Theodore Roosevelt Gets His Own Island

The most unusual memorial to a president in Washington, DC is the one to our 26th chief executive. Theodore Roosevelt gets an entire island to his memory. Located in the Potomac River between Georgetown and Rosslyn, Va., Theodore Roosevelt Island is a fitting tribute to this president who ensured so much of America’s natural beauty is preserved for all time.

The memorial is large, maybe too large for a pastoral setting. Teddy is depicted in one of his familiar poses – exhorting his audience on to greater things. But its place in front of this monolith in this large plaza does give it an unfortunate feel of a socialist realism piece. But its size and the way it dominates the space is keeping with Teddy’s personality.

The island was the last refuge for the Nacotchtank Indians. They lived at various places in what is now Washington, DC. They were traders, farmers, and hunters. And probably lived around here for 500 years. Capt. John Smith records being well received by them as he explored this area in 1608. But after contact with Europeans, they were decimated by deicseas, fighting, and having their territory taken by settlers. After they left the island, they were absorbed into other tribes.

From there the island was claimed outright by English settlers. One of which was George Mason III, father of the George Mason of constitutional convention fame, who acquires it in 1724. The Masons build a large mansion on the Island, and it stayed in that family until 1842.

During the civil war the army takes over the island and uses it to train the First US Colored Infantry Regiment. Toward the end of the war the island houses more than 1,200 former enslaved people under the authority of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

In 1931 the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association purchased the island but it’s not until 1967 that this memorial is dedicated.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
1 to 8

Arlington National Cemetery: The Work of the Dead

Every working day more than twenty Americans who sacrificed for their country are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  On this tour we learn that while Arlington's dead rest in peace, they are always working.  Here we will explore how people from every background remind us of our heritage and our responsibility to one another.

from
250 USD
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
1 to 8

Hidden on Capitol Hill

Few people think beyond the Capitol when they think of the Hill. This tour takes you to the heart of a neighborhood with a fascinating history that still speaks to us today. Learn about these famous locations from a former Capitol Hill resident.

from
250 USD
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
1 to 8

Embassy Row: Divinity & Diplomats

Most Embassy Row tours don’t venture far beyond Dupont Circle. But ours does. We see it all from top to bottom. This stretch of Massachusetts Avenue used to be called Millionaires Row where Gilded Age robber-barons built grand mansions. Today those mansions house most of Washington’s embassies, along with private clubs and statues of world heroes such as Mandela, Gandhi, and Churchill – and we will be right in the heart of it.

from
250 USD