Old Seventh Street
By James Croggon, The Evening Star, July 24, 1915 [pt. 2, p. 2]
Seventh street, in the fourth decade of the last century, was discarding its country road appearance as the march of improvement continued northward. By 1830 there were a number of frame and brick houses north of the ridge (F street), and mostly of two stories. Many frame houses built for residential purposes were of the salt-box style, intended eventually for back buildings, and but only a few of such were on 7th street, for the settlers there had an eye to business.
Pennsylvania avenue and Market space had been the principal business mart in the drygoods and grocery lines, but business was then extending up 7th street. The Patriotic Bank and Franklin Fire Company had removed from west of 9th street to about the corner of 7th and D streets, and the Baqnk of Washington, originally on Capitol Hill, removed from the National Hotel to its present site, at Louisiana avenue and C street, facing 7th street.
The firm of Ailer & Tyson, from near Pennsylvania avenue and 4-1/2 street, located on 7th street above H, where they conducted a grocery and general store, in which it was stated no order could remain unfilled. John F. Callan removed his drug store from 4-1/2 street and Pennsylvania avenue to the northwest corner of 7th and E streets, where he conducted the business, and inaddition to dealing in drugs, paints, oil and glass, he traded in seeds, plants and agricultural implements. He had on the 7th street front several greenhouses, and in the upper part of his building were a number of offices.
Many Family Dwellings Erected
Agency for Street's Upbuilding
The regulations under the license law for the sale of goods, wares and merchandise, and especially liquor, were not stringent, nor was the amount required high, nevertheless there were some "speak easies." When the capital invested was not over $500 and liquor was not included, $5 was the license fee, and there were a number of such licenses issued to women and their shops were popular in some localities. For the sale of liquor of not less than a pint with other commodities, the annual license ranged from $ 20 upward.
Rating of Tavern License
It was not uncommon, therefore, to runacross places in which the tavern was associated with the grocery, confectionery, fruit or other business. Indeed, there was one place on Pennsylvania avenue not more famous as a congressional boarding house than as a tavern and fruit store and for its fine flower garden.
Between B and C streets there were the taverns of E. Holtzman, M. Laskey, the Steamboat Hotel, kept by Thomas Lloyd, and th eLongboat Hotel, nearby, kept by Mrs. Dan Black. The latter had been conducting such a house on Union street, near the 6th street wharf for many years. R. Sheekells, L. Gannon and M. Powell were in the tavern business, some of them in connection with groceries.
Incident at Tavern Fire
Isaac Beers kept a hotel on 7th street and was afterward well known for keeping a temperance house on 3d street near Pennsylvania avenue. The Kernan Tavern at the northwest corner of 7th and H streets, had passed to the management of John Hillard. S. Lusby had the management of the third Kernan Tavern on the east side of 7th below H street. John Lowery conducted one in connection with his grocery nearby, as also did C. Byrne.
Tavern Over Print Shop
Capt. John H. Goddard had not then organized the auxiliary guard in 1842. He was at that time conducting a tavern and grocery on 7th street between F and G streets, and when he became a magistrate and the captain of he guard he had his office here. In the latter part of the '30s John A. Donahue, an ardent politician of the loco foco faction, established a grocery store which became a very popular one. His activity as a politician drew around him not only the local politicians, but man of hose of national reputation. During the campaigns of these times he employed field music to play democratic mottoes and emblems.
Many Grocery Store Sites
A wine store was located at the northwest corner of Market space and 7th street. T. Sinon had a flower and fruit store just northward and Mrs. Stephens an oyster house nearby. Mrs. Peckham conducted a school about the southwest corner of 7th and F streets. Mrs. Gaudmore had a coffee shop near the corner of 7th and G streets.
Wore Knee Breeches and Queue
There were some wagon yards in that section, that at the "Crossed Keys Tavern" and Williams', between R and S streets, being the oldest. That known as Lyons' Farmers' Headquarters and later Dorsey's Hand Tavern, at the corner of 7th and I streets, was the first large frame, but a brick building was erected by Mr. Dorsey. In the '30's Henry Oshman was keeping the Farmers' Headquarters. These were not the only wagon yards, however, for there were other convenient ones at 8th and D streets and elsewhere.