Tag Archives: Hains Point

An Understated Tribute to Sacrifice: the Women’s Titanic Memorial

D.C. is home to dozens of memorials, many bursting with grandeur and stateliness.  But some of the most poignant moments that our city offers are found in the lesser-known memorials that are more off the beaten path.

One of these is the Women’s Titanic Memorial, located along the southwest waterfront at approximately 4th and P SW.  It was erected by the female survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, to pay tribute to the men who lost their lives in order to save women and children.

The monument is comprised of a figure wrapped in a billowing shroud, with arms up and out (not unlike Kate Winslet’s iconic pose in the movie “Titanic.”)  The inscription notes that the statue is erected by the “Women of America,” and movingly, the back reads “To the young and the old/the rich and the poor/the ignorant and the learned/all who gave their lives nobly/to save women and children.”  Almost all of the 1,514 people who lost their lives in the ship’s sinking were men (1,352 altogether).

Originally located at the southern end of Rock Creek Park, it was funded and built by the Women’s Titanic Memorial Association in 1931.  It was moved to its current location in 1968 to make way for the Kennedy Center, and is one of dozens of memorials across the world to pay tribute to those killed in the disaster of the Titanic.

One of the best things about this memorial is its location.  It is located at the end of the waterfront pathway—technically the Southwest Waterfront Park—which ends just as Fort McNair begins.  It is a quiet, contemplative spot, framed by rows of trees planted when the waterfront was at its heyday as a bustling commercial center.  And the view is across an arm of the Potomac of the green and lovely Hains Point.

Although it was a British liner, the Titanic was carrying many emigrants seeking to call America their new home.  And thus, while a quiet tribute, the Titanic Memorial fits in well with the ethos of our historic city, one that honors and remembers those who helped our nation become what it is today.

To visit:  A 10-minute walk from the Waterfront metro stop, or the red line of the Circulator stops nearby.

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Teeing Up At The Miniature Golf Course On Hains Point

I’m often surprised by some of the amenities that DC doesn’t have, like cheap bowling (although luckily that can be found just across the pond at Ft. Myer).  Add to that list lots of mini-golf—there are only two spots in the city to get your putt-putt on:  the indoor course at the H Street Country Club and the outdoor course on Hains Point near the Mall.

The East Potomac Golf Course is known best for its nice public golf course, one of three in DC.  But on its grounds is also an 18-hole mini golf course for those of us who prefer putting to driving.  The course opened in 1930, making it one of the oldest courses in the nation.  In addition, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places as the “oldest continuing operating miniature golf course in the country.”

Other than the history, there’s not too much to say about this mini golf, which is fairly standard.  It’s quite old, seen for example in the fact that some of the carpet is warped, some of the features are broken, and there is debris like leaves and sticks on the ground.  But, it all adds to the charm.  And hey, it’s the only place you can play outdoor mini golf in our fine city!

Prices are $6.50 for adults, $5 for kids, and $5.50 for groups of 20 or more.  There was not a crowd when we visited in May, although staff told me that it gets busier later in the summer.  The course is able to host kids’ birthdays and other such functions.

Also on site are a pro shop and a snack bar that serves beer.  After an exhausting game of mini golf, there’s nothing like sitting and cooling off in the afternoon shade with a cold one.

To visit: 972 Ohio Drive SW, (202) 554-7660.  Open April-October, only on weekends during the spring and fall, times vary (see here) but are generally 11am-7pm.  About a half hour walk from the Smithsonian and Waterfront Metro stations.  A car or bike are the easiest options.

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