After visiting Jones Point yesterday, and knowing the land in that part of Old Town has gone through changes through the years, I got curious about the precise changes.
Pulled out my go to source in these matters, “A Seaport Saga,” by William Francis Smith and T. Michael Miller. Found comfort in a 1797 map drawn up by George Gilpin. He was the man back then for these sorts of things, an engineer and surveyor.
Not the best job, but it gives you an idea of the following:
- Over half of Jones Point Park, and all of Hunting Towers and Porto Vecchio is on land fill.
- South Street and Penny Hill, the two most southern streets are gone, but if my figuring is right, South Street ran under what us now the Inner Loop, and Penny Hill ran from where the steep ramp is now for the Mount Vernon Trail that runs down from Washington Street, past Hunting Towers and parallel to the Outer Loop. And by extension, towards the river.
- A creek ran from Jones Point to the corner of Jefferson and S. Royal.
- And an interesting historical footnote, although the District was laid out in 1791, and is reflected in this map, it didn’t become official until February 27, 1801.