Matthew B. Gilmore
Tiber Creek (or Goose Creek) is not something many people talk about much any more, much less know about, despite its importance to the early development of Washington. When one does read about the Tiber, the area most frequently referenced is the downtown section that eventually became part of the canal and was finally entombed as an underground sewer beneath Constitution Avenue along the Mall.
In the early days of the city, the Tiber’s banks were covered with large trees and bushes. The creek also provided anglers with shad, herring, eels, pike, catfish, perch, and other fish as far upstream as Pennsylvania Avenue and Second Street, NW.
According to Garnett P. Williams in his study on Washington’s vanishing springs and waterways (1977), the Tiber was a “formidable stream that drained about half of the original District of Columbia area. The headwaters began as little rills about 3 1/2 miles north…
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