Join DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Historic Chevy Chase DC
on Saturday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
to officially dedicate the new Lafayette-Pointer Recreation Centera
and unveil two beautiful historical signs
Check out the exciting activities Historic Chevy Chase DC has planned:
- Children will be invited to create a mural of the market gardens that once stood on this land.
- City archeologists will display artifacts from a dig of the playground that tell the story of daily farm life here in the 19th century.
- Greet the two historians who rediscovered the legacy of these African American families who lived and farmed here for more than 80 years before being evicted in 1928 so the school and park could be built. Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Green's new book, Between Freedom and Equality: The History of an African American Family in Washington, DC, follows six generations of the family of George Pointer, a remarkable man who was born a slave and rose in the ranks of George Washington's canal company. His granddaughter, born free, bought land here in the 1840s.
- Learn from Civil War historians -- some dressed in period costumes -- about how close Gen. Jubal Early's Confederate troops came to this spot, and what role market farmers like the Pointer descendants had in supplying nearby forts and batteries. Two of Pointer's great grandsons who were living here were among the first to sign up as Union Army Colored Troops.
- Meet several of the descendants of these Broad Branch Road families who once called this land home, and learn about the oral history project in which they are engaged with the University of the District of Columbia. The project will culminate in August with eight oral histories and a set of recommendations to the community about how to make amends for such losses of land and home.
- Hear how Lafayette students who are members of the school's SPARK activism club worked with HCCDC to advocate for the District Council to change the park's name to honor this history, including a letter-writing campaign and testimony at a Council meeting. Lafayette-Pointer Park became its official new name this spring!
- Eat Cake! We will be serving a delicious cake decorated in the likeness of the new historic signs that are being installed in the park to ensure this story is not forgotten.