Capitol Hill Restoration Society

Swampoodle – Community Forum

Posted on September 18th, 2019

History buff Matthew Gilmore gave a talk entitled “Making Washington’s “Swampoodle”: Irish Neighborhood in the Tiber Valley, Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 7 pm,  at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Mr. Gilmore explored questions of the origin of the name “Swampoodle,” of the northern Capitol Hill neighborhood’s reputation, and of its place in Washington DC and Irish-American history.  Swampoodle in 19th Century was nationally known as a dangerous place; it was also the center of the Irish-American community in Washington.  At that time, Swampoodle became shorthand for the Government Printing Office (similar to Foggy Bottom standing in for the State Department).  The last time Matthew Gilmore spoke at CHRS in 2016, he spoke on Washington’s Lost Cemeteries (

With expertise in urban planning, cartography, and GIS, library science, information systems, and photography, Matthew Gilmore specializes in the history of Washington, DC.  He edits the H-DC discussion list and blogs on Washington history and related subjects at  He also writes a monthly DC history column for The InTowner (www.  He has published several books and articles on DC history and served as reference librarian at the Washingtoniana Division of the DC Public Library for a number of years and chaired the Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies for four years. Matthew can be  reached at

The talk was preceded by an organizational business meeting at 6:30 pm, at which the CHRS FY2019 budget will be approved.

The event is free and handicapped-accessible and the public is encouraged to attend.