Interested in Federal Architecture? Check out the Huntley Historic Site!

I had always wanted to visit the historic house built by Thomson Francis Mason, the grandson of George Mason IV. For some reason, I thought that the house belonged to George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. I was wrong!

Thomson F. Mason (1785 - 1838) was the mayor of Alexandria from 1827-30. The house was build as a secondary residence and summer villa. Thomson lived in Old Town Alexandria where he was a prominent lawyer, mayor, justice of the peace, and the first judge of the District of Columbia's criminal court. Source:

We learned that Thomson's wife, Elizabeth "Betsey" Clapham Price was a force to be reckoned. "Betsey Mason outlived her husband Thomson by 35 years and was described as having “such determination to take all by storm.” She never remarried and according to our guide, she managed the financial affairs of the estate and paid off her husband's debts.

Much of the Mason estate is now preserved as parkland, Huntley Meadows Park. Historic Huntley consists primarily of the Main House, Tenant House, Necessary, and the Outbuilding. Guided tour includes the unfurnished 1825 villa and the grounds.

? $7 per person. Go to to book your Saturday tour. ⚠️The tour was more suitable for middle schoolers and up, in my opinion.

✅ Main house - Federal architecture known for its symmetry(1780–1820). "In general, the term “Federal” connotes a period in American history when our Federal system of governance was being developed and honed." Source:

✅ Tenant house - It may have been slave quarters.

✅ Necessary - In the middle of the building are two toilets from the 1800's.

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