Visitors can learn more about Frederick Douglass and villains such as John Wilkes Booth amid a once-bucolic landscape that has witnessed life-and-death struggle and the everyday events of an evolving neighborhood. In D.C., some 80 percent of the area east of the Anacostia River was upzoned in conjunction with the mass displacement of Southwest D.C. residents for the nation’s first federal urban renewal project. The people of the area, the Nacotchtanks, were fisherman and farmers that occupied the land bordering the Anacostia River. Anacostia’s history travels back to the early 17 th Century when Captain John Smith arrived at the area and stumbled upon Nacotchtanke, the Native American Trading Village. The name "Anacostia" comes from the anglicized name of a Nacochtank settlement along the Anacostia River. Walk along An East-of-the-River View: Anacostia Heritage Trail (click here for map) to understand this dramatic story. Not a popular tourist destination, the river is even forgotten by popular travel website Tripadvisor, which doesn’t list the river on its list of 418 top attractions in D.C. While the war raged overseas, soldiers and civilians worked furiously to protect the capital against rising waters. In a city steeped in history, it’s a lesson few residents and visitors know. The name "Anacostia" derives from the area's early history as Nacotchtank, a settlement of Necostan or Anacostan Native Americans. Founded as the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and opened in 1967, the Anacostia Community Museum was envisioned by S. Dillon Ripley, then-Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as an outreach effort by the Smithsonian to the local African American community. [26] By the early 1960s, public housing had become the last refuge for low-income African Americans displaced by urban renewal and redevelopment. The Anacostia River and Flats Act in 1914 called for ‘continuing the reclamation and development of the Anacostia River’ and tidal plains. For thousands of years before European explorers and settlers sailed up the Anacostia, Native Americans hunted and farmed along its shores and feasted on the bounty of fish and seafood they found in the river. In 1608, when Captain John Smith sailed up the Potomac and … The Anacostia River is an 8.7 mile river that flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, DC. History. To accomplish this task, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed a seawall on the banks of the Anacostia, dredging the river bottom, and used the sediment to fill in the wetlands behind the wall. The Anacostia Waterfront Trust is a nonprofit organization that catalyzes and supports the creation of a world-class waterfront along the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.. We believe that the cleaning of the river corridor and the creation of a thriving public waterfront will provide many benefits to all District residents and create pathways to success for residents living east of the river. In contrast, the Georgetown Waterfront ranks number 23 on the list of 418 activities. The Anacostia River, often called the “forgotten river,” flows from Prince George’s County in Maryland to the Potomac River. History. More than 400 years ago, American Indians lived along the banks of the Anacostia River and elsewhere in Washington. Aerial view of the Anacostia River in October, 1942. Captain John Smith explored the area in 1608, traveling up the "Eastern Branch"—later the Anacostia River—mistaking it for the main body of the Potomac River, and met Anacostans. From Hains Point, the Anacostia joins the Potomac River for 108 miles until it empties into the Chesapeake Bay at Point Lookout. 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