Visit Tudor Place (Unrelated to Henry VIII)

Done! #24.2 Visit the following places that I’ve never been: Tudor Place. Note: I stole this pic from the internet. The front of the house is currently under construction and the picture I took doesn’t capture how it usually looks.

After I read “Martha Washington: An American Life” last year, I started doing research on Martha and George Washington’s family trees. I learned that her granddaughter, Martha Parke Custis (who eventually took on her husband’s last name Peter), lived her adult life in a house in D.C. called Tudor Place. She bought the land with the money she inherited from her step-grandfather, George Washington. And the best part? This house is still around and currently operates as a museum.

Additional factoids that made me want to visit:

  • Tudor Place was the last place Robert E. Lee, the former commanding general of the Confederate army, visited before he died. Martha Parke Custis’ niece was married to him.
  • Eleanor Calvert, from the prominent Maryland Calvert family (Calvert County ring a bell to D.C.-MD-VA people?), was the mother of Martha Parke Custis. That’s some serious lineage. She died in Tudor Place.
  • Tudor Place boasts the most George/Martha relics outside of Mount Vernon.

So, today, on this glorious Presidents’ Day, I took a trip to the mansion with my friend, Erin. Aside from not being able to take pictures in the house, it was pretty cool.

A few things we saw and/or learned during the tour:

  • Original chair cushions that Martha Washington made. These were awesome and in such great condition.
  • An original letter from George Washington to Martha explaining how he wouldn’t be back home for seven years after taking up the position of Commander-and-Cheif of the Continental Army. Ouch.
  • A lock of George’s hair, which his step-granddaughter wore in a necklace during her wedding. Kind of weird.
  • The mansion used to boast a view of the Potomac, but thanks to new building development during the last century, one can no longer see the river.
  • One of the tour guides (or docents if you’re feeling fancy) was named Elizabeth Taylor. Erin and I giggled when we saw her name tag. We’re easily entertained.

If you’re in the D.C. area, I suggest taking a trip to Tudor Place. Apparently the gardens are very beautiful, so it looks like I’ll have to make another trip in the spring/summer.

Click here for more info on the mansion.

– Lyssa

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