for 19 years. This weekly, sometimes daily, habit of hunting down people, possibly long dead, and writing up a quick biography has developed a skill of a quickie genealogist. It was a skill I could point to in my job interview, semi paraphrasing Liam Neeson in Taken:

I do have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. If you are obviously still alive, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will protect your privacy. But if I’m not sure, I will look for you, I will find you, and I make sure you are dead.

It’s easier to do the job if the persons in the document are dead.

However, the new work environment will be a bit more restrictive. I don’t know how much attention I can pay to this site. I do know that I will no longer have access to the primary records related to Shaw and Washington, DC history, as I did with the old job.

I hope that I can work on a few new projects. I have warned that I will look at Squares 552 and 615, the core Bates area of the TC, and because my past research has been used for historic preservation/landmark, I want present owners to make the changes they can now before any restrictions come. There is also a journal article I want to write, but I have to figure out what story the data I’ve cobbled together actually says.

I’m a little sad that my job move means I won’t be exploring the history of DC public housing. Once upon a time public housing didn’t suck, and wasn’t shorthand for crappy crime ridden living conditions. But now it is, what it is.

The new job does pay more…. so I could conceivably hire someone to do the leg work of scanning those records.



Moving to Ward 9

Well. We sold the house last year. We looked at a bunch of houses in PG County Maryland, and after 4 months of serious searching, we’re moving out next month.

We are moving to a place I have jokingly called Ward 9, for the Marylanders in Prince George’s County who mistakenly act as if they are DC residents. We will be unenrolling Destructo-kid. The Help should be doing less driving in our new location (he can walk/bike to work) so no worries about a MD driver in DC. And my goal is that we don’t act like Ward 9 residents getting over involved in DC matters.

So what of this blog? I’m the world’s expert on Truxton Circle history and I get pleasure from discovering what the data and evidence reveals. I’m not giving that up.

What I am giving up is a lot. I’m giving up wonderful Michelin reviewed dining within walking distance for generic Red Olive Steakhouse a mile away. I’m giving up a place with a Walkscore in the 90s (grade A) for one in the 70s (gentleman’s C) and I still have no intention on taking up driving. I’m also giving up seeing you wonderful people in real life. I will miss you.

InShaw Blog Update-2003-2010 catalog added

I started this blog on Blogger and then due to some changes regarding URLs I moved to Moveable Type and then my host no longer supported that and so I’m using WordPress. I thought I added the Blogger posts but discovered the only posts that migrated over were from an announcement page I had. I have the main Blogger posts at, but I have finally imported those posts, images and comments to this blog. Now there are over 2,500 posts here.

Sadly the Moveable Type (2010-2013) posts are still in limbo. Right now I can’t seem to locate those files. I’m sure they are on an external drive somewhere.

Momblogging in over at DC Area Mom’s Blog

I’m going to try to limit the posts relating to parenting at InShaw and decided to join a local mom’s blog. So a month or so ago I joined DC Area Mom’s Blog and I am one of 12 new contributors.

I already have a post up, “3 Upsides of Being an Older Mom/Dad“.

However there are parent related issues that will remain here. Such as my support for the concept of charter schools in DC. I’ve seen too many neighbors vote with their feet soon after the postive pregnancy test. DCPS should not take the children (and their parents/guardians) for granted. And I remember the bad old days. Also there are things that are just too hyperlocal like the Florida Avenue park, the Kennedy Playground and the like that wouldn’t be a good fit. Which reminds me, there is a certain style that I’m learning for the other blog, so thing with a harsher tone would probably stay here.

The In Shaw blog is a mess and so am I

I’m going to let this go live. And maybe next month I will try to bring back or fix the URLs for the previous 2010-2017 blog entries on the Inshaw Blog. But it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.


As the blog title hints there are several things going on in my off-line life. For one I have a money pit in Baltimore. Second, I have an in-law situation where we are attempting to move my mother-in-law from CA to DC. Due to a horrid mix of complications and bad lawyers it is a slow moving tragedy I have to keep my eye on. Third, our AC died and apparently needs to be replaced. This is tiny in relation to the other two things, and we went out and bought some units from Home Depot so at least part of the house can be cool.

Maybe, just maybe after I’ve fixed and undone poor workmanship, got my mother in law settled in a place where we can better care for her and the Summer heat is behind me, I can clean up all the messy files on my server.

Well a New Year A New Blog

Yes, I know I quit three years ago.

The In Shaw Blog as it had grown from its start in 2003 when the neighborhood was in the process of gentrifying and I wanted to describe where I lived, mainly to my friends, then other people found an interest. So for 10 years I blogged about my life in this neighborhood, the Truxton Circle part of ‘historic’ Shaw (see map left).
Now, 12-13 years later, I sorta wanna stick a fork in the ‘gentrification’ theme, but OMG it won’t die. It’s like one of those horror movie monsters that just keeps coming back for bad sequel, after bad sequel. But the problem isn’t gentrification, it is change. People don’t like change, it’s jarring. I and the Help (he’s my spouse & he likes the name) walked over to Glen’s Market in the Shay. when we turned on to 8th St NW, I exclaimed, “Where the Hell are we?!” The feeling was that we turned a corner and somehow got transported to Bethesda? Arlington? The whole thing was discombobulating until I was distracted by fancy food.
Since I love fancy food, the change of Shaw, LeDroit and Bloomingdale becoming foodie destinations delights me, to a point. I am happy that 15 years after landing in this neighborhood that the closest food joint isn’t some greasy fried take out, but somewhere with a cocktail list. I’m thrilled that the liquor stores that were like parasites have either closed, or have become better neighbors. However, fancy food and booze costs money and I (the Help is the designated teetotaler & unfancy food fan) need to resist the temptation of trying out this or that new place for the sake of our household budget.
So I have decided to change the blog, slightly. Instead of being In Shaw (the historically gentrified blog) it will be In Shaw- Mari in the Citi. Oh, I’ll still mention gentrification since it is the catch word that we throw around these parts like a hammer to describe neighborhood change. But there is change everywhere, in the neighborhoods where I travel and work and change in myself. I’m not the same woman who moved into the city in 2000. Time and the city have changed me, and I hope in a way I’ve helped change the city.
Happy 2016.

Comment Spam

There aren’t a lot of comments here. Because I get a lot of comment spam that doesn’t make it to the blog. I just got this:

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Gee, a comment form.