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Streetcar Memories: Picturing D.C. History


Last Friday the ever-popular MetropoList feature on Page Three featured reminiscences about Washington's streetcars. I never rode one -- I'm much too young for that -- but I've heard both my parents speak about them. They grew up in Brookland and would hop a streetcar to explore various parts of the city.

Thre's a good chance they rode on a streetcar piloted by John P. Faunce. His daughter, Mary Louise Faunce of Churchton, Md., sent in these great photos of her dad, a fourth-generation D.C. native and a streetcar operator in the '40s, '50s and '60s on the Cabin John and Mt. Pleasant lines.

Wrote Mary Louise:

Regular riders enjoyed his open, easy manner. We lived on East Capitol Street SE, across from the car barn, and my brother and I would board my Dad’s streetcar on Sundays to ride with him Cabin John. He drove buses after the demise of the street car and retired in 1973 with the most seniority at Metro. He would have been the first operator on the Metro subway system, but chose to retire. He didn’t want to go underground – “I’ve loved looking down the road for 42 years” for Capital Traction, D.C. Transit and Metro.
P.S. My great grandfather, John Faunce, was a driver of horse-drawn trolleys here in the late 1880s.


Thanks for the photos, Mary Louise. Your dad looks proud of his streetcars.

Do you have photos of old D.C., or the D.C. area? E-mail them to me.

By John Kelly  |  June 18, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Washington history  
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