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National Society Daughters of American Colonists - District of Columbia State Society

Dunnock Johnson Family ~ Dorchester & Washington DC

Some notes on Washington DC connections with the National Society Daughters of American Colonists.

Jacque-Lynne Amann Schulman

Hononary State Regent

National Headquarters

National Society Daughters of the American Colonists

 

In 1958 members were asked to donate $1.00 each to serve as a larger nucleus for our Headquarters Fund. Mrs. Howard Whipple Green was asked to Chair a Committee to stimulate interest in the Headquarters and begin the quest to raise sufficient funds to purchase a suitable property.

 

The 1959 General Assembly voted that the Headquarters Committee and the Executive should be given permission to act in the event a suitable property was found.

 

The Society sought the advice of Mr. Tigh Wood, Administrator of Rent Control during World War II. He was knowledgeable regarding DC real estate and known to the National President, Mrs. Carrigan.

 

Finding what was needed in the properly zoned area of the city proved impossible. Mr. Wood decided to show the Society 2205 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Although not zoned for use as an office, Mr. Wood believed that the proximity to the Chanceries and Embassies along Massachusetts Avenue might make a variance in the zoning possible.

 

The leadership of the National Society visited the house and all approved. Mr. Wood made arrangements for us to take an option to purchase the property. Mr. Wood and Mr. Bernstein, the owner at that time, both offered to assist us in procuring the variance. The option called for a purchase price of $52,000.00.

 

An application was submitted to the District of Columbia Zoning Board. During this waiting period, Mrs. Carrigan tried to make arrangements for the financing. American Security and Trust Company turned us down when we applied for a loan.

 

Mr. Charles Fadley, a Vice-President of Riggs National Bank, was a friend of the Carrigan family. During an accidental meeting on a bus, this exchange occurred:  He jokingly said, "Well my friend, anything I can do for you?" I said, Yes, please loan me $25,000.00." He looked surprised, but told me to bring my husband and come down to the bank. I explained what I wanted the money for.

 

Mrs. Carrigan came away from Riggs National Bank with a loan of $25,000.00 at 3-1/2% interest. That happy news was overshadowed by the next. The zoning exemption was denied. The delay caused the purchase option to expire. The Society was especially anxious to have this property as it was in an area with a most interesting history.  It was known that SAR had Headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue. An inquiry to the SAR revealed that they had had a bill introduced in Congress giving them the right to use their property. Mr. Tigh Wood was a friend of Congressman Walter Rogers of Texas. At his request, Congressman Rogers introduced a Bill providing for the Society to occupy the property they had purchased. He introduced H.R.11952. Members urged their Representatives to vote for the Bill, and some of us in the City attended the hearings. It was the last day the Congress was in session before the summer recess. Congressman Rogers presented the Bill and it was passed on July 2, 1960.  [written by Jacque-Lynne Schulman from the NSDAC history and other sources]

more about NSDAC

The House at 2205 Massachusetts Avenue

In 1890 the District Commissioners had extended the City limits beyond "Boundary Street" as Florida Avenue was then called. This area was part of an estate originally called "Kalorama". Joseph Barlow, poet, statesman and friend of Thomas Jefferson, first named this area "Kalorama". It was originally part of an area of 600 acres called 'The Widows Mite". The property had passed through many hands over the years. Finally a family by the name of Lovett sold the property.

 

By 1895, Mrs. E. Lovett was listed in the city directory at 2203, one the four houses built at the same time in the row. In 1903, the Sanborn insurance map shows the four still alone on the block.

 

On February 11, 1911, the Washington Post reported that the sale of Senator Frank F. Flint’s house, 2205 Massachusetts Avenue was announced. “The property has a frontage of 25 feet by a depth of 100 feet. It is on the north side of Massachusetts Avenue, just east of Sheridan Circle, which is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Washington. The property was held by Senator Flint at $40,000, although the actual purchase price is withheld.”

 

In fact Frank P. Flint, the former Senator from California, has sold 2205 for $40,000. The buyer is Oliver Perry to Oliver Hazard Perry Johnson. He is a banker and member of a large family, active in the business and civic community. He and his wife are the parents on a daughter, Elisabeth.

 

By 1950, a later owner is the Embassy of Iraq which uses the house as its chancery. As we have seen, in 1960, 2205 is purchased by the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists.