Hillsdale Civic Association
Even though the emancipation proclamation set forth legislation to end slavery, there were land covenants that forbade the sale of land to blacks. The Barry's Farm Project was established by the “Freedmen's Bureau” in 1867 to make land available for purchase by African Americans who had come to Washington in great numbers before and during the Civil War (1861-1865). The Bureau acquired 375 acres of land that was originally a tobacco plantation from the Barry Family. A thriving community of formerly enslaved and free persons was established. The acreage was subdivided into approximately one-acre lots and sold on installment plans or leased. The proceeds went to fund the start of Howard, Lincoln and Wilberforce Universities.
Many of the new residents came from alley slums in Georgetown and Washington City, the only places they could find to live in freedom. By 1870, more than 500 families had made Barry Farm their home and had started creating a community. For each buyer the Bureau provided enough lumber for a small house. Families worked in the city by day and built their homes across the river at night under candle light. Macedonia Baptist Church and Mt. Zion Hill School were the first institutions built by residents. The school's lot was purchased with Freedmen's Bureau funds generated by land transactions. The community was renamed Hillsdale in 1871.
Hillsdale is a universal self-sufficient community where all residents co-exist in peace and harmony; cherish majestic views of historical landmarks; work, shop & dine in a robust retail district; educations and cultivates the next generation of game changers and living here is the standards of excellence
We're continually working hard to engage residents of and visitors to the Hillsdale neighborhood. If you're interested in helping us preserve our heritage and legacy use the contact form to send us a message and get involved.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS PATTERSON
The Mission of the Hillsdale Civic Association is to build a unified community of engaged residents who actively work to maintain a healthy and vibrant environment for all who reside, work, serve and visit Hillsdale Community.
OLIVER OTIS HOWARD
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