For 41 years, James C. (‘Jim’) Finley ran a no-frills boxing gym on the second floor of his auto repair shop at 518 Tenth St. NE, where in 1973 Sugar Ray Leonard spent time training before the Olympic Games. Chris Calomiris, who was the grocer at Eastern Market’s Calomiris Fruits and Vegetables since 1963, was born and raised across from the Russell Senate Office building. As a child in 1933 he watched the workmen carry materials to build the First Street Wing on the building, obscuring the fountain he had seen for years.
Both Finley and Calomiris were interviewed for the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project. While both gentlemen have since passed (Finley in 2014, Calomiris in 2011), their recollections of the neighborhood, and their lives have been recorded by members of the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project.
The Project was established by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation to give the neighborhood knowledge of its past and an understanding of the everyday lives of its residents, creating a permanent accessible record of the people and events that have shaped the community. The project has been gathering materials for 17 years.
Just this week, the Project finished revamping its website at CapitolHillHistory.org. Design and operation have been dramatically changed to enhance its appearance, make it more user-friendly, and offer stronger search capability.
For those interested in the history of the Hill, the new Overbeck site makes it possible to do some casually reading. You can now read stories and see images from our neighborhood easily on your mobile device, so bookmark the page for your transit ride home.
Visit the website to
- Browse more than 200 transcribed interviews with long-time Capitol Hill residents and former residents, as recorded by our great volunteers.
- Learn about upcoming Overbeck History lectures, or about any of our past lectures.
- View an expanding collection of historic photos, maps and other images.
- Find dozens of sources for research on Capitol Hill’s past.
If you are interested in volunteering to help preserve the history of Capitol Hill, contact the Project Managers at [email protected] or 202-543-4544