Saturday, August 11, 2012

Clara Barton National Historic Site in Glen Echo

It was the perfect day for a day trip. So with our dear friends, we headed out through Georgetown and stopped in the Palisades for lunch at the Boathouse. Then we made our way down MacArthur Boulevard to our destination. It would have been a more scenic ride taking the rail line, but it doesn't exist anymore. I like her because she was from Massachusetts, was the first female federal employee, everyone thought she was a nurse, she really liked animals, and most importantly had a huge impact on disaster relief. And Clara Barton actually lived, worked, and died in this house. Some of the lesser known places have the best park rangers and tour guides, and that indeed was the case here. It was one of the oddest houses I've ever been in. It started out as a warehouse, then became her home and a motel of sorts for all the folks who worked and supported the relief efforts of the Red Cross. And of course there was the favorite freeloading nephew who kept showing up. Though she never married, there was an adjoining door between her and the young doctor's quarters. No one knows for sure, but it's fun to think about what went on in this place! And it's all just a few miles away.

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