History Lessons

You don’t always have to learn about history from a text book. Immerse yourself into early-American history, centuries-old gardens, and historic preservation by digging deeper into what we’re learning at Dumbarton House.

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  • From the Garden
  • History of the Home
From the Garden

Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus castus The Chaste Tree is a native of China and India but has become naturalized throughout the South. Peter Henderson, an early American …

From the Garden

Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Scholar Tree, Pagoda Tree

Sophora japonica Sophora japonica is native to China and Korea, but not Japan. The common name, Pagoda Tree, recognizes the early use of the tree in …

History of the Home

Interpretation

Visitors to Dumbarton House return in time to when Joseph Nourse, first Register of the U.S. Treasury, and his wife Maria, made their home here, between 1804 and 1813. …

Black and White Dumbarton House c 1920 Library of Congress
History of the Home

Preservation

Historic Preservation Story Preservation projects aimed at returning Dumbarton House to the simplicity of its original Federal design were begun in 1931, three years after …

History of the Home

Federal Style (1790 -1830)

Dumbarton House is fine example of Federal period architecture. Our nation’s early years, from 1790 to 1830, generally define the Federal period. During this time, …

History of the Home

Dolley Madison

A First Lady Flees to the Sanctuary of Dumbarton House On August 24, 1814, Dolley Madison was forced to flee the White House as British troops advanced upon …