Ruthie Cooney

Ruthie Cooney is a native Virginian who recently made her way back to the D.C. area after a thirteen-year stint in Texas and Colorado, during which she accidentally graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Geological Engineering. Armed with a passion for storytelling, Ruthie was delighted to find Boundary Stones and learn of WETA’s commitment to reviving the history of Washington, Virginia, and Maryland. She cites her deep affection for Remember the Titans as the source of her interest in local history!

Posts by Ruthie Cooney

There's Something Fishy on the National Mall

Washington D.C. has its hidden gems, but none perhaps as hidden as the long-gone and long-forgotten carp ponds of the National Mall that were a main attraction in the District for close to three decades. But you’ve probably never heard of them, and the U.S. government is happy about that.

Clover Adams‘ self-portrait, in which her face is almost completely hidden. (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.)

The Hay-Adams Hotel's Perpetual Guest

The atmosphere at the Hay-Adams Hotel remains one of hospitality and timelessness, just ask the woman who’s supposedly made it her home for over 130 years. Tarnishing its long held reputation of extravagance and exclusivity is the hotel’s only unwanted guest: the esteemed ghost of the Hay-Adams, Marion Hooper Adams. Her brilliance as an intellect and socialite in the late 19th-century are made all the more legendary by her tragic and early death.

The Phantoms of North Fairfax Street

Black and white photograph of the 100 Block of North Fairfax Street, taken 1861-1865. (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.)

When the Alexandria Gazette published a report about a "Fatal and Melancholy Affair" on June 29, 1868, editors probably didn't anticipate that the article would become the basis for one of Alexandria, Virginia's most infamous ghost stories. Maybe you've heard of the Bride of Old Town, or perhaps the name "Laura Schafer" rings a bell, but what's the full story? What really happened to the woman who supposedly burned to death on the night before her wedding day? What about her groom? And what if she never left Old Town?

Washington Confronts the AIDS Crisis

March participants view the AIDS Memorial Quilt on the National Mall on October 11, 1987. (Photograph courtesy of The NAMES Project.)

On October 11, 1987, Washingtonians woke up to an elaborate quilt blanketing the National Mall, with 1,920 panels stitching together the memory of thousands of individuals who had succumbed to the AIDS epidemic in America. The AIDS Memorial Quilt helped push the disease into mainstream America's consciousness. But for Washington's gay community, the battle against AIDS had been raging for almost a decade.