Within Sight And Gunshot
May 15, 2014 8:41 AM   Subscribe

That's the seamy underbelly of Washington D.C.? Really?
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:45 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

Alas, the more recent nonpolitical seamy underbelly now lies under the new ballpark.

I had a lot of fun there in my day.
posted by sonascope at 8:57 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

For those not familiar with DC, the area is now known as "Federal Triangle".

So who wants to get a petition going with WMATA to change the name back to "Murder Bay"?
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:58 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]

I work in Murder Bay! Kind of odd that she doesn't talk about what it is now (almost all government offices) or how it got that way (at first as part of the McMillan plan, then the Public Buildings Act).

During the civil was it was so full of prostitutes there for General Joseph Hooker's troops that they called it "Hooker's Division," which I'm pretty sure is the origin of the term as it's used today.
posted by troika at 9:00 AM on May 15

#1 on the map, Willard's Hotel is still there in name alone.
posted by peeedro at 9:01 AM on May 15

A comment in this blog credits the map to the “Anti-Division Association for the Suppression of Vice in the District of Columbia”, which is certainly possible.

There's limited newspaper coverage of the AASVDC in the LOC archive, but it's the right time for Cleveland to be in his second term, and their mission statement matches up with the text of the map.

From the March 26, 1896 article about their first public meeting:
"The business and objects of this association are to pro mote in all proper ways the enforcement of the criminal law, to stimulate public sentiment in favor of its execution by educating both men and women to a single standard of purity, to promote the eradication of the sources and causes of crime and vice, to disseminate information respecting them, to advise and assist the weak and helpless, and especially those under age, in obtaining the protection of the courts and of the law, to excite a demand for the making of wholesome laws against vice and to organize public meetings for discussion upon such topics."
I'm not so sure that the blog's dating of the map to February 1896 is correct, since the association appears to have started in March.

During the civil was it was so full of prostitutes there for General Joseph Hooker's troops that they called it "Hooker's Division," which I'm pretty sure is the origin of the term as it's used today.

OED's earliest citation for that sense of 'hooker' is a good 16 years before the start of the US Civil War.
1845 in N.E. Eliason Tarheel Talk (1956) 277 If he comes by way of Norfolk he will find any number of pretty Hookers in the Brick row not far from French's hotel.
It's suggested that the coincidence of Fighting Joe's last name and the existing term gave it popularity, but it wasn't the origin.
posted by zamboni at 9:36 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

This blog crudely overlays the historical map on Google Earth.
posted by zamboni at 10:02 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

This is awesome.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:02 AM on May 15

Bah, the map is worthless.

I took the time to go there this weekend, and I can tell you for a fact - there are barely any of those hookers left that are mentioned, and the ones that are there are really ... well, to be blunt... old-looking.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:49 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

I'm generally opposed to changing Metro signs you'll always be National Airport to me cough cough but MURDER BAY is an awesome name.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:28 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

May Fitzgerald was a perfectly respectable woman, but she just got so tired of being mistaken for May Fitzpatrick that she decided it was just easier to give up and go on the game herself to avoid confusion.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:15 PM on May 15

Cthulhu by Gaslight game setting, anyone?
posted by adipocere at 12:15 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

I worked in DC 30 years ago, and my first reaction to the map was, "Wait, I don't remember Ohio Avenue being there." Sure enough, it's not there anymore. Swallowed up by Federal Triangle, as someone mentioned above.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:43 PM on May 15

This underbelly, it has seams?
posted by telstar at 9:16 PM on May 15

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