Arlington Historical Society
On This Day in Arlington History: April 19, 1974 AHS first receives letter from Marian (Rhinehart) Sellers offering to donate her property at 5620 Third Street, South to the Society. By this time next year (1975) the keys to the 1750 cabin with the 1880s addition will be in AHS hands for $1.
William and Julia Powell owners of the property from 1920-1969 raised Marian after her parents were killed in a car accident. Marian married George Sellers—the boy next door. When Uncle Will passed away and left her the house, she already had a house in Vienna, VA where she served as deputy and later town clerk. She tried renting out the historic home, but found that renting was difficult as far as maintenance and care of the yard was concerned. She was afraid that if she sold it, a developer would tear it down to build multiple houses and we would lose a rich heritage.
Thus, the 1974 letter that so surprised the Society, “My client, Mrs. Marian Sellers, wishes to give the Arlignton Historical Society one of Arlington’s oldest houses.” Marian watched with pride as the Society preserved and has shown the house to thousands of people. She died in 2001.
(Photo Marian Rhinehart Sellers Wallace and daughter Janet and son, James at the ceremony to turn over the keys to the oldest house in Arlington to AHS in 1975)