Can you be from DC and not live in Washington?

Something I never thought of before… can you live in the District of Columbia and not live in the city of Washington?

I think the original cities in the District of Columbia were Washington, Anacostia and Georgetown. I’m not sure about Arlington, which is now part of Virginia. It used to make more sense, before everything was sucked into the city of Washington.

Not anymore. If you live in the District, you live in Washington.
From what I recall Washington’s border was on what is now Florida Avenue (used to be Boundary Street) but that ended in 1878 when they made the city’s border coterminous with those of the District of Columbia. The Wikipedia entry on the history of the city gives a good background on how the city used to be divided.

Prior to 1846, Arlington and the City of Alexandria were part of DC. They were also part of the same county- Alexandria County.

So why’d they suck all the cities together?

Wikipedia is your friend

As recently as the 1950s, it was commonplace (according to an old neighbor of mine in DC) to refer to the outer neighborhoods as “Brookland, DC” or “Shepherd’s Park, DC” or “Chevy Chase, DC.” These weren’t legal designations, though.

Part of Takoma Park is inside the District, and its residents commonly refer to it as “Takoma, DC.” As long as you put the right ZIP code on the envelope, you can call it what you want. It’s an affectation, though.

Here in Alexandria, we have some fairly old graveyards. Grace Episcopal Church has many graves from the late 18th-early 19th centuries, and several of the headstones ffrom pre-1847 say “Alexandria, DC.”

niblet_head writes:

> So why’d they suck all the cities together?

It’s not much different than what’s happened to many other large cities, where the central city expanded and merged with what were originally suburbs. In other cities, this tended to be a gradual process, with one suburb after another losing its autonomous status and becoming just a neighborhood within the city. In the case of D.C., it happened in one fell swoop, as the federal government realized that the seperate cities within the District were growing and would soon merge, so they just declared in 1878 that the entire District was the city of Washington.

Minor note: Arlington, Virginia is not a city; it’s a county.

You know, Mathochist, there is another Wikipedia page simply entitled “Washington, DC” which I read in full, which mentions the consolidation of the cities and towns of DC, but not the reasoning behind it, whence my question. The page you linked to is called “History of Washington DC” which I didn’t realize existed, as I assumed that a page called “Washington DC” which includes a subheader entitled “History” would include the history I was needing. Next time I read something on Wikipedia and it doesn’t include everything I need, instead of coming here I’ll search for “History of thing” instead.

According to Wikipedia, the county seat of Arlington County is Arlington CDP (census- designated place), an unincorporated town that is coextensive with the county.

And this doesn’t contradict what Monty said. The only legal jurisdiction in Arlington County is Arlington County.

City of Washington, City of Georgetown, and Washington Township.

Actually, it’s really the other way around. If you live in Washington, then you live in the District of Columbia. The only legal jurisdiction that remains is the District of Columbia. Washington doesn’t really exist anymore except as a postal address.

I live in DC and we still do that. I’m from Petworth which is just south of Takoma Park, and north of Columbia Heights.

…and in Arlington, you have communities within the community like Ballston, Clarendon, Roslyn, Cherrydale, Nauck, Westover, Carlin Springs, etc.

But it’s clearly linked at the top of the “History” section of the “Washington, DC” page. If you read that page in full you’d have seen the link reading, “Main article: History of Washington, D.C.”.

Yes, I see now that that is true. I don’t think you needed to be snarky about it.

Google/Wikipedia is your friend posts are extremely common in this forum.

Ah, so I see my assessment of you stands.