This little tract of land to the Southwest of the 14th St. Bridge has served multiple purposes over the years: from serving as the home of the Nameroughquena, (later shorted by the English to “Necostins”), part of the Algonquian Nation; to lush farmland beginning in the 16th century; as part of the Federal County of Alexandria in 1789, and eventually becoming part of the 100 square miles that made up the original District of Columbia.
|1862 Topographical map showing Arlington County as originally being included within the boundaries of the District of Columbia.|
In 1808 the Long Bridge (known today as the 14th Street Bridge where I-395 enters the city) was built to bring people from Alexandria to the District of Columbia. In the War of 1812, the British used the bridge to cross to Alexandria and burn down its port.
|Long Bridge / 14th St. Bridge with Ft Runyon in the foreground, 1932.|
One notable stort has John Smith encountering Nameroughquena in the area on a voyage up the Potomac River in 1608. The English eventually drove the Necostins out in 1650.
Later, the area was known as Jackson City and was home to a race track and gambling halls, then during the Civil War; Ft. Runyon and Ft. Jackson were located here to protect DC from Confederate troops.
After many years supporting various industrial efforts as well as saloons, betting parlors, a race track and “houses of ill-repute,” and finally serving as a staging location for construction of the Pentagon, the Long Bridge area is seeing yet another transformation. This time into a large park for recreational and open space use; with an unstated goal of eventually assisting in luring a Summer Olympics to the area.
Here are a few shots of the area today. Although cleaned up, the portion along the train tracks is still home to years of refuse and debris, some seemingly cast off of the many train cars passing each day...
|Garbage along the tracks.|
|What are they looking at you wonder? I'm fixin' to show you.........|
|What's that thing I spy in the sky?|
|It's an AIRPLANE!!!!!!!|
|Now you don't have to ask what THESE people are smiling at, do you?|
|Looking toward the airport.|
|Say it ain't so!!!!!!!!!!|