Upcoming Lectures

Currier and Ives view of Capitol Hill. ca. 1880

The Razzle-Dazzle: Mary Shiner Almarolia (1833-1904)

Lecture By :
Mark Herlong
The next Overbeck Lecture will be held at Hill Center on Monday, March 11, 2019, when Dr. Mark Herlong will present a lecture on Mary Ann Shiner Almarolia (1833-1904). Admission is free, but a reservation is required due to limited seating.

To register, go to the Hill Center web site or call 202-549-4172.

Dr. Herlong will discuss the life and adventures of a little-known Capitol Hill resident, Mary Ann Shiner Almarolia (1833-1904).  Mary was the daughter of Michael Shiner, the black Navy Yard worker and politician whose famous diary is housed at the Library of Congress.  As an infant, she was kidnapped by slave traders and freed by her father’s heroic efforts. In an era when mixed marriages and opportunities for blacks were rare, Mary married an Italian and ran a string of successful businesses on Capitol Hill, including hotels, restaurants, a bawdy house, a nursery and a dance hall called the Razzle-Dazzle (a.k.a. The Burning Rag).  In the late 19th century she was considered one of the most influential women in Washington, a confidant of politicians and diplomats – and a possible murderer.

As all Overbeck Capitol Hill History lectures, this presentation is free and open to the public. To be added to the electronic mailing list for the lectures or if you have suggestions of topics or speakers for the Overbeck Lecture Series, please write to OverbeckLecture@CapitolHillHistory.com.


Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital

Contact Number
(202) 549-4172
Lecture Date
March 11, 2019
Cost of Lecture
Lecture Time
7:30 p.m.

Lecture Series

Since 2002, the Overbeck Project has presented four lectures per year by local historians, authors and scholars on the history of Capitol Hill and the larger Washington, D.C. community.

All lectures are open to the public and offered free of charge.
Registration is required – see registration links below each lecture title.

Past Lectures: