Written by John William Tuohy
….And that’s why they call it McLean
McLean, as a town, started in June of 1910 when the Storm family started a post office and general store built around a stop of the old Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad. The post office was dubbed McLean station, the name of the local trolley stop and that name was borrowed from one of the co-founders of the rail line, John McLean. In 1902, McLean built a rail line from Georgetown to Great Falls Park, which was, at that time, in the deep countryside and was often promoted as "the Niagara Falls of the South,” The park had a restaurant, carousel and dance pavilion.
The railroad carried its first passengers on July 4, 1906. The McLean stop was located at the present-day intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Chain Bridge Road and before long became a hub of the local communities. By 1923, the area around the station had a general store, a public school (The Franklin Sherman School) a Masonic hall and a fire station.
Twelve years later, in 1934, the Great Falls and Old Dominion went bankrupt and its tracks were removed in 1935 and replaced with what was the only paved road that led to the Arlington County line.
After World War II, when the county started to explode in growth, McLean’s farms were gradually sold off into one- and half-acre lots although McLean was still considered a rural community. After the CIA headquarters arrived in the late 1950s and early sixties, the town grew and became known worldwide as the home Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
McLean is named John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of The Washington Post, who, in 1906, with US Senator Stephen Benton Elkins and the bankroll of French aristocrat Jean-Pierre Guenard, in 1906 built the electrified the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railway. (It was later the Washington and Old Dominion Railway) The railway connected the very tip of Northern Virginia with Washington, D.C.
US Senator Stephen Benton Elkins of West Virginia. After graduating from college, Elkins briefly taught school in Cass County, Missouri. Among his pupils was future James-Younger Gang member Cole Younger. Around 1890, he moved to Elkins, West Virginia, a town he had founded earlier, to pursue coal and rail interests. By 1892, the Davis Coal and Coke Company, a partnership between Elkins and his father-in-law, Senator Henry G. Davis, was among the largest coal companies in the world. Elkins served as Secretary of War in the Benjamin Harrison administration from December 17, 1891, to March 5, 1893, and, fittingly enough, considering McLean is the home of the CIA, greatly broadened the intelligence functions of the Division of Military Information.
By 1938, the McLean mansion eventually became the headquarters for the National Bituminous Coal Commission. Mclean named the local railroad station after himself, placing the station where the rail line, following Old Dominion Drive crossed old Chain Bridge Road. A community sprung up around the station in about in 1910 when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged.
John Roll McLean (17 September 1848 – 9 June 1916) was an interesting man who owned The Washington Post and The Cincinnati Enquirer. He was also a one-time partner in the ownership of the Cincinnati Red Stockings baseball team of the American Association and the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds of the Union Association.
McLean was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Washington McLean, the owner and publisher of The Cincinnati Enquirer. In 1905, he and his father purchased a controlling interest in The Washington Post.
McLean received the Democratic Party's nomination for the United States Senate in 1885 and for the Ohio governor's seat in 1899. He lost both elections. He married Emily Beale and was the father of Edward Beale McLean, owner of the Hope Diamond. His sister, Mildred, was the wife of General William Babcock Hazen and Admiral George Dewey.
Edward Beale "Ned" McLean (1889 - July 28, 1941) was the publisher and owner of the Washington Post newspaper from 1916 until 1933. The McLean’s former estate, Friendship, is now McLean Gardens, a high-end housing development in upper Northwest Washington DC. A later residence, also known as Friendship, is located at the corner of R Street, N.W. and Wisconsin Avenue, and remains a private home. “Friendship” estate on Wisconsin Avenue and Quebec Streets. Today, the Fannie Mae building sits on the property
In 1908 McLean married Evalyn Walsh, the only surviving child and sole heiress of mining millionaire Thomas Walsh. Her childhood home, a grandiose Second Empire-style mansion at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., is now the Indonesian embassy. This is how it looked when the Walsh family lived there.
On January 28, 1911, McLean purchased the Hope Diamond for $180,000 from Pierre Cartier of Cartier Jewelers on Fifth Avenue in New York City. A clause in the sale agreement for the diamond, which was widely believed to have brought death and disaster to its owners, said, "Should any fatality occur to the family of Edward B. McLean within six months, he said Hope diamond is agreed to be exchanged for jewelry of equal value".
By March, the diamond had not been paid for in accordance with the terms in the sale agreement. Cartier hired a lawyer to sue McLean for payment. McLean responded by saying that the diamond was on loan for inspection.
On February 2, 1912 the New York Times reported that the "Wealthy Purchasers of Famous Stone to Retain It Despite Sinister Reputation." The bad luck the diamond was supposed to bring was shown when the four children born to the McLean’s died including 9 year old Vinson Walsh McLean who was struck and killed by a car while crossing Wisconsin Ave. in front of the family estate.
The couple’s daughter Evalyn Washington McLean, the 35-year old bride and fifth wife of 57-year-old Senator Robert R. Reynolds of North Carolina, accidentally killed herself with an overdose of sleeping pills.
The McLean marriage ended with much publicized and bitterly contested divorce proceedings, initiated by Mrs. McLean on grounds of infidelity in October 1931. Edward’s increasingly erratic behavior and reckless spending resulted in financial problems that led to the forced sale of the Washington Post by trustees appointed by the court. On October 31, 1933, a jury in a Maryland declared Edward McLean legally insane and incapable of managing his affairs. The court ordered that he be committed indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital. He died of a heart attack at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson, Maryland in 1941.
Evalyn Walsh McLean was a victim of Gaston Means, a former F.B.I. agent, murder suspect, and grifter, who claimed that he had set a deal to free the Lindbergh baby for a ransom of over $100,000 which Evalyn advanced him. Means disappeared with the money only to resurface months later in California and ask McLean for additional funds. Suspicious of Means' activities, she helped lead police to him; he was also wanted for other various crimes and civil actions. This ultimately led to his conviction and imprisonment on larceny charges.
Although her first son was killed in a car accident, her husband ran off with another woman and eventually died in a sanitarium, the family newspaper went bankrupt and eventually her daughter died of an overdose, Evalyn never believed all along that the curse had anything to do with her misfortunes. She died at age 60 of pneumonia and was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington D.C., in the Walsh family tomb
........and that's why they call it Chain Bridge
The location of the present Chain Bridge started as an early crossing for local Indians just below Little Falls. In 1797, the Georgetown Potomac Bridge Company built a wooden bridge and issued four hundred shares of stock at two hundred dollars each for construction costs.
By 1804, the first bridge from McLean into Washington DC (It was a toll bridge by the way) had rotted and collapsed and its successor, also made of wood, burned six months after its completion.
Four years later in 1808, a third bridge was completed on the site, this one using chain support, (The one hundred twenty-eight foot span was suspended from chains with four and a half links anchored in stone abutments, designed to resist the pressure of water) but that too was destroyed in the flood of 1810. The crossing toll was an astonishing 25 cents a horse, no small amount at the time.
The company that owned the bridge built yet a fourth but that too was all but destroyed by floods in 1815. Finally, in 1840, with support from the federal government, a new bridge of wood and but mostly chain was completed in 1840 and that’s why they call it the Chain Bridge.
Chain Bridge was a key location, as Union military leaders feared that General Robert E. Lee could make a quick thrust and slip across the Potomac by the backdoor thereby attacking Washington, D.C.
On September 24, 1861, Union General William "Baldy" Smith sent in troops from DC across the Chain Bridge to the construction of Fort Marcy, near Langley. Smith's troops took control of nearby Lewinsville on October 9, 1861, and posted themselves at Mackall's Hill (between Langley and Lewinsville). Mackall's hill, named for the Mackall family, was lowered in 1941 to develop houses on the property.
The legend of Bull Frizzle
In about 1831, a foundry worker named Luke “Bull” Frizzle (Born in Virginia in 1780) lived on the bank of a canal that ran alongside the Potomac. (It wasn’t the C&O canal but was later attached to the C&O Canal) Mr. Frizzle was noted far and wide for his enormous psychical strength and one afternoon, after an accident at the Little Falls (Chain) Bridge that caused an enormous wooden beam to fall on a man, Frizzle crawled under the large beam and picked it up by the strength of his back and saved the man’s life. Bull later married a woman named Jane Thrift. They had a daughter named Bathseba. Their ancestors still reside in Fairfax County.
…..And that’s why they call it Marcy Park
Fort Marcy Park was named for Brig. General Randolph B. Marcy, chief of staff for General George McClellan, commander of the Union Army (November 1861 to March 1862)
Marcy with officers and civilians at Army of the Potomac headquarters, Antietam, Md.
Marcy graduated at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1832 and was commissioned a lieutenant in the 5th U. S. Infantry and served with the 5th in the Black Hawk War in Illinois and Wisconsin. In 1846, he was promoted to Captain and fought with the 5th in the Mexican War at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.
He was then assigned to duty in the in Texas and Oklahoma, escorting emigrants, locating military posts, exploring the wilderness, and mapping routes, during which time he met his future son-in-law, George B. McClellan.
George B. McClellan and his wife, Ellen Mary Marcy. The couple met in 1854 when McClellan was 27 years old and Ellen was 18-years-old. For McClellan, it was love at first site. He wrote to Ellen's mother "I have not seen a very great deal of the little lady mentioned above, still that little has been sufficient to make me determined to win her if I can." General Marcy (Then Captain Marcy) gently pushed his daughter towards the young McClellan but she had her sights set on another young officer, Lieutenant Ambrose Powell Hill (For whom Ft. AP Hill in Virginia is named. Hill joined the Confederate army and served as a general was killed in battle one week before the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.). Ellen wrote to her father that she intended to marry Hill to which her father demanded that she stop seeing Hill "if you do not comply with my wishes in this respect," he wrote to her "I cannot tell what my feelings toward you will become. I fear that my ardent affections will turn to hate..." That June McClellan proposed but Ellen rejected him. (Among other things, she was about three inches taller than the humorless McClellan was) McClellan, essentially, stalked the young woman by mail for the next six years, rejecting nine proposals of marriage.
Finally, on October 20, 1859, Ellen accepted McClellan’s proposal for marriage. They were wed at Calvary Church, New York City, on May 22, 1860. McClellan was 33 and Ellen was 25. Their son, George Brinton McClellan, Jr. (called Max) was born in Dresden, Germany, during the family's first trip to Europe and later served as a US Representative from New York State and Mayor of New York City from 1904 to 1909. Their daughter Mary married a French diplomat and spent much of her life abroad. Neither Max nor Mary had children of their own. Ellen outlived her husband and died in 1915 in Nice, France while visiting her daughter. Hill, says history, held a grudge against McClellan and generally made life miserable for him during the summer of 1862 when Confederates attacked McClellan army with great vigor. One story says that McClellan was once aroused from his sleep when Hill's division found an opening in the union lines. McClellan climbed from his cot and yelled "My God, Ellen! Why didn't you marry him?"
In 1857, Marcy accompanied Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston on the expedition against the Mormons in Utah. It was during this period that Capt. Marcy led his men safely from Utah to New Mexico on a forced march through the Rocky Mountains in the dead of winter, during which his troops ran out of provisions the last two weeks of their journey, in extremely harsh weather. Nonetheless, Marcy led his men to safety without loss of life, an extraordinary accomplishment which Marcy partially recounts in The Prairie Traveler.
General Johnston (February 2, 1803 – April 6, 1862) served as a general in three different armies: the Texas Army, the United States Army, and the Confederate States Army. Considered by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to be the finest general officer in the Confederacy before the emergence of Robert E. Lee, he was killed early in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh and was the highest-ranking officer, Union or Confederate, killed during the entire war. Davis believed the loss of Johnston "was the turning point of our fate".
The Checkered Garter Snake, Thamnophis marcianus, native to the southern United States was given the epithet “marcianus” is in honor of Marcy due to his surveying expeditions to the frontier areas in the mid-1800s.
……..And that’s why called Dolly Madison Boulevard
In August 1814, British troops attacked Washington, causing President James Madison to flee from Washington, DC. During this British invasion of Washington President James Madison and his wife, Dolley, received hospitality at Salona, an estate in McLean facing what is now Dolly Madison Blvd. President Madison was separated from his wife, Dolley, who found him at Salona the next day. Route 123 is known to locals as “Dolley Madison Boulevard” because of that event
Salona was once the home of Revolutionary War hero Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the father of General Robert E. Lee. Lee was the son of Henry Lee II (1730–1787) of "Leesylvania" and Lucy Grymes (1734–1792) the "Lowland Beauty." His father was the second cousin of Richard Henry Lee, twelfth President of the Continental Congress. His mother was an aunt of the wife of Virginia Governor Thomas Nelson Jr. His great-grandmother Mary Bland was a great-aunt of President Thomas Jefferson.
Harry Lee came to a dismal end on July 27, 1812, when he suffered massive injuries while helping to resist an attack on his friend, Alexander Contee Hanson, editor of the Baltimore newspaper, The Federal Republican. Hanson was attacked by Democratic-Republican mob because his paper opposed the War of 1812. Lee, Hanson, and two dozen other Federalists had taken refuge in the offices of the paper. The group surrendered to Baltimore city officials the next day and were jailed but laborer George Woolslager led a mob that forced its way into the jail and removed and beat the Federalists over the next three hours. Lee suffered extensive internal injuries as well as head and face wounds, and even his speech was affected. Lee later sailed to the West Indies in an effort to recuperate from his injuries. He died on 25 March 1818, at Dungeness, on Cumberland Island, Georgia.
Salona now fronts Dolley Madison Blvd., Buchanan Street and Kurtz Road. Dolley Madison was said to have fled to the estate in 1814 when British troops were burning the White House (Some dispute that) and, during the Civil War it served as a part of the headquarters for the Union Army
The property was acquired through marriage by Robert E. Lee’s father, Henry Lee who served as governor of Virginia in 1791 and served two terms in Congress as well. Salona, a stately brick manor house, was constructed between 1790 and 1810. Camp Griffin occupied Salona (then owned by Jacob Smoot) and surrounding properties from October 1861 to March 1862, with the mansion house serving as headquarters for General William Smith
William Watters was the first Methodist minister born in North America. There is a marker, dedicated to Watters, located in McLean where Watters and 18 others, built a church then called Nelson’s Chapel. In 1820, the Chapel combined with other nearby churches and became the Trinity Methodist Church which still stands today on lower Georgetown Pike. Civil War Confederate Brigadier General William Mackall (1817-1891) was born in the District of Columbia and lived in the Langley area of McLean. He is buried in the Lewinsville cemetery in McLean next to his son and grandson.
The general’s father, Benjamin, left the McLean area in about 1841 and resettled in Cecil County Maryland, shortly after his wife died, leaving young William in the care of relatives.
As a career officer, Mackall distinguished himself in the Seminole War, Mexican War and at the start of the Civil War declined promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the Union army to serve in the Confederate Army where he was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel on the staff of General Albert Sidney Johnston.
He was promoted Brigadier General in 1862 and was assigned to the command of the Confederate forces at Madrid Bend, where he was captured by Union troops but was prisoner exchanged in August of 1862.
In 1863, he was given command of the district of the Gulf and was appointed the chief of staff by General Braxton Bragg. He was on duty in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana in 1864 and fought in the campaign against General Sherman from Dalton to Atlanta. He was relieved from his staff duties at his own request but continued to participate in Confederate operations until he surrendered to the Union in Macon, Georgia, on April 20, 1865. After the war, he became a farmer and real estate speculator in northern Virginia with his father as his business partner.
The Guard Posts at Langley
“…….standing on the outer verge of all that is left of the American Union.”
On a wall of the CIA’s Visitor Control Center at the Agency’s main entrance, a drawing that ran in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper during the Civil War entitled “Guard House near Langley” hangs as a reminder that the grounds where the agency sits was once a Union Army outpost. In the winter of 1861-1862, parts of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Vermont Infantry regiments were stationed at Camp Griffin, which was located on the grounds that would become the CIA’s Headquarters. The makeshift camp was in place for about six months and before it was replaced by Fort Marcy. Most of the men stationed at Griffin later fought at Antietam, Gettysburg, the Battle of the Wilderness, and the Shenandoah Valley.
The neighbors who aren’t there
Virtually anyone who knows anything about the CIA, mostly from watching spy movies, is that the CIA is headquartered at Langley. The McLean Citizens Association calls Langley a part of McLean but the National Capital Planning Commission, which reviews projects in the parkway area and approved the site of the headquarters in 1956, call it Langley, Virginia and the CIA used a "Washington D.C. 20505." as its mailing address. The site of the CIA headquarters appears on county maps zoned residential. Another interesting factoid is that up until 1973, the CIA exit ramp on the GW Parkway read "Bureau of Public Roads," "Federal Highway Administration" or "Fairbanks Highway Research Station."
In 1623 Englishman Henry Fleete, an adventurer from a wealthy family sailed his ship the Tiger up the Potomac River as far as the Little Falls. He was interested in trading with the Patawomeke (Potomac) Indians who lived along the river beyond the area of Rosslyn, under what is today the GW Parkway. However, the Patawomeke's enemies, the Nacotchtank, raided the Patawomeke village in 1623, killed a lot of Patawomeke and took Fleete captive for four years 1623-1627 (Not twelve as is usually reported) before the Virginia colony purchased his release. In that time, Fleete learned the Indians language and customs. After his release, he returned to London and became the North American representatives of a dozen merchants. Returning to Maryland, he earned a fortune in the Indian fur trading business. He later served in the Maryland legislature as well as the Virginia House of Burgesses. He is buried on Fleet’s Island, Virginia.
Storm's general store
Storm's general store which was located at the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Elm Street in 1934. There were railroad tracks to the left of the building, which were removed the following year in 1935 to make room for Old Dominion Drive. Henry A Storm is seen in the white shirt seated on the left - he ran the store and was the area postmaster before retiring in 1954. From The Soy Family of Northern Virginia. The Soy property on Elm Street was torn down to make way for a McDonalds in the mid-1960s.
The first inoculation
Six-year-old Randy Kerr, a first-grader at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, received the first inoculation of the 1954 volunteer polio vaccine field trials.
What now is the Chesterbrook area of McLean used to be called Lincolnville, named by the tiny black community in honor of the slain President. The First Baptist Church Chesterbrook of McLean is Fairfax County's oldest black church. It was founded by the Rev. Cyrus Franklin Carter (He’s buried on the church grounds) on the church grounds. Carter was born in Port au Prince, Haiti, in February 1815. When he was a young child, Carter was brought to the United States as a slave with his parents. He was emancipated before the end of the Civil War after working as a slave much of his life in Lancaster County, Va. In 1863, as a free man, Carter and his family traveled to Northern Virginia and landed at Roosevelt Island. He served in the ambulance corps for the U.S. government during the civil war and between 1866 and 1891, he established the four Baptist churches.
The Dower House
Civil War envelope showing Corporal Francis Brownell killing James Jackson after he murdered Colonel Elmer Ellsworth with a message from Brownell, "Father--Col. Ellsworth was shot this morning. I killed his murderer. Frank" The Dower House was located in McLean and was built in 1722 but burned during the Civil War.
Col. Ellsworth Home
The house, a private residence, has been extensively remodeled around a core of the original chestnut logs. One of the property’s owners was a Confederate sympathizer named James W. Jackson. Jackson shot Union officer named Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth on May 24, 1861, during a dispute over the display of a Confederate flag on the Marshall House Inn in Alexandria. In turn, Jackson was killed by a Union soldier. Legend has it that Jackson’s daughter had been in love with the Union soldier and her ghost appears around the property's stone well near the Pike.
Drover’s Rest was built in 1730 house as a rest stop for drovers (The people who drove livestock up and down Georgetown Pike. Messages were tacked to the wall along the front porch, in the hopes others passing through would deliver them to the appropriate person. Drover’s Rest is now a private residence.
The Battle of Lewinsville
September 11, 1861
Lewinsville was an unincorporated community located at the crossroads of Lewinsville and Chain Bridge Roads in McLean. On September 11, 1861, in the early morning, there was a Federal reconnaissance from the Chain Bridge to Lewinsville. A Union column commanded by Brig. Gen. William F. Smith, occupied the town of Lewinsville. Late that morning, they were reinforced with a brigade of Union soldiers. Col. J.E.B. Stuart discovered the Union occupation and formed up a Confederate force to attack the town. The Confederate force was comprised of 305 Virginia infantrymen, an artillery section, and 2 cavalry companies. Stuart made a charge against the Union flank. Although outnumbered, the Confederates forced the Federals to withdraw.
Langley was owned by Thomas Lee, of Stratford Hall, which he acquired in a land grant. He named the area after the chapel on the family estate in England. Langley Fork is the place where two 18th-century roads intersect. The roads were then called Sugarlands Rolling Road (now Georgetown Pike) and Little Falls Road (now Chain Bridge Road). This general area has been the home to several historic structures including the Langley Toll House (ca. 1820); Langley Ordinary (ca. 1850); Mackall House (ca. 1858); Gunnell's Chapel (ca. 1879); Langley Friends Meeting House (ca. 1893), and Hickory Hill (ca. 1870)
The Langley Ordinary
Langley Ordinary (Or tavern) was built about 1850, probably by George F. M. Walters. During the Civil War, it served as the headquarters for Union General McCall of the Pennsylvania Reserves. From October 1861 to March 1862, the area between Langley to Lewinsville (About 5 miles) was home to at least 20,000 union troops. Over the next, few months’ Union troops set up smaller camps in the area of what is today downtown McLean. Still, one end of Kirby Road, essentially, was controlled by the Confederates and the other by the Union. Legend has it that officers from both sides drank at Charles Kirby's home.
At 66, McCall was one of the oldest West Point graduates to serve in the war. McCall served in the Peninsula Campaign and was wounded and captured at Frayser's Farm, Virginia, in June of 1862. He was later released in a prisoner exchange for Simon Bolivar Buckner). He resigned due to poor health in March 1863.
Later in the war, the Langley Ordinary was used as a hospital for the wounded and the names of Union soldiers still can be found on the walls of the old house. The Langley Ordinary is now a private residence. Across the Pike from the Langley Ordinary sits Langley Toll House, which was built in 1820 under the authority of the Falls Bridge Turnpike Company. At the end of the civil war, the property was purchased by a former Confederate named Braden Hummer, who altered the house and ran his grocery store out of it until the building was sold in 1924.
Benvenue was part of the 3402-acre Woodberry estate granted by Lord Fairfax in 1724 to George Turberville. The area covered Churchill Road north of Dolley Madison Boulevard. In 1796, Charles Lee Corbin Turberville (Who was related to both George Washington and Robert E. Lee.) was deeded 400 acres, which included 198 acres. Those 198 acres was later purchased by Capt. Thomas Ap Catesby Jones, who built a sandstone house on the property and dubbed the estate Benvenue (The spelling was later changed to “Bienvenue”, French for “welcome”.) after the Louisiana plantation where Jones recovered from wounds received in defending New Orleans in 1814.
Jones was born in 1790 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. (The unusual name is taken from the ancient Welsh language where Thomas ap Catesby Jones means Thomas, son of Catesby Jones)
Jones began his naval career during the War of 1812, receiving honors for bravery at the Battle of Lake Borgne, Louisiana, delaying the British before the Battle of New Orleans. In 1826, he signed a treaty with King Kamehameha III of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Promoted to Commodore, Jones commanded the United States Pacific Squadron from 1841 to 1844 and again from 1848 to 1850. In 1842, mistakenly thinking that war had begun between the United States and Mexico, he seized Monterey, California for one day before returning control. Hearing that British Captain Lord George Paulet had seized the Kingdom of Hawaii, he sailed there and arrived July 22, 1843. The king was restored on July 31.
That same year, Jones returned a young deserter, Herman Melville, from the Sandwich Islands to the United States. Later, Melville modeled "Commodore J" in Moby-Dick and the Commodore in White-Jacket after Jones since Jones one of Jones ships was once badly damaged in an attack by a whale in 1827, and Moby-Dick may have been partially inspired by stories told of Jones.
In 1848, Jones arrived in Mazatlán just at the end of the Mexican-American War, maintaining order until he could transport those who had aided the United States in that war to Monterey. For the next two years, during the chaotic Gold Rush days, Jones provided a U.S. Navy presence in the San Francisco area while the United States debated what to do with the newly acquired California Territory. In 1850, in a politically-charged court-martial shortly after White-Jacket was published, Jones was found guilty on three counts mostly related to "oppression" of junior officers and relieved of command for two and a half years. In 1853, President Millard Fillmore reinstated him and in 1858, the United States Congress restored his pay. During the Civil War, the Army of the Potomac's Fourth Corps occupied the surrounding area and Benvenue served as a field hospital for a year. A marker to estate stands at 6800 Churchill Road, north of Dolley Madison Boulevard/Route 123.
Hickory Hill was probably built around 1870 on land that was part of a Lee family tract of land called Langley. Legend has it that General George B. McClellan commandeered Hickory Hill as temporary headquarters during the American Civil War, but the property wasn’t built then, so that story is doubtful.
Today, the property contains an 18-room white brick Georgian mansion, the Hickory Hill estate covers over 5.6 acres, filled with oak and hickory trees, a pool, children’s pool, pool house, movie theatre, paddocks, tennis court and the house has 13 bedrooms and 12 fireplaces
In 1812, a Rev. Maffitt purchased 466 acres of land that included the Hickory Hill. In 1846, eighty-eight of the acres, including Hickory Hill, were sold to George F. M. Walters, a Quaker, in 1846. Rosemary Goodman, a great-great-granddaughter of Walters, wrote a brief history of Hickory Hill and reported that when Walters bought the property in 1830, there was an old frame house on the site. The house burned in 1862 by a servant knocking a lighted candle over. A new house was completed in the early 1970s with all of the bricks handmade from clay dug from the property. Every door, window frame and molding was handmade on the place.
George Walters named the estate Hickory Hill. In 1924, Frank Lyon purchased 169 acres, including Hickory Hill. His business partner, C. Walton Fitch lived in Hickory Hill until the Lyon, who lived across the street, sold their home and took over the estate and remodeled the house.
United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson and his wife, Irene purchased the property in 1941. Jackson (February 13, 1892 – October 9, 1954) was United States Attorney General (1940–1941) and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954). He was also the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. He remains the last Supreme Court justice appointed who did not graduate from any law school although he did attend Albany Law School in Albany, New York for one year. He is remembered for his famous advice, that "...any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances."
In 1955, Mrs. Jackson sold the estate to United States Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline. After the 1956 Democratic National Convention, the Kennedys sold the house to John's brother Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, who had a growing family (eventually eleven children). While he lived at Hickory Hill, Robert Kennedy became Attorney General of the United States, in 1961; a United States Senator, in 1965; and a presidential candidate, in 1968.
Expanded by Robert Kennedy's family, the house was sold in December 2009 to an unidentified individual for $8.25 million
Merrywood, the childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is a seven-acre (It had been 46 acres) A large Georgian mansion contained a card room, several powder rooms, dining room, two master bedrooms with adjoining sitting room, 7 more bedrooms with six full bathrooms, butler’s pantry, wine cellar, pool, laundry room and much more.
When Jacqueline Bouvier lived there, her mother Janet Bouvier Auchincloss was married to Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr. (August 15, 1897 – November 20, 1976) a stockbroker and lawyer.
Auchincloss was born at Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Hugh Dudley Auchincloss (1858–1913), a merchant and financier, and Emma Brewster Jennings, daughter of Oliver B. Jennings, a founder of Standard Oil. His uncles were Edgar Stirling Auchincloss (father of James C. Auchincloss) and John Winthrop Auchincloss (grandfather of Louis Auchincloss).
Auchincloss graduated in 1920 from Yale University, where he was a member of the Elihu Senior Society. He earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1924 and served in the United States Navy during World War I and later for the Office of Naval Intelligence and the War Department during World War II.
Auchincloss had been a special agent with the Commerce Department before joining the State Department as an aviation specialist in 1927. Four years later, he resigned government service and used some of the enormous inheritance from his mother to found the Washington brokerage firm of Auchincloss, Parker & Redpath.
His first marriage, from June 4, 1925 to 1932, was to Maya de Chrapovitsky, a Russian noblewoman. They had one child, Hugh D. "Yusha" Auchincloss III (born 1927). His second, from 1935 to 1941, was to Nina S. Gore (1903–1978), mother of author Gore Vidal. They had two children, Nina Gore Auchincloss (born 1935) and Thomas Gore Auchincloss (born 1937).
On June 21, 1942, he married Janet Lee Bouvier, who was already mother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill. They had two children, Janet Jennings Auchincloss (1945–1985) and James Lee Auchincloss (born 1947).
Auchincloss was responsible for the then Jacqueline Bouvier getting her first job in journalism at the Washington Times-Herald. He gave her away at her wedding to future president John F. Kennedy, the reception of which was held at Hammersmith Farm on September 12, 1953. A long-time financial contributor to the US Republican Party, he contributed to the campaign of his Democratic son-in-law, saying "I want to live in harmony with Mrs. Auchincloss and all the other members of the family."
In the late 1950s, Auchincloss suffered serious financial setbacks from which he would never recover. Attempts were made to economize and cutback on Merrywood’s overhead but nothing worked so the decision was made to sell. In a highly publicized transaction, Ira Magazine and his brother purchased Merrywood in 1962. The next buyer would only retain the main house and 8 acres. The remaining land was developed. At last reports, it was owned by Steve Case, the former chairman and CEO of AOL.
In 1872 Alfred Odrick, a former slave and a carpenter by trade, bought 30 acres on the south side of Lewinsville Road, (Where it later intersected Spring Hill Road) built a house on the site and began what is now known as Odrick's Corner, and a vibrant “Freedmans” community soon sprung up around it. In 1879, a one-room schoolhouse, Odrick's School, was built and served as not only a school but a community meeting hall and held the first services of the Shiloh Baptist Church. The original frame schoolhouse was replaced with a brick building that was closed and then sold in 1953 and later demolished.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run is the only privately run park in the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). A privately funded foundation pays for all activities on the farm, while the land is owned by NPS. The mission of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run is to recreate the life of 1771 tenant farmers. (Most Virginians in 1771 were tobacco growing tenant farmers) The property is named land developer Claude Moore whose large bequest at the time of his death allowed the farm park to establish itself as the only autonomous site in the park system.
Roy Linwood Clark (April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018) was a singer and musician. He is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Clark was an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and helping to popularize the genre.
Clark was born April 15, 1933, in Meherrin, Virginia. His father was a tobacco farmer. He spent his childhood in Meherrin and New York City, his father having moved the family to take jobs during the Great Depression. When Clark was 11 years old, his family moved to a home on 1st Street SE in the Washington Highlands neighborhood of Washington, D.C., after his father found work at the Washington Navy Yard.
Clark's father was a semi-professional musician who played banjo, fiddle, and guitar, and his mother played piano. The first musical instrument Clark ever played was a four-string cigar box with a ukelele neck attached to it, which he picked up in elementary school.
Hester Clark taught his son to play guitar when Roy was 14 years old, and soon Clark was playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin. "Guitar was my real love, though," Clark later said. "I never copied anyone, but I was certainly influenced by them; especially by George Barnes. I just loved his swing style and tone."
Clark also found inspiration in other local D.C. musicians. "One of the things that influenced me growing up around Washington, D.C., in the '50s was that it had an awful lot of good musicians. And I used to go in and just steal them blind. I stole all their licks. It wasn't until years later that I found out that a lot of them used to cringe when I'd come in and say, 'Oh, no! Here comes that kid again.'"
As for his banjo style, Clark said in 1985, "When I started playing, you didn't have many choices to follow, and Earl Scruggs was both of them." Clark won the National Banjo Championship in 1947 and 1948, and briefly toured with a band when he was 15.
The D.C. area had a number of country-western music venues at the time. Duet acts were in favor, and for his public performance debut Clark teamed up with Carl Lukat. Lukat was the lead guitarist, and Clark supported him on rhythm guitar.
In 1949, at the age of 16, Clark made his television debut on WTTG, the DuMont Television Network affiliate in Washington, D.C.
At 17, he made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry for having won his second national banjo title. By this time, he had begun to play fiddle and twelve-string guitar
Rising country music star Jimmy Dean asked Clark to join his band, the Texas Wildcats, in 1954. Clark was the lead guitarist, and made appearances on Dean's "Town and Country Time" program on WARL-AM and on WMAL-TV (after the show moved to television from radio in 1955).
Clark competed in 1956 on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, a variety show airing on CBS. It was his first network television appearance, and he came in second. Dean, who valued punctuality among musicians in his band, fired Clark for habitual tardiness in 1957. Clark left D.C. and never lived there again. During his D.C. years, Clark said he never intended to be a country guitarist. Rather, he played when he liked and what made him feel good, and never intended to begin a recording career or to perform on television. In the spring of 1959, Clark appeared regularly on George Hamilton IV's short-lived television series in Washington, D.C
View of the East Room of the White House 1800′s.
View of the 26th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic and attractions including a replica of the USS Kearsarge in front of the Washington Monument 1892.
The Old Occidental Room (on the left)
Looking up Pa. Avenue from the Treasury Department
KK March down Pa. Avenue 1922
Upper Connecticut Avenue NW
Lincolns first and second inaugurations
1859 (Smithson Building)
Crowell’s Garage, New York and Florida Ave
Pawnee chiefs probably taken at Mathew Brady’s studio in Washington, D.C., c. 1860. They were members of a large Native American delegation to visit the White House. By Mathew Brady.
librarians in the War Department Library of the Old Executive Office Building c. 1880′s.
Happy first day of Spring A snowy start is par for the course in DC. 1920