Vintage landscape: into the beautiful

Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., ca. 1918-20, Natl. Photo Co. Collection, Library of CongressRock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., ca. 1909-32, photographers unknown.

As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away—
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy—

Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., ca. 1918-20, Natl. Photo Co. Collection, Library of Congress

A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon—

Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., ca. 1918-20, Natl. Photo Co. Collection, Library of Congress

The Dusk drew earlier in—
The Morning foreign shone—
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone—

Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., ca. 1918-20, Natl. Photo Co. Collection, Library of Congress

And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.

Emily Dickinson, Poem 1540 (Johnson 523)

 
Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., ca. 1918-20, Natl. Photo Co. Collection, Library of Congress

All photos via National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division — first two: ca. 1909-23; last: ca. 1909-32; all others: ca. 1918-20.

The almost 2,000-acre Rock Creek Park was established in 1890, making it one of America’s oldest national parks.

Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., ca. 1918-20, Natl. Photo Co. Collection, Library of Congress

The Rock Creek Park Day 2013 Festival will be held next Saturday, September 28, to celebrate the park’s 123rd. birthday.  For more information, click here.

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.