Dumbarton House (1805)
2715 Q St. NW Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-2288

Dumbarton HouseOpen: Year-Round, Tuesdays-Sundays,
11am to 3pm.
Closed: Major holidays.

Dumbarton House is a fine example of Federal period architecture and offers visitors to Washington, D.C., a unique opportunity to enhance their appreciation of early American history. Closely connected to the first years of the American Republic, the house has stood on the heights of Georgetown for over two centuries

The property was built within a large tract of land patented in 1703 by an immigrant Scot, Ninian Beall (that would become Georgetown in 1751). This land was originally named "Rock of Dumbarton” in tribute to Beall’s homeland. In 1798 developer Samuel Jackson bought 4.5 acres of "Rock of Dumbarton" on Cedar Hill, and began to construct the home that he originally called Belle Vue or View. In order to build this house and others in the area, Jackson employed craftsmen who had flocked to the new Federal city after its creation in 1791. Although construction began soon Jackson went bankrupt within a couple of years. The house went up for public auction, and eventually was acquired by Joseph Nourse, first Register of the U.S. Treasury. Nourse completed construction of the home and he and his family lived at "Mr. Jackson's House" known as Belle Vue from 1804-1813. In 1813, the home was bought by Charles Carroll. During Carroll's residence, the house would host Dolley Madison on August 24, 1814, during her flight from the White House and British invaders.

Today Dumbarton House is one of the few stately brick homes in Washington to survive the heady days when the country and its capital were new. The design of the house reflects the shift from Georgian tradition to the Adamesque Federal style that would take hold as the new republic defined itself. From the parlor to the dining room, through the music room to the bedrooms upstairs, visitors to Dumbarton House today see a wealth of furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics that were made and used in the republic’s formative years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Erik Kvalsvik.