|1892 Survey Map
is now the neighborhood of Edgewood was originally outside the boundaries of Washington City and was part of Washington County,
Maryland, the first county in the U.S. to be named for the Revolutionary War general (and later President) George Washington.
was originally part a 30-acre farmland estate called Metropolis View, which was purchased by Salmon P. Chase in 1863.
Portland Chase (1808-1873) was an American politician, jurist, and abolitionist who worked defending escaped slaves including
arguing the constitutionality of fugitive slave laws before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was elected as a
U.S. Senator from Ohio on the Free Soil Party ticket (1849-1855) and was the pre-eminent champion of anti-slavery.
He then became the 23rd Governor of Ohio where he supported women’s rights
and public education. On March 7, 1861 he became the U.S. Treasury Secretary under Abraham Lincoln, which
brought him to Washington and it was during his tenure that he purchased the Metropolis View estate.
estate lay east of St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery (1862), Prospect Hill, a German-American Cemetery (1858), and Glenwood
Cemetery (1854) where many notable Congressmen and artists such as Constantino Brumidi, who painted the frescoes inside the
Capitol dome, and Emanuel Leutze, painter of Washington Crossing the Delaware are buried.
Chase acquired an additional twenty acres of land nearby and built a mansion naming the newly expanded estate Edgewood for
its location on the edge of the woods.
Manor was built high on a hill overlooking the city with Lincoln Avenue to the west and an east-west road connection into
the estate. The manor included a circular drive with the large house in the Federal or Adams style.
The house was two-storied with a full-width porch on the first floor and a central door leading to a large balcony
on the second. Three dormers and four symmetrically placed shuttered windows on each floor finished the
Chase owned the estate during his subsequent tenure as Chief Justice of the United States (1864-1873) until his death in 1873
at which time his daughter moved onto the estate with her three daughters, Ethel, Kitty, and Portia.
Known as an intelligent beauty and nicknamed “the Belle of the North” in her youth, a rocky
marriage led to a reclusive life at Edgewood until her death in 1899. On her death, the New
York Times wrote that "the homage of the most eminent men in the country was hers" and the Washington
Post called her "The most brilliant woman of her day. None outshone her."
the 1890’s the Metropolitan Branch Line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad had been built east of the estate and was
being used by commuters accessing weekend and summer homes. As the frequency of the trains increased, city
residents considered residing full time in what had been considered “the country”. At this
time, much of the Edgewood estate was platted for residential purposes. The streets were named in the District’s
alphabetical fashion, though the streets of Bryant, Channing, Douglas and Evarts were named after cities and were called Baltimore,
Cincinnati, Detroit, Emporia and Frankfort.
the mid-1900’s the manor made way for the St. Vincent Orphanage Asylum and Catholic School to the south and later to
the Edgewood Terrace Apartments to the north.
neighborhood today enjoys both modern conveniences and its links to the past. The historic hilltop cemeteries
are filled with blooms in the spring and greenery in the summer. The architecture includes art deco apartments
and DC vernacular row homes. A commercial district of local and national retailers services the area and
along the historic Metropolitan Branch Rail line today is located a Metro station and a new biking and walking trail.
Compiled by Heather Deutsch, Edgewood Resident; Edited by Michael J. Henderson, Edgewood