You never know what you can find online. There's a little bit of Petworth history up for sale on eBay that belonged to someone who lived on Shepherd Street almost a hundred years ago.
Barry Tabel, an eBay seller from Bend, Oregon, wrote to tell me about a Petworth Citizens' Association membership card from 1925 that he found in a box that contained a collection of old letters. The card has the member name of Mr. A. L. Jennings, residing at 837 Shepherd Street NW, who paid his dues (expiring March 31, 1926), with an envelope featuring a postmark of May 22, 1925. He's posted the card for sale on eBay. (Update: the card sold to a Petworth resident.)
The Park View blog has a snapshot of a Washington Post article from November 1940 about the Association, titled “Petworth Citizen’s Association, 2nd Largest in District, Lists Many Successes.” Some of those successes include the construction of McFarland Junior High School (now being renovated), Roosevelt High School (just completed a major renovation) and the Petworth library (also recently renovated). The Association also helped improve the "Petworth and Barnard Schools," according to then President of the Association, George W. Potter. The Association reportedly had 1,350 paid members in 1940.
Mr. Tabel found the box of old letters in the east San Francisco Bay Area where he grew up, and only recently decided to rummage through the box.
"The card was in a large box of early/mid-20th century letters I purchased at a yard sale many years ago," wrote Mr. Tabel. "Now that I’m retired I have the time to go through it all. The card just happened to be near the top as I moved the material from an old flimsy box to a sturdier one."
You have to appreciate the cursive script lettering on the card... something I fear is long gone from our repertoire.
I also found an old "Petworth Pharmacy matchbook cover" from 7723 Georgia Avenue up for sale on eBay, not sure of the date.
(Article updated to reflect the membership card sold on eBay.)