Marshall Heights draws its name from the Marshall family, a prominent landowning family in Prince George’s County, Maryland.The neighborhood was initially part of the “Marshall tract”, an extensive parcel of land in both the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County which had not been subdivided. The Marshall family sold the tract to Charles A. McEwen, and his subdivision of the tract into Marshall Heights was approved by the city on April 22, 1886. Much of the neighborhood remained forested countryside in 1900, with only a few dirt tracks providing access to it.
On May 15, 1991, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain visited the 5300 block of Drake Place SE. The queen was viewing four homes built by the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization and financially backed by the District of Columbia.
Marshall Heights is bounded by East Capitol Street, Central Avenue SE, Southern Avenue SE, Fitch Street SE, G Street SE, Benning Road SE, F Street SE, St. Louis Place SE, and 49th Street SE.
Marshall Heights is served by two stations of the Washington Metro subway. The Benning Road station is on its northwest corner and the Capitol Heights station is near the northeast corner of the neighborhood. Both are on the Blue and Silver lines. The area is served by the 25, 96, 97, E32, U5, U6, U8, and W4 Metrobus lines. The V1 line has two termini on Benning Road SE (Hanna Place SE and H Street SE).