Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington HouseRoad Trip Stops . Virginia . Washington DC
Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington House
Believe it or not, this wasn’t on our Roadtrippers itinerary at all. Arlington National Cemetery wasn’t on our itinerary at all, but only because it was my first time using the software and I wasn’t familiar with how to use it.
We obviously needed to visit the cemetery while we were in the area. This was my third time visiting the cemetery but my first time visiting the Arlington House. I honestly didn’t know it existed before this trip.
The house was just gorgeous. I loved every aspect of it. Getting to see the dresses in different corners took us back to that timeframe and let us escape the realization we were in a cemetery at the time.
The furniture in the house is my favorite old-style furniture, it was just beautiful. There was so much in the house that I could see myself buying for my own house! And seeing the stuff that was there from past presidents was pretty cool. I enjoyed this stop.
About Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington House
The Arlington House was constructed between 1808 and 1818. It was our nation’s first memorial to George Washington. The mansion was built on a working plantation by African American slaves for George Washington’s step-grandson. He wanted this Greek Revival-style mansion constructed as his home and a place to display memorabilia and heirlooms from our first president.
George Washington Parke Custis and his wife, Mary Lee Fitzhugh, called the Arlington House home until they died in 1857 and 1853, respectively. Their only child, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married Robert E. Lee, who was a childhood friend of hers and distant cousin. Robert and Mary wed in June 1831 and inherited the Arlington estate in 1857, which included 196 slaves who lived and worked on the plantation.
The Lees left the Arlington House, never to return, when Virginia seceded from the United States in 1861. Due to failure to pay taxes, the federal government ended up confiscating the estate which had been occupied by the U.S. Army as it was in a strategic location. To deter the Lees from ever returning to the estate, the Army authorized military burials on 200 acres of the property for fallen military soldiers.
The Lees never attempted to recover the Arlington House. However, their eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee, sued the government and won the return of the estate in 1874. Then in 1883, the government purchased it back from Lee and continued its mission as a burial ground for service members and their families.
All three buildings of this estate are open daily from 9am to 4:30pm. Self-Guided tours are 20 minutes long and should be reserved ahead of time for $1 per ticket.
The Arlington House is located inside the Arlington National Cemetery. The mailing address is 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, VA. Phone: (703) 235-1530.
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If you are visiting the Arlington National Cemetery, do be sure to check out the Arlington House. This is where the history of the cemetery actually began. My son and I had a great time walking through the estate, visiting the gardens and the museum.
I highly recommend this stop, of course, if you are into the history of this country.
Have you been there? I’d love to hear what you thought of it.
Please drop a few lines in the comments box below and let me know how your visit went.
In the meantime, safe travels!
P.S. If you happen to use travel journals, be sure to check out the travel journal I created for my future Washington DC Road Trips.
Written by Kris M.
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