Capitol Hill Restoration Society

Following the Trail of John Burroughs – Overbeck Lecture

Posted on September 30th, 2021

Capitol Hill History will present at Overbeck Lecture, Exposing Washington’s History with Archaeology’s New Tools, Monday, October 25, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.  

After a hiatus of more than a year, the Overbeck Lecture series will resume on October 25, 7:30 pm, with a presentation on John Burroughs, an eminent naturalist and nature writer in the decades after the Civil War. He lived for a time on Capitol Hill where the Russell Office Building now stands. His observations during hikes about the city and out in to the nearby woods, sometimes accompanied by Walt Whitman, became the basis for popular nature essays that were gathered into books such as Wake-Robin and later Riverby, along with many others. Steve Dryden, executive director of the Friends of Peirce Mill, will trace Burroughs’s life in DC, his discoveries of Washington’s natural delights, and his growing national popularity. Since Peirce Mill on Rock Creek is located within the area that Burroughs often explored, Mr. Dryden has studied not only Burroughs’s world through his books but also the on-the-ground changes that resulted during more recent decades, particularly as streams and waterways were lost to view.

On October 25, Steve Dryden will share John Burroughs’s Washington in an illustrated presentation. As always, admission is free but a reservation is required due to limited seating; masks must be worn in Hill Center and proof of full vaccination will be required. After October 1, to register go to  or call 202-549-4172. All guests should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the event. Seating will begin at 7:00 pm for those who hold reservations. Available seats will be released to guests on the wait list beginning at 7:15 pm. If you hold a reservation and find that you cannot attend, please contact the organizers, so that others might use your unclaimed seats.

Overbeck lectures are supported by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation. For more information on the lecture series, visit