Bill DeCosta – Hoboes and Tramps in the 1980’s: Washington DC
While a DC librarian, Bill DeCosta researched the life of hoboes in the 1890’s local news papers and wrote a short book. Hoboes valued travel over living and working in one place. They would work and live off the land for a while and then move on, usually by freight train. Hobo camps were once common, especially after 1893, when a severe depression gripped the U S. Rock Creek Park had several hobo settlements. The space behind the Corcoran Building at 15th and F streets NW (now the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery) was known as “Heat Alley” for the warmth that gusted from the boiler room and made it popular in the winter. “Hobo Hollow” was the name for a camp at Dyke Marsh south of Alexandria.