Vintage landscape: comfort and joy

horse xmas tree 1918

In the first decades of the 20th century, horses toiled to move almost everyone and everything around the city of Washington, D.C.   But one December day a year, for several years at least, they were rewarded with Christmas trees hung with apples and corn and accompanied by troughs of grain.

“Christmas Tree for Horses” was sponsored by the Washington Animal Rescue League.  The 1918 gathering, shown in the photo above, took place at 12th and Little B Streets — the current site of the IRS offices at 12th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.,  just south of the Old Post Office.  A 1909 map of the area shows a “Horse Fountain” at 11th and Little B Streets.

These holiday horse dinners also took place in other American cities in the early 20th century.

The photos below show the 1923 event in front of the League’s O Street, N.W., offices.

1923-1

The League was founded in 1914 and is the oldest animal shelter in Washington, D.C.  It is now located at 71 Oglethorpe Street, N.W.  (You can find out how to make a donation here.)

1923 -2

Another kind of antique seasonal cheer comes via this postal service truck liberally festooned with greenery.

mobile post office, LoC

In early December of 1921, it drove around Washington urging residents to mail their Christmas packages early.

All photos via the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.  The three photos  just above  are from the National Photo Company Collection.  The top photo is by Harris & Ewing.

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