Rounding Up Farm Animals on Capitol Hill

“Hog Catcher! Hog Catcher!” --an Overbeck Lecture

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Cows graze in the District with the Capitol visible in the distance. Courtesy: Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project

Farm animals – pigs, cows, geese – found pleasant pasturage in the parks, streets, empty lots and front yards of Capitol Hill until about 1880.

The September Overbeck lecture by independent researcher Hayden Wetzel will relive those exciting days when the police and later the District pound crew battled local residents to get these largish but, to their owners, valuable nuisances off public property, including the Capitol grounds.

As one newspaper reported: “She rescued her porker from a lightweight policeman and then not content with this tossed both officer and pig into the muddy sty.”

Overbeck lectures will resume on Monday, September 19 at 7:30 pm at Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

Admission to the Overbeck Lecture is free but a reservation is required. After September 1 call 202-549-4172 or reserve through the Hill Center website (https://www.hillcenterdc.org/events/).

All guests should show proof of vaccination against Covid 19. For updated Hill Center policy, see hillcenterdc.org/hill-center-covid-19-2/).

Seating will begin at 7 p.m. 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 us so that others can use your unclaimed seats, OverbeckLecture@CapitolHillHistory.org. Overbeck Lectures are sponsored by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.

Wetzel is the author of Mangy Curs and Stoned Horses: Animal Control in the District of Columbia from the Beginnings to about 1940 and Two Studies on the History of Southwest, D.C.: Buzzard Point, and Urban Renewal Parks.  Both publications will be available for sale at the lecture.