Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Geography of Forgotten Landscapes: Fort Totten, Washington, D.C.

The main sign and Fort Totten hidden in the background

Inside the northeastern end of Washington, D.C. sits a piece of forgotten history. Fort Totten is not abandoned, it is marked by a park which anyone can visit; however it is forgotten by the all.

Fort Totten was created after the First Battle of Bull Run. The United States military realized the capital was poorly defended. So a series of forts (with an interactive map) around Washington were constructed. The forts were made on the rural farmland hills of the district. The forts, including Fort Totten, saw action during the 1864 Confederate raid on Washington.

Today the fort is along Fort Totten Drive right near Fort Totten Metro. Things have changed like the farmland giving way to townhouses. A roadside sign and a plaque which is in risk of being grown over by plants mark the site to no one in particular. Though it is a short walk from the metro no tourists come to visit as they have to pass through an area known as “Rapesville” to some. If locals come to visit it is to drink their beers and not take in history. Students at the nearby Catholic University of America expressed no interest or even knowledge of the fort. The fort and its presences on the landscape is marked yet forgotten.

Catholicgauzette Runs the Ramparts

Inside the fort

No longer farmland. The fort is forgotten in the northeast of Washington.


Goethe said...

I may be wrong, but isn't some recent sad news connected to this park? A Congressional intern was found murdered there, and the Congressman she worked for was hounded from office on the suspicion that he was the murderer?

On another note, I have just come across this site, which has great maps of "sacred places": http://www.sacredsites.com/index.html

I was drawn to it today when reading about the "Hill of Crosses" in Lithuania:


torgo jr. said...


Are you referring to the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy debacle? That was Rock Creek Park.