The unpretentious frame dwelling of Cleydael was built in 1859 as a summer retreat in King George County for Dr. Richard H. Stuart. In locating his house away from the Potomac River, Stuart was persuaded that an inland site on high ground would offer a more healthful respite from muggy Tidewater summers. Extra ventilation was provided by Cleydael’s T-shaped floor plan. Dr. Stuart moved his family to Cleydael for the duration of the Civil War, trusting it would be safe from military activity. Gen. Robert E. Lee sent his two daughters to stay with their cousins at Cleydael when forced to leave Arlington. Following his assassination of Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, with compatriots, sought medical aid here from Dr. Stuart at Cleydael. Stuart, aware of the assassination, was suspicious and refused his visitors assistance and shelter, dispatching them after giving them dinner.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark