Closely connected to the first years of the American Republic, the house has stood on the heights of Georgetown for over two centuries and provided refuge for First Lady Dolley Madison during the War of 1812. On August 24, 1814, Dolley had been watching for the enemy at the White House, while President James Madison had joined his generals at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland. When news arrived that the Americans were retreating, Dolley set off in the carriage of Charles Carroll, to his home, Bellevue (now called Dumbarton House), to await news from the President. After fleeing In the hours that followed, the British burned the Capitol and President's House. Tours and public programs are offered year-round.
Today Dumbarton House is one of the few stately brick homes in Washington to survive the heady days when the country and its capital were new. The design of the house reflects the shift from Georgian tradition to the Adamesque Federal style that would take hold as the new republic defined itself. From the parlor to the dining room, through the music room to the bedrooms upstairs, visitors to Dumbarton House today see a wealth of furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics that were made and used in the republic’s formative years.
The Dumbarton House is open year-round: Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00AM to 3:00PM (last museum entry is 2:45PM).
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
$5.00 per adult. Children, youth, and students-with-ID, receive free admission. The D.C. Power Pass is excepted.
Discount available to AAA members plus 3 guests when AAA discount card is presented. Discount available for National Trust members when membership card is presented.
Admission is free to: The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America members, Museum Members, children with a paying adult, students with valid ID, AAM members, ICOM members, Historic House Museums Consortium and Treasury Department staff. There is no discount for seniors.
A visit to Dumbarton House offers guests a unique opportunity to view one of the finest examples of Federal period architecture in the U.S., along with its impressive furniture and decorative arts collections.
As the British approached Washington in August 1814, first lady Dolley Madison fled the White House. She stopped to rest at Dumbarton House before continuing to Virginia.
Charles Carroll, the owner of the house and a friend of the Madisons, accompanied Dolley from the White House to Georgetown.
While at Dumbarton House, Dolley received a message from her husband, President James Madison, asking her to meet him the next day at an inn in Virginia.
Over the next two days, the British burned and looted the White House and many other federal buildings.