Posts Tagged Cedar Gardens

Photos of Frederick Douglass mural walking tour of Old Anacostia

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to guide students from the Head-Royce School in Oakland, California enrolled in a selective social justice program visiting the nation’s capital on a walking tour of Old Anacostia.

Organized by Envoys, an international organization that works with innovative schools and teachers to expand the boundaries of possibility for global education programming, an intellectually curious and well-informed group of young men and women rendezvoused at the Anacostia Metro station. We then proceeded to review a number of murals before entering the boundaries of the Historic Anacostia replete with a variety of Frederick Douglass-themed murals.

Special thanks to the students and teachers of the Head-Royce School, Envoys program leaders and local community leaders within Anacostia who took time to offer their welcome and hospitality.

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Students examine an 1880 letter Frederick Douglass wrote in support of his friend Henry Griswold, a local real estate developer in Old Anacostia.

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Students view mural of Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln around the corner from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.


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Students from Oakland, California and their chaperones stand outside a mural of Frederick Douglass in Old Anacostia outside of D.C. Market.

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Following the tour students shared a meal and discussion at the new Busboys and Poets around the corner from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

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New Bench at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site adds subtle touch to celebration of July 4th

new bench - long view walking towards back of grounds - 7.1.2018

A sacred bench was recently installed on the grounds of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W Street SE, by Nature Sacred.

Days before the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site opened to the public for the Capitol Fireworks, and W Street SE Fireworks Show, for the first time in a generation, local horticulturalist Ron Ammon from Annapolis-based Nature Sacred devoted special attention to an overlooked small park on Cedar Hill’s sacred grounds.

new bench alongside old bench - FDNHS - 7.1.2018

New Bench (left). Old Bench, in a couple parts (right).

Years ago Open Spaces Sacred Places, now Nature Sacred, installed two benches in a gardened recreation space behind the parking lot. The rear bench, in an area shaded by extending foliage, had unfortunately weathered and succumbed to termites in recent years.

With an official heat index over 100 degrees Ron unloaded materials and tools from his white pick-up truck and got to work assembling a new sacred bench for the landscape of the Douglass family home.


Ron Ammon of Nature Sacred alongside new bench at FDNHS.

In quick time Ron hauled and disposed of the old bench in the adjacent woods and moved the new bench into place. I accepted his invitation to take it on its first test-drive.

Ron also cut back dead branches of the nationally stricken Ash Tree, inspected the small foot bridge and generally cleaned up the park area.

Ron Ammon sitting on new bench w Journal of drawing of him - FDNHS - 7.1.2018

Ron Ammon alongside sketch of him by young artist.

A young artist visiting the Douglass home with her parents completed a sketch of Ron, a true W Street Douglassonian Naturalist, to show her appreciation for his industrious spirit.

We thank Ron, Nature Sacred and the TFK Foundation for the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and all Douglassonian Naturalists from W Street SE and all parts of the world that visit the sacred grounds.

EDITOR’s Note:

W Street Douglassonians and local activists have been familiar with this organization for many years, including the installation of benches in Market Square nearly a decade ago.

A wonderful organization that helps communities heals from the outside by promoting nature’s impact and importance to everyday life.


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Photo Archives: Mr. Donald E. Scoggins w/ members of FDMHA & HUD Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris

Don_with FDMHA and Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris

Mr. Donald E. Scoggins with members of FDMHA and HUD Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris. Courtesy of FDMHA.

As an outgrowth of the Frederick Douglass Community Conference held earlier this month we’ve made connection with Mr. Donald Scoggins, a former resident of W Street SE and active member of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association.

At the community conference Mr. Scoggins shared details of how the 6th HUD Secretary, Patrica Roberts Harris, was able to assist the Frederick Memorial and Historical Association, chartered by Congress in 1900, re-acquire ownership of land that Frederick Douglass purchased behind his Cedar Hill Estate. In coming weeks we plan to have more about this little known chapter in the modern history of Frederick Douglass’ home.

We share this photo with his permission and blessing. Mr. Scoggins shared the circumstances of the photograph:

It was held just days of her confirmation when she announced selling to the Association for $1.00.00 with 100% Section 8 rental subsidies tied to the 152 unit garden apartment complex formerly known as Cedar Gardens. It had been acquired several years earlier by the federal government through foreclosure.

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