"Collingwood Library and Museum" Top 5 Page for this destination Alexandria Off The Beaten Path Tip by Ewingjr98

Alexandria Off The Beaten Path: 66 reviews and 218 photos


Collingwood shares much of the same history as nearby River Farm. In 1654 this land was granted to Captain Giles Brent, one of Jamestown's early settlers and a relative of Lord Baltimore. Later, in 1739, a distant relative named William Clifton inherited the land. Nearby at today's River Farm was the site of a ferry across the Potomac that became the main route from Georgia to New York City and Boston, obviously an important and heavily traveled path. In 1760 George Washington purchased the land and it stayed in the family for decades. River Farm was one of Washington's five farms, that also included Mount Vernon.

In 1858 the Snowden brothers purchased 500 acres of the River Farm from Tobias Lear, who married into Washington's family. This estate had been previously named Collingwood, after Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, who was second in command to Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. The current mansion was started around 1760 as a tiny two-room house for Washington's chosen farm overseer, and it was added to over time. In the 1900s the property was used as a dairy farm, a restaurant, a military intelligence school, and outdoor theater. In 1977 the National Sojourners purchased the land, and the next year made the house their headquarters.

othercontact: 8301 East Boulevard Drive, Alexa
Phone: (703) 765-1652
Website: http://www.collingwoodlibrary.com/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 12, 2009
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