I was delighted to discover that the trolley car (which carried travellers to the Glen Echo amusement park in Maryland, just beyond the DC line) stopped right behind our house. What a great way to commute to work! I could hop on board and jump off at Pennsylvania Avenue and 24th Street, less than two blocks from my office.
You can get an idea of how special that ride was from this video:
Background on the Glen Echo Trolley
I loved that ride! But the trolley made its last voyage in January 1961. Critics claimed DC Transit closed down the line to promote buses.
On the night of the last trolley service, my wife, a friend and I were playing cards at the kitchen table when we heard lots of noise coming from the trolley stop just beyond our back fence. We ventured out to see what was happening and found a large group gathering in the cold, waiting for the last trolley. We later learned that similar "farewell parties" had occured at most trolley stops. As that last car clanged its way toward us, the crowd began singing Auld Lang Syne. That night was over half a century ago now... but it's still such a clear, poignant memory.
I recently retraced the trolley's route through my neighborhood with my camera. Photos to come.