Anacostia, it’s like the Narrows of DC – if DC were Batman’s Gotham City. However, despite it’s intimidating atmosphere, where did the name of this area come from?

Anacostia is named after the Necostan Native Americans, also known as the Anacostan Indians. Their settlement on the shores of the Anacostia River was known as Nacochtank. Apparently Cap. John Smith ran into this friendly tribe while he was trying to find the Potomac River. The Anacostia River is one of the main branches of the Potomac River, and the good Captain sailed up this portion around 1608 as he searched for the Potomac.

Anacostia, named after the friendly tribe that lived there, became a neighborhood of DC in 1854, it was mainly inhabited by the blue collar workers of DC, particularly for African Americans and Irish settlers – though both these cultures were initially refused the right own property in DC.

I found this interesting article on street names of Anacostia. Apparently Good Hope Road was used by John Wilkes Booth as part of his escape route into Virginia after he shot President Lincoln.

And now you know the rest of the story!