Riggs Bank was a Washington institution for over a hundred years. More than 20 U.S. Presidents (ranging from Lincoln to Nixon) banked at Riggs, and their headquarters across the street from the Treasury Department used to be pictured on the back of the old ten dollar bill.
Washington was home to hundreds of small and large breweries during the Industrial Revolution. The Christian Heurich Brewery was the most noteworthy, producing 500,000 barrels of award winning beer a year.
Renovators at the Treasury Building made an unexpected discovery in 1985 behind the drywall in the old office of the Treasurer. They had stumbled across the forgotten armored vault that used to guard the government's cash.
There was a time when you could see barges floating on the National Mall in the now defunct Washington City Canal. This manmade channel cut across the heart of the city and connected the Anacostia with the Tiber Creek and the C&O canal in Georgetown.