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H-Path of History

Washington Underground: Archaeology in Downtown Washington, DC,
a walking and metro guide to the past...

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DC Archaeology Tour Contents

Locator Map
Archaeology in DC
Urban Archaeology
A-Rare Achievement
B-Self Medication
D-Crowded Housing
E-Pardon Our Dust
F-Safe Water
H-Path of History
I-2nd Hand Economy
J-Oldest Profession
Making Do
Other Sites
For More Information

H - In the Path of History

Location:  Petersen House at 516 10th Street, NW (see MAP)
Metro: Metro Center Station (Red-Orange-Blue lines)

(see additional informational links below)

If you were Louisa Petersen, perhaps you would remember moving to this neighborhood with your parents to the house they built here in 1849. Perhaps you heard stories of the old country and dreams about the future and realized that you were joining other families who had come from Germany to make a new life in the United States.

If you looked through the remains that archaeologists have recovered lifetimes later, youíd finger the straight pins and buttons of bone, shell, metal and glass and be reminded of your father Williamís trade as a tailor. How much would you remember about the brothers Henry and Julius Ulke, among all the boarders who lived with your family? They were photographers but they were also amateur entomologists. Would you associate the microscope slide in the archaeological collection with their study of insects?

Whatever else you might remember of life at 516 10th Street, you would never forget April 14, 1865. The night that President Abraham Lincoln was carried to your home after being shot at Fordís Theatre life changed forever for your family. You wrote in your diary about the immense sadness and grief felt by the family and the way that people tore up carpets and other items from your home as grim souvenirs of the House Where Lincoln Died.

FUN FACT: Numerous sites in Washington, DC are associated with Lincolnís assassination and the escape of John Wilkes Booth. Look for the DC Heritage Tourism Coalitionís "Civil War to Civil Rights" trail markers. Also, see Site "J" (Federal Triangle) in this brochure for an historical tidbit on Lincolnís assassin.

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Washington Underground:
Archaeology in Downtown Washington, DC,
a walking and metro guide to the past...
was produced cooperatively by the National Park Service, National Center for Cultural Resources, Archeology and Ethnography Program; the District of Columbia Office of Planning, Historic Preservation Office; the Center for Heritage Resource Studies, University of Maryland, College Park; and the Society for American Archaeology.

Additional Links

Ford's Theater National Historic Site
Petersen House (House Where Lincoln Died)
John Wilkes Booth's Escape Route
Civil War to Civil Rights Downtown Heritage Trail

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