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Library to Host Presentation on County’s Second-Oldest House

Dawson-Bailey HouseA more-than-200-year-old piece of Arlington history will be the subject of an event at the Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy St.).

The Dawson-Bailey House, believed to be the second-oldest home in Arlington, will be the focus of a visual presentation by Karl VanNewkirk, an Arlington Historical Society board member. The Sept. 12 presentation is part of a series of public programs between AHS and the library in an effort to further educate residents on the county’s history.

The Dawson-Bailey House was originally built as a one-room log cabin in the 1780s — though the actual age of the house is unknown. Both the Dawson and Bailey families occupied the house and continued to add to it for about 100 years. In 1955, after the last owner died, it was handed over to Arlington County. Today, the house is part of the Dawson Terrace Community Center (2133 N. Taft St.) and overlooks Spout Run Parkway in the North Highlands neighborhood, near Rosslyn.

The Ball-Sellers House, which is owned by AHS, is believed to be the oldest house in the county.

Dawson-Bailey HouseVanNewkirk’s presentation will include plenty about this historical landmark, including anecdotes about Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. Both are rumored to have visited the house during the Civil War era. Lee lived just a mile or so away in the Arlington House.

The hour-long program is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Sept. 12 in the library’s main auditorium. A Q&A session with VanNewkirk will follow.

In addition to these public programs, the Arlington Historical Society welcomes visitors to their other historic Arlington locations, the Balls-Sellers House and the former Hume School, now the Arlington Historical Museum.

This article was written by Maddy Berner

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