Dumbarton House

Dumbarton House Welcome to Dumbarton House, a 1799 Federal period historic house museum in Georgetown, DC. Dumbarton House serves as the headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America.
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The mission of Dumbarton House, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, is to support the organization’s Corporate Societies and their members, to maintain its historic museum property, and to enhance the cultural life of Washington, D.C. Through the interpretation of its historic site and collections, Dumbarton House promotes the understanding of historic preservati

The mission of Dumbarton House, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, is to support the organization’s Corporate Societies and their members, to maintain its historic museum property, and to enhance the cultural life of Washington, D.C. Through the interpretation of its historic site and collections, Dumbarton House promotes the understanding of historic preservati

Operating as usual

Our lower passage is one of the fanciest spaces in the house, with its floor cloth painted to look like marble and color...
07/26/2021

Our lower passage is one of the fanciest spaces in the house, with its floor cloth painted to look like marble and colorful wallpaper, but it was a functional space as well.

🟢It divides the home into public and private halves.

🟢It is designed to encourage airflow through the entire house, with doorways aligned at the front and back to encourage more air movement. That, plus the high ceilings of each room are examples of the passive climate control methods used in many homes before the invention of air conditioning!

🟢Learn more about these architectural details in historic house museums like ours in Sarah Sutton's talk about climate change on our YouTube page! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtNPBGarb6E

Anyone who's interested in the Mt. Zion-Female Union Band Society Cemeteries should know of Lisa Fager.The Executive Dir...
07/23/2021

Anyone who's interested in the Mt. Zion-Female Union Band Society Cemeteries should know of Lisa Fager.

The Executive Director of the Mt. Zion-Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park Foundation that oversees the cemeteries, Lisa works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the cemeteries are preserved, grave markers are restored, and research is done in order to share accurate stories about the Black people buried there whose presence added to the culture and history of the neighborhood and city.

Lisa is a featured preservationist in our Power in Preservation exhibit, which highlights 10 female preservationists making strides in the field today. Visit this weekend to learn more about the other preservationists!

Dumbarton House is open for self-guided tours Friday through Sunday, 10am-3pm. Advance tickets are not required but can be purchased at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse

Anyone who's interested in the Mt. Zion-Female Union Band Society Cemeteries should know of Lisa Fager.

The Executive Director of the Mt. Zion-Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park Foundation that oversees the cemeteries, Lisa works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the cemeteries are preserved, grave markers are restored, and research is done in order to share accurate stories about the Black people buried there whose presence added to the culture and history of the neighborhood and city.

Lisa is a featured preservationist in our Power in Preservation exhibit, which highlights 10 female preservationists making strides in the field today. Visit this weekend to learn more about the other preservationists!

Dumbarton House is open for self-guided tours Friday through Sunday, 10am-3pm. Advance tickets are not required but can be purchased at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse

It’s Jewel again, Archive intern coming at you for the last time in Part 3 to tell you about my project. Did you know th...
07/22/2021

It’s Jewel again, Archive intern coming at you for the last time in Part 3 to tell you about my project. Did you know that The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America essentially loaned Dumbarton House to the American Red Cross for three years during World War II?

Beginning with the “Opening of the Rooms” Ceremony on March 25, 1942 and ending with the “Returning of Dumbarton House by the Red Cross” Ceremony on October 30, 1945, the American Red Cross and the Red Cross Units of the NSCDA held classes, produced goods, raised funds, and encouraged the community to remain involved in the war support efforts.

Pictured here is an invitation to participate, sent to a “Mrs. Williams.” The following survey and typed results are just one example of how the NSCDA stayed up to date on how its members were helping the war effort. The freeform answers are especially interesting: one Dame was doing “confidential work with two government departments,” while three other Dames were busy “fingerprinting.”

Hello, again! This is Jewel, in Part 2, here to tell you about my project here. I am digitizing materials in The Nationa...
07/21/2021

Hello, again! This is Jewel, in Part 2, here to tell you about my project here. I am digitizing materials in The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America archive. And that’s it!

Just kidding, it’s much more complicated than that. I’m creating sustainable, stable, and secure digital versions and digital records of the physical materials in the archive. We are not interpreting any of the materials, but rather adding to broader preservation efforts and removing access barriers to the materials. My project can be split into two broad tasks: scanning the materials and then creating and organizing their metadata (which is simply information museums save about each individual piece of material).

I have had experience with many types of collections – fossils, zoological specimens, anthropological artifacts, and virtual archive collections – but this is my first time in a historic house museum!

Sunday Serenity Yoga is in person this week! Join us in our beautiful North Garden for some peaceful morning exercise.Fu...
07/20/2021

Sunday Serenity Yoga is in person this week! Join us in our beautiful North Garden for some peaceful morning exercise.

Further afield? Join our yoga session on Zoom on August 1! Each week alternates with in-person and virtual sessions, so check out the full schedule at dumbartonhouse.org/programs.

A suggested $5 donation can be given directly to instructors during the session. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required for in-person sessions. Please bring your own mat.

Sunday Serenity Yoga is in person this week! Join us in our beautiful North Garden for some peaceful morning exercise.

Further afield? Join our yoga session on Zoom on August 1! Each week alternates with in-person and virtual sessions, so check out the full schedule at dumbartonhouse.org/programs.

A suggested $5 donation can be given directly to instructors during the session. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required for in-person sessions. Please bring your own mat.

Hey there! 👋 I’m Jewel, the Archives intern for this summer. I’m originally from Nashville, Tennessee, but moved away to...
07/19/2021

Hey there! 👋 I’m Jewel, the Archives intern for this summer. I’m originally from Nashville, Tennessee, but moved away to study chemistry and classics at Samford University. In my current adventure, I have moved to DC to earn my Master’s in Museum Studies at The George Washington University, focusing on collections management!

Check out some of my past adventures- including presenting (read: gushing) over Delphi, my favorite site from antiquity, and exploring the tombs at Bet She ‘an while I was spending in a month in Israel for an archaeological excavation.

This week, be on the lookout for more posts about my work here and some of the compelling stories I’m finding in The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America archive!

Today is the 231st anniversary of the founding of Washington, DC and Joseph Nourse's 267th birthday! Hurrah! 🥳Joseph mov...
07/16/2021

Today is the 231st anniversary of the founding of Washington, DC and Joseph Nourse's 267th birthday! Hurrah! 🥳

Joseph moved to DC in the early 1800s along with many other government officials who were making the transition from Philadelphia, thanks to the 1790 Residence Act, which established a capital district, under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress, located along the Potomac River in accordance with the Constitution.

In 1800, the government had just completed the move and only 3,210 people lived in the city. As of 2019, there are 692,683 people living in the city, none of whom have a voting representative in Congress, despite being more numerous than the populations of Vermont and Wyoming, and about as many as Alaska and North Dakota.

The city and its governing structure has continued to evolve over the years since its founding. In April, the House of Representatives passed a bill to make DC the 51st state with "the Capital" consisting of the White House, U.S. Capitol, other federal buildings, the National Mall, and its monuments in accordance with the Constitution. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate.

Today is the 231st anniversary of the founding of Washington, DC and Joseph Nourse's 267th birthday! Hurrah! 🥳

Joseph moved to DC in the early 1800s along with many other government officials who were making the transition from Philadelphia, thanks to the 1790 Residence Act, which established a capital district, under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress, located along the Potomac River in accordance with the Constitution.

In 1800, the government had just completed the move and only 3,210 people lived in the city. As of 2019, there are 692,683 people living in the city, none of whom have a voting representative in Congress, despite being more numerous than the populations of Vermont and Wyoming, and about as many as Alaska and North Dakota.

The city and its governing structure has continued to evolve over the years since its founding. In April, the House of Representatives passed a bill to make DC the 51st state with "the Capital" consisting of the White House, U.S. Capitol, other federal buildings, the National Mall, and its monuments in accordance with the Constitution. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate.

Every season provides something new to see in Dumbarton House's gardens! 🌸 Stop by and check out the crepe myrtle, rose ...
07/15/2021

Every season provides something new to see in Dumbarton House's gardens! 🌸 Stop by and check out the crepe myrtle, rose of sharon, and white cone flower blooming on site. We have plenty of shade but make sure to bring water!

Our grounds are open dawn to dusk free of charge. Our museum is open 10am-3pm, Friday through Sunday. Advance tickets are not required but can be purchased at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse

Inside or out, which is your favorite spot for a photo? It's so hard to choose between our historic period rooms or grou...
07/14/2021

Inside or out, which is your favorite spot for a photo? It's so hard to choose between our historic period rooms or grounds!

If Dumbarton House looks like the perfect backdrop for your special day, contact our Rental Events Coordinator at [email protected] to learn more information and schedule a site visit #WeddingWednesday

📸Cyndi Lee

Georgetown Walking Tours have returned! 🚶Join our guide, Dwane Starlin, for the first tour of the year on Sunday, July 2...
07/13/2021

Georgetown Walking Tours have returned! 🚶Join our guide, Dwane Starlin, for the first tour of the year on Sunday, July 25 as he explores the landscape around Dumbarton House. Learn how Georgetown and Dumbarton House changed over time while appreciating the beauty of the neighborhood during this fun and engaging program.

🎫 Get your tickets now at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse!

Georgetown Walking Tours have returned! 🚶Join our guide, Dwane Starlin, for the first tour of the year on Sunday, July 25 as he explores the landscape around Dumbarton House. Learn how Georgetown and Dumbarton House changed over time while appreciating the beauty of the neighborhood during this fun and engaging program.

🎫 Get your tickets now at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse!

When work from home is over and you have to go back to business wear. Anyone else identify with this feeling? 🙋 #MemeMon...
07/12/2021

When work from home is over and you have to go back to business wear. Anyone else identify with this feeling? 🙋 #MemeMonday #MusMeme #MuseumMeme

🎨Painting of Joseph Burton c. 1720-1740, Joseph Nourse's godfather and great uncle on his mother's side and his namesake. During their 1769 passage to America, the Nourse family brought with them 116 individually numbered crates of family possessions. One of those crates contained "family pictures." We think this may have been of them!

When work from home is over and you have to go back to business wear. Anyone else identify with this feeling? 🙋 #MemeMonday #MusMeme #MuseumMeme

🎨Painting of Joseph Burton c. 1720-1740, Joseph Nourse's godfather and great uncle on his mother's side and his namesake. During their 1769 passage to America, the Nourse family brought with them 116 individually numbered crates of family possessions. One of those crates contained "family pictures." We think this may have been of them!

Yesterday, Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France gave a great presentation on how sites supported by the Na...
07/09/2021

Yesterday, Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France gave a great presentation on how sites supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation have weathered recent crises - check out the recording now on YouTube and join us in two weeks to hear about the Nathaniel Russell House Kitchen Project!

Constructed circa 1808, a rear outbuilding of the Nathaniel Russell House originally held a cook room, a laundry, and three living chambers for its enslaved. It was said, however, that mid-20th century renovations had destroyed all remnants of its original fabric. Those beliefs were false.

J. Grahame Long will share how the Historic Charleston Foundation discovered new data in 2019 and began peeling back modern materials within the Nathaniel Russell house’s kitchen and quarters, a process that revealed original construction and new data once thought lost. These discoveries at last are providing crucial representation to the enslaved who once toiled there.

Register for free at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse to learn more!

Yesterday, Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France gave a great presentation on how sites supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation have weathered recent crises - check out the recording now on YouTube and join us in two weeks to hear about the Nathaniel Russell House Kitchen Project!

Constructed circa 1808, a rear outbuilding of the Nathaniel Russell House originally held a cook room, a laundry, and three living chambers for its enslaved. It was said, however, that mid-20th century renovations had destroyed all remnants of its original fabric. Those beliefs were false.

J. Grahame Long will share how the Historic Charleston Foundation discovered new data in 2019 and began peeling back modern materials within the Nathaniel Russell house’s kitchen and quarters, a process that revealed original construction and new data once thought lost. These discoveries at last are providing crucial representation to the enslaved who once toiled there.

Register for free at linktr.ee/dumbartonhouse to learn more!

We had a great first night of the Jane Austen Film Festival last night! Thank you to everyone who turned out on such a h...
07/08/2021

We had a great first night of the Jane Austen Film Festival last night! Thank you to everyone who turned out on such a hot July evening. It was so nice to see people back on the grounds, enjoying the event on its 10th anniversary ✨

We had a great first night of the Jane Austen Film Festival last night! Thank you to everyone who turned out on such a hot July evening. It was so nice to see people back on the grounds, enjoying the event on its 10th anniversary ✨

Happy World Chocolate Day! 🍫 During the 18th and early 19th centuries, chocolate was popular but did not taste quite as ...
07/07/2021

Happy World Chocolate Day! 🍫 During the 18th and early 19th centuries, chocolate was popular but did not taste quite as we are used to. It was considered a staple alongside coffee and tea and was frequently drunk for breakfast by the elite, usually flavored with spices like anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, and red chili.

☕️If someone did not want such a rich drink but desired the flavor of chocolate, they could steep cocoa shells (the membrane from the roasted cocoa beans) in hot water to create a drink similar in flavor and texture to coffee.

☕️Colonial chocolate makers routinely advertised the geographic sources of their cocoa, just as coffee vendors do for their coffee beans today.

🖼"Morning or the Reflection" (1797), a young woman pours herself a cup of chocolate, courtesy of the British Museum.

Happy World Chocolate Day! 🍫 During the 18th and early 19th centuries, chocolate was popular but did not taste quite as we are used to. It was considered a staple alongside coffee and tea and was frequently drunk for breakfast by the elite, usually flavored with spices like anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, and red chili.

☕️If someone did not want such a rich drink but desired the flavor of chocolate, they could steep cocoa shells (the membrane from the roasted cocoa beans) in hot water to create a drink similar in flavor and texture to coffee.

☕️Colonial chocolate makers routinely advertised the geographic sources of their cocoa, just as coffee vendors do for their coffee beans today.

🖼"Morning or the Reflection" (1797), a young woman pours herself a cup of chocolate, courtesy of the British Museum.

Our Dining Room is one of the most striking rooms in the museum and we always get a lot of questions about some of its f...
07/06/2021

Our Dining Room is one of the most striking rooms in the museum and we always get a lot of questions about some of its features. Learn about them below and then come check them out for yourself this weekend!

🍽Why are the walls such a vivid green? This was a popular color for dining rooms during the early 19th century because of a belief that green helped aid one's digestion. You'll see similar colored dining rooms at George Washington's Mount Vernon and Paca House and Garden in Historic Annapolis! Have you seen them anywhere else?

🍽What is that green cloth on the floor? This piece of felt is called a drugget and was used to protect the carpet from food that may inadvertently drop from diner's mouths! That expensive Brussels-weave carpet had to be kept safe and clean.

🍽Does that door lead to a secret passageway? Unfortunately, no. That door partially hidden by wallpaper leads to some offices and would not have been there historically, so we keep it covered.

Do you have any questions we didn't answer? Ask them below! ⤵️

Our Dining Room is one of the most striking rooms in the museum and we always get a lot of questions about some of its features. Learn about them below and then come check them out for yourself this weekend!

🍽Why are the walls such a vivid green? This was a popular color for dining rooms during the early 19th century because of a belief that green helped aid one's digestion. You'll see similar colored dining rooms at George Washington's Mount Vernon and Paca House and Garden in Historic Annapolis! Have you seen them anywhere else?

🍽What is that green cloth on the floor? This piece of felt is called a drugget and was used to protect the carpet from food that may inadvertently drop from diner's mouths! That expensive Brussels-weave carpet had to be kept safe and clean.

🍽Does that door lead to a secret passageway? Unfortunately, no. That door partially hidden by wallpaper leads to some offices and would not have been there historically, so we keep it covered.

Do you have any questions we didn't answer? Ask them below! ⤵️

Address

2715 Q St NW
Washington D.C., DC
20007-3071

Metrorail: Red Line, DuPont Circle’s Q Street exit. Metrobus: D-1, D-2, D-3, D-6 to 27th Street stop. DC Circulator’s Georgetown connection, 30th Street, NW stop.

General information

Due to the ever-evolving situation regarding the COVID-19 virus and in an effort to help cut potential community exposure Dumbarton House Museum will be closed March 14 through March 30. We will continue to monitor the situation and make further evaluations regarding additional closures as we get closer to March 30. It is important to us as a member of the community to ensure we are doing everything possible to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff. While we are closed the museum staff will conduct a thorough deep clean of the museum in preparation for reopening. Please keep in touch with us through our website and social media platforms for all updates. Our offices are open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Dumbarton House staff will be working remotely from March 16th onward. Staff will be accessible through email and phone.

Opening Hours

Friday 10am - 3pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm
Sunday 10am - 3pm

Telephone

(202) 337-2288

Alerts

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Dumbarton House is now in the DC Afternoon Tea Directory from Destination Tea (www.destinationtea.com/dc)! #DCAfternoonTea
For your Pride & Prejudice movie event can you tell us which version please
Thank you Bonnie Walsh-Ward! https://www.facebook.com/historicgunstonhall/
Hi - I signed up for your Cross Stitch in Quarantine event tomorrow, but I can't find a link for the event. Should I have received an email with the link to participate?
My name is Chad Word and I am a family researcher trying to locate a copy of the Amos Farra Bible. I live near Atlanta Georgia and am helping my wife and children locate a copy of this Bible as it belonged to my children's 7Great Grandfather who was a wheelwright in the Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania. He later moved and settled in Nicholasville, near Catnip road in Jessamine Co., KY. On one of our trip to Lexington, I went to the Woodford County Historical Society and found a hand written note in the HAMON vertical file that said that Jesse Oliver VanMeter Jr. had a copy of Amos Farra's Bible. So I am trying to find people related to JOVJr. He had two siblings, Anna Rebekah and Francis which have both passed away. I found this obituary on Rebekah on Find A Grave...ANNA REBEKAH VANMETER, daughter of the late Jesse Oliver VanMeter and Frances Willis VanMeter, died Thurs. July 28, 2005 after a long illness. She was born in Meridian, MS on October 28, 1914. She moved to Jackson, KY, where her father accepted a faculty position and later become President of Lee's College. She attended the University of Kentucky and the University of Illinois where she received a BA in Fine Arts. She continued her education at Smith College in Boston where she received a Master's Degree in 1941 in Landscape Architecture. She was a member of the Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church, the American Society of Landscape Architects, Kappa, Kappa Gamma Sorority and the Colonial Dames. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Francis VanMeter and Jesse Oliver VanMeter, Jr., M.D. She is survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great nephews, and cousins. A graveside service will be held 11 am Sat. at Pisgah Cemetery in Versailles by Rev. Lee Clements. Pallbearers will be W. Scott VanMeter, M.D., D. Martin VanMeter, David J. VanMeter, Woodford S. VanMeter, M.D., James C. VanMeter, James H. Farra, James A. Campbell, and William M. "Mac" Reid. Visitation will be held at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Rd. from 9:30 - 10:30 am Sat. with the graveside service to immediately follow. The family requests contributions be made to K.E.T., 600 Cooper Dr., Lexington, KY 40502, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225, or the American Cancer Society, 160 Moore Drive, Suite 110, Lex., KY 40503. Guestbook at Legacy.com Since she was a member of NSCDA, would it be possible to search through her files to see if she submitted that Amos Farra Bible in her applications?
Hi! my 3rd great grandparents Charles Carroll of Bellevue 1767-1823 and wife Ann Sprigg Carroll 1769-1837 once owned this house.Daniel Carroll of Duddington 1707-1734 and wife Ann Rozier 1711-1764 were my 5th great grandparents .Charles Carroll of Bellevue and his grandmother Ann Rozier portraits are at Dumbarton House.