On my last day in Washington, D.C. last week, I visited two places that have long been on my list — Dumbarton House and Dumbarton Oaks.
These two estates, vastly different from each other, take their names from a grant of land made by Queen Anne in 1702.
Dumbarton House is a Georgian estate home sitting on the eastern edge of Georgetown. Visitors can gain a sense of what privilege was like in the early 1800s in the mid-Atlantic states.
Dumbarton Oaks is known variously for its collection of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and European art works; for its extensive and impressive garden; for being the site of some of the talks that led to the establishment of the United Nations; and for Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks concerto. Of interest to me was the Steinway D grand piano, with signed photos of masters who played in that massive music room — Stravinsky, Isaac Stern, Nadia Boulanger.
On a grayish Monday afternoon, I made my way to the historical Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Buried here are a number of 19th century Congress members. And J. Edgar Hoover. And Elbridge Gerry, the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to be buried in the District of Columbia. And Matthew Brady, father of American photography and the man responsible for so many early American portraits and photos. And John Philip Sousa.
The cemetery has, in the last 50 years, encouraged creative headstones, appreciating interesting texts. And this is apparently the only cemetery in the country with an LGBT association. So I appreciated poking around in the gay & lesbian corner of the cemetery too.