Peter Conover HainsFirst Lieutenant Peter C. Hains, 1862; Major General Peter C. Hains, 1910s, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Major General Hains, as chief engineer for the Eastern Division of the Corps of Engineers, at his desk in April 1918. He was he only Civil War Officer to see duty in World War I. 

Washington, DC's Hains Point: How Did It Get Its Name?

via the Ghosts of DC web site 

Hains point is named for Peter Conover Hains. That was easy. You would know that if you checked Wikipedia, so I’m not really adding any value with this post. But if you go down there and enjoy the park, you should at least know a little about its namesake.

So who was Hains? He was a prominent Major General in the U.S. Army and served in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I. Not only that, he was responsible for helping reclaim Potomac Flats and turning East Potomac Park and Hains Point into the enjoyable recreation area it is today.

As we all know, Washington was a nasty, swampy area which was horribly noxious in the hot, summer months. In August 1882, Congress allocated $400,000 to begin the reclamation of swampy flatland lining the Potomac in the hopes of improving city sanitation and getting rid of the nasty smell. The man in charge of this giant engineering project was Peter Hains.

The land that was created as a result of dredging the river makes up what is now East Potomac Park and Hains Point. The park housed a tea house in the 1920s (pictured below), which was run by the girl scouts.

A little tangent … Major General Hains also had some interesting (and hot tempered) offspring.

His son Peter Jr. was involved in a major murder scandal in 1909. He was convicted of killing his wife’s lover at a yacht club in Queens, New York, while his brother Thornton held back the horrified onlookers with his own gun. Crazy.

His grandson, Peter C. Hains III competed in the 1928 Olympics, not to mention his career as a Major General.

Read the entire article on the Ghosts of DC web site here:


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