Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tudor Place

In Georgetown, "Tudor Place" is another Peter family house. With money bequeathed by George Washington to his step-granddaughter, Martha Peter, the Peter family purchased an entire eight-acre city block in 1805.

The house was designed by Dr. William Thornton, the first architect of the Capitol. Many items owned by George and Martha Washington (his chest and camp stool, her tea table), Francis Scott Key's personal desk, and other items reside now in Tudor Place.

A Trust established by the last Mr. Peter (who died in 1983) manages the house and its surrounding five acres of beautiful gardens. All rooms remain complete with their original furniture, carpets, pictures and other items. Also present are the bed where Robert R. Lee spent his night in Washington (on his return to settle affairs after the Civil War), and the portrait presented to the family by General Lafayette when he visited America in 1824, many years after the revolution.

It was said in decades past, while the house was still inhabited, that unusual sounds would sometimes awaken family members and visitors. There are also unconfirmed reports of partial apparitions. Possible reasons for the reported hauntings remain unknown as of 2006.

Tudor Place, open to the public every day except Monday, is located at 31st Street and Q Street in Georgetown.

Over two centuries ago, the Peter family of crop farmers also built a house near Riley's Lock on the C&O Canal (#24) in the Seneca region of Maryland. Family members are buried there with clearly marked graves. The Peter boys and their cousins had fought in the Civil War, sometimes on different sides, as was common in Maryland, a pivotal border state throughout the conflict.

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