The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America Founded in 1891, the NSCDA is one of the oldest historic preservation organizations in America. We care for more than 90 historic sites and collections and are an unincorporated association of 45 Corporate Societies with over 15,000 members.

The Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House, a federal period house museum in Washington, D.C. The NSCDA has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortlandt House in 1897.

Operating as usual

Join Dr. Lisa Kathleen Graddy, curator of the division of political and military history at the National Museum of Ameri...
03/29/2021

Join Dr. Lisa Kathleen Graddy, curator of the division of political and military history at the National Museum of American History, in a virtual walkthrough of American history.

Dr. Graddy specializes in the powerhouse roles women have had in American political history, from the first ladies at the height of American political power to the millions of women who made universal suffrage a reality in the small towns and metropolises of early 20th-century America.

Don't miss our opening celebration piece of the Women in Preservation Symposium, "HerStory in Preservation."Sit down wit...
03/29/2021

Don't miss our opening celebration piece of the Women in Preservation Symposium, "HerStory in Preservation."

Sit down with Dr. Michelle Anne Delaney, assistant director for history and culture Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; Ms. Anna Duff, NSCDA honorary president; Dr. Lydia Brandt, celebrated American history scholar from University of South Carolina; Ms. Amy Williams, chief of museum operations at the Andrew Jackson's Hermitage; and Ms. Elizabeth Kostelny, CEO of Preservation Virginia. Learn about the critical role women played in the ever-evolving history of our country and get a taste of things to come during our three-day virtual symposium!

Register online! https://nscda.org/wips2021/

Don't forget that daylight saving will begin this Sunday!Pictured is a gorgeous bronze doré clock from the McCrory Clock...
03/12/2021

Don't forget that daylight saving will begin this Sunday!

Pictured is a gorgeous bronze doré clock from the McCrory Clock Co. (Circa 1830-1840) that sits in the French parlour of the Conde-Charlotte Museum House in Mobile, Alabama.

"Near the banks of the Mobile River, the Condé-Charlotte Museum began its life as Mobile’s first courthouse and jail, eventually becoming the beloved home of the Kirkbride family. It now stands as a historic house museum, full of antiques and period furnishings, which reflect Mobile’s history under five flags: French, English, Spanish, Confederate and American."

[Conde-Charlotte Museum House has been owned by NSCDA-AL since 1955]

Next week, we enter March and celebrate Women's History Month! As an organization of women founded in 1891, the NSCDA ha...
02/26/2021

Next week, we enter March and celebrate Women's History Month! As an organization of women founded in 1891, the NSCDA has had innumerable remarkable members whose impact was felt well outside our organization.

Their stories exemplify courage, compassion, and leadership. Some are imaginative and daring, others creative and artistic. But again and again, we find a concern to preserve the past, serve the present and, educate for the future.

These are our Women of Vision!
https://nscda.org/women-of-vision/

With museum closures due to the pandemic, exterior lighting and signage are more important than ever in allowing visitor...
02/24/2021

With museum closures due to the pandemic, exterior lighting and signage are more important than ever in allowing visitors to experience and learn about a site without being able to cross the threshold.

We love to see this beautiful work by Lewis Landscape Services, Inc. to illuminate the Hoover-Minthorn House Museum in Newberg, Oregon.

The boyhood home of President Herbert Hoover, the house was built in 1881 and is the oldest standing home in the original township of Newberg.

The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum has been owned by NSCDA-OR since 1955.

The NSCDA is proud to advocate for the cause of museums at Museums Advocacy Day 2021! Founded in 1891, we care for over ...
02/22/2021
Advocate from Anywhere

The NSCDA is proud to advocate for the cause of museums at Museums Advocacy Day 2021! Founded in 1891, we care for over 90 historic sites and museums across the country and know first-hand how important museums and cultural institutions are for local communities.

Nation-wide, museums contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy annually, support over 726,000 American jobs, and generate $12 billion in tax revenue to all levels of government.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt particularly deeply by the museum sector, with one-third of all museums facing potential permanent closure. Now is the time to speak up for museums! Join the effort February 22-23 from wherever you are. bit.ly/AdvAnywhere

You don’t have to be in Washington, D.C. to make the case for museums. Your voice matters wherever you are advocating from. Use the advocacy tools below to join the cause and speak up for mus…

This Friday, join several Washington, DC historic sites to learn how to preserve your own family photographs, documents ...
02/17/2021

This Friday, join several Washington, DC historic sites to learn how to preserve your own family photographs, documents and more in a free, virtual community program.

Curators, collections managers, and other experts from Dumbarton House, Georgetown University and Tudor Place Historic House & Garden will share tips and techniques while they explore the family collection of Neville Waters, a sixth-generation Georgetown resident and the current president of the Mt. Zion/Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park Foundation Board.

This is the first in a series of lectures entitled the Black Georgetown Community History Project, presented by Dumbarton House, Georgetown Heritage, Mt. Zion-Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park, and Tudor Place Historic House & Garden. Lectures on various topics will take place on the third Friday of the month through June. Register here: https://tinyurl.com/1mn4abzw

Dumbarton House is the National Headquarters and Museum of the NSCDA and sits adjacent to Mt. Zion/Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park.

Of all the historic homes we thought we would see blanketed in snow this year, Neill-Cochran House Museum was not one of...
02/16/2021

Of all the historic homes we thought we would see blanketed in snow this year, Neill-Cochran House Museum was not one of them! Sending warmth to Austin, TX, and all those affected by the freezing temperatures of Winter Storm Uri. Stay safe!

Photo via Neill-Cochran House - the house was acquired by the NSCDA-TX in 1958. It is the 10th oldest historic site (1856) in the city and includes Austin's only intact slave quarters.

This President’s Day we recall the dedicated efforts of a group of American women who came together to pay tribute to ou...
02/15/2021

This President’s Day we recall the dedicated efforts of a group of American women who came together to pay tribute to our first President…

In the late 1800s members of the NSCDA and women from across the country formed the Association of American Women with the purpose of raising funds to commission a statue of George Washington to be gifted to the people of France.

From the 1898 Biennial Council minutes found in our national archives at Dumbarton House, “The people of this country, though cherishing warm sentiments of gratitude to France for her timely and generous assistance in our struggle for freedom, have never given expression to that feeling in the form of any lasting memorial. France, on the other hand, in her gift of the colossal figure representing ‘Liberty enlightening the world,’ fittingly placed on an island in the largest harbor of our eastern coast, has exhibited her unwavering friendship for our nation…

To this end, an association composed of women from all parts of the country was formed [the Association of American Women] for the purpose of procuring a bronze equestrian statue of George Washington.”

The statue was commissioned by sculptor Daniel Chester French and was presented to the people of Paris at the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Mrs. Reed represented the NSCDA during the unveiling and noted, “the statue is very beautiful, and it is placed on a most advantageous site, at the intersection of Rue de Jena and Avenue de l’Alma. Every American woman who goes to Paris cannot fail to be proud of this, the work of an American sculptor, and paid for by money collected by the women of the United States.”

The statue still stands today in Place d'Iéna.

Photo by Celette

The Colorado Society of the NSCDA purchased Louis Dupuy’s Hotel de Paris - considered the most unique and complete parce...
02/12/2021
Societal Shift: State Groups Collaborated to Save Hotel de Paris and Its Library

The Colorado Society of the NSCDA purchased Louis Dupuy’s Hotel de Paris - considered the most unique and complete parcel of early Colorado history - in 1954. But the story behind how they became the owners and how they cultivated a long-standing partnership with the State Historical Society of Colorado to preserve the Hotel's library collection, spans decades.

Read more about the efforts to preserve this Colorado landmark in the blog post below.

Hotel de Paris Museum, a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado.

In celebration of International Women & Girls in Science Day we’d like to share the inspiring story of Ruth Patrick – a ...
02/11/2021

In celebration of International Women & Girls in Science Day we’d like to share the inspiring story of Ruth Patrick – a woman who was a pioneer in studying the health of freshwater streams and rivers and whose work laid the scientific groundwork for modern pollution control efforts.

After getting her Ph.D in botany from University of Virginia in 1934, she found work at The Academy of Natural Sciences although she was only taken as a volunteer – for eight years.

But her dedication, scholarship, and fieldwork landed her on the payroll in 1945 and she was appointed Chair of the Academy’s Board of Trustees in 1972.

Her pioneering breakthrough came in 1948. While studying diatoms (a type of single-celled algae) she discovered that biological diversity holds the key to understanding environmental problems in an ecosystem. This fundamental principle of environmental science was dubbed the Patrick Principle.

She authored over 200 scientific papers, invented the diatometer, discovered that The Great Salt Lake was once a freshwater basin, and became the first woman and first environmentalist to serve on the DuPont board of directors.

She helped Congress draft the Clean Water Act of 1972, and Presidents Johnson and Reagan sought her counsel on water pollution and acid rain. In 1996 Dr. Patrick was awarded the National Medal of Science.

She lived to the age of 105, passing away in 2013, and was a member of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America- Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

If you haven't had the opportunity to join one of the 2nd Cup Conversations hosted by The Powder Magazine of South Carol...
02/10/2021

If you haven't had the opportunity to join one of the 2nd Cup Conversations hosted by The Powder Magazine of South Carolina, mark your calendars now!

Each of these virtual sessions features a fellow Great American Treasures and NSCDA-affiliated museum for an hour of conversation.

February 18th @ 10:00AM (EST)
LIVE from Nashville at Historic Travellers Rest!

Coming Up!
March 4th - Conde-Charlotte Museum House (AL)
March 18th - Gunston Hall (VA)

See registration details below!

[The Powder Magazine, built in 1713, is the only standing component of the fortification system that once surrounded Charleston, SC. The NSCDA-SC has preserved the historical site since 1902.]

Join us next week as our popular 2nd Cup Conversation series continues at Historic Travellers Rest next Thursday, February 18th at 10:00AM (EST). We'll be speaking with Katie O'Bryan, Executive Director at Travellers Rest. You won't want to miss it!

RSVP by paying ANY amount by phone (843-722-9350) or online today: https://www.powdermagazine.org/programs

#museum #history #nashville

NSCDA Tennessee
Great American Treasures
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking a Meeting and Member Services Coordinator to join the dedicated team at our National ...
02/09/2021

We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking a Meeting and Member Services Coordinator to join the dedicated team at our National Headquarters, Dumbarton House in Washington, DC.

See the full job description and applicant guidelines below!

https://nscda.org/careers/

[Image pre-COVID. Work will be remote until further notice.]

This year marks the sesquicentennial – 150th – anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs, CO! As part of the year-...
02/08/2021

This year marks the sesquicentennial – 150th – anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs, CO! As part of the year-long celebration of this milestone, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is hosting an exhibit, [email protected] which features 150 objects to tell 150 stories from 150 years of history.

The McAllister House Museum, once home to early Colorado Springs resident Henry McAllister Jr. and itself one of the oldest intact structures in the city, was able to loan an item from its collection for the exhibit - a piece of fabric from the flag that flew over Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor.

NSCDA-CO took ownership of McAllister House in 1961 and restored and opened it to the public as a museum that same year.

Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Congratulations to Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses on receiving a Discovery Grant from the National Endowment fo...
02/05/2021

Congratulations to Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses on receiving a Discovery Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities!!

We look forward to exploring this historic site in a whole new way!

[Members of NSCDA-LA were instrumental in furnishing Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Homes in the early days of its restoration.]

We are pleased to announce that we've been awarded a Discovery Grant for digital projects for the public from the National Endowment for the Humanities! This grant will fund "Shifting Landscapes: Labor and Mobility in New Orleans," a Panoramic 360° tour of Gallier Historic House focused on telling the ignored histories of people of African descent who lived on the property, particularly as it relates to their interaction with the built environment and interstitial spaces.

This project will analyze locations throughout the home with multiple points of interest and also digitally preserve them for future audiences.

Subscribe to our email newsletter for updates on this project and others, as well as free lectures, children's activities, and more: https://hgghh.org/contact-us
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

We couldn't help putting together another round-up of some NSCDA-affiliated historic sites, beautifully blanketed in sno...
02/04/2021

We couldn't help putting together another round-up of some NSCDA-affiliated historic sites, beautifully blanketed in snow this past week!

Clarke House
Stenton
Van Cortlandt House Museum

The National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC is home to some of the most recognizable monuments in the country...
02/03/2021
Hidden Gems: Hidden in Plain Sight

The National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC is home to some of the most recognizable monuments in the country and yet there are corners of America's Front Yard that remain relatively unknown.

Which is why we love to see #5 on this list of Hidden Gems from Washingtonian, the George Mason Memorial.

Located near the Jefferson Memorial and tucked into a curve of East Potomac Park, the George Mason Memorial pays tribute to the profound contributions of this Founding Father.

Mason authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights which served as inspiration for the Declaration of Independence and he famously refused to sign the Constitution. His objections to the document laid the groundwork for the Bill of Rights.

The memorial was dedicated in 2002 as a gift from the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall and the NSCDA.

Some of the city’s lesser-known sights.

Opening this month at Wilton House Museum,"Wilton Uncovered: Archaeology Illuminates an Enslaved Community," uses art an...
02/02/2021

Opening this month at Wilton House Museum,"Wilton Uncovered: Archaeology Illuminates an Enslaved Community," uses art and archaeology to reconstruct the daily lives of the enslaved community at Wilton plantation.

More than 60 artifacts conserved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will be on display alongside original artwork by Richmond artist, Dennis Winston.

This will be the largest collection of artifacts original to Wilton ever exhibited at the historic house.

[In 1932, the NSCDA-VA purchased Wilton and has ensured its preservation ever since.]

Graphic via: Wilton House Museum

The past few days have been a wintery wonderland for many NSCDA-affiliated historic sites!Gunston HallThe Craik-Patton H...
02/01/2021

The past few days have been a wintery wonderland for many NSCDA-affiliated historic sites!

Gunston Hall
The Craik-Patton House
Dumbarton House
Haywood Hall
Wilton House Museum

Today is #NationalPuzzleDay and we can’t help but think of the incredible ceramics “puzzle” that was undertaken by Stent...
01/29/2021

Today is #NationalPuzzleDay and we can’t help but think of the incredible ceramics “puzzle” that was undertaken by Stenton in Philadelphia, PA. ⁣

In 1982, City Archeologist Barbara Liggett led an excavation behind the historic home that uncovered a trove of broken artifacts.⁣

Archeologist Debbie Miller, Curator at Independence NHP, led Stenton staff and a team of volunteers and NSCDA members in the painstaking process of sorting and piecing the ceramics objects back together.⁣

Today, these once discarded artifacts are "restored" and interpreted in the spaces where they would have been used and displayed from about 1730 to 1760.⁣

Images via Stenton. The members of NSCDA-PA became stewards of the property in 1899 & have worked with the City of Philadelphia since they acquired the home in 1909.

01/29/2021
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

This week Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum debuted a new series entitled "History at Three" that presents short video snippets of the history, objects, and stories that make this historic site unique!

Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum is a collection of three authentically restored 18th-century homes; the 1752 Joseph Webb House, the 1770 Silas Deane House, and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House.

Get caught up on the series with the first video below!

[First opened in 1919, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum is owned and operated by NSCDA-CT]

Welcome to our new online series, History at Three

01/28/2021
Women of Vision

Since our founding in 1891, the NSCDA has looked to the past for inspiration to move forward. As we near the end of January, with our thoughts trained on the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead, we recall the dedication and resolve of the women who came before us, our Women of Vision.

These remarkable Dames had a lasting impact on society and collectively serve as a reminder of the power of determination and purpose.

Wishing a belated Happy Birthday and a timely Congratulations to Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens in Wilmington, North Car...
01/27/2021

Wishing a belated Happy Birthday and a timely Congratulations to Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina!

Last year marked their 250th anniversary and last week they unveiled two new historical plaques on the property. The "sapphire-color [of the plaques] signifies that the buildings are 200+ years old, a new designation by Historic Wilmington Foundation, of which the Burgwin-Wright House is the proud first recipient."

[The Burgwin Wright House was purchased by NSCDA-NC in 1937 and after years of restoration opened to the public as a museum in 1951.]

As of last Wednesday, 224 Market Street is sporting two new historical plaques, one for our 1744 jail structures and one for the 1770 Burgwin-Wright House. Historic Wilmington Foundation awarded the plaques in early 2020, but the pandemic forced us to cancel our plans to celebrate the plaque dedication - again and again and again. Their sapphire-color signifies that the buildings are 200+ years old, a new designation by Historic Wilmington Foundation, of which the Burgwin-Wright House is the proud first recipient. Only a handful of structures in Wilmington qualify for this “senior" age category. As a matter of fact, the Burgwin-Wright House turned 250 last year! Again, we had made big plans to celebrate this milestone, which instead has come and gone unceremoniously due to Covid. Please wish us a Belated Happy Birthday and come view our beautiful new plaques. We hope to host an unveiling "re-enactment" when we celebrate yet another anniversary this year - 70 years as a museum!

Address

2715 Q St NW
Washington D.C., DC
20007

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 337-2288

Website

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