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CRESTWOOD CITIZENS ASSOCIATION

WASHINGTON, DC       |       ESTABLISHED 1941

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    • Sun, March 10, 2019

    From Crestwood Historian David Swerdloff:


    On March 10, 1719, Crestwood got its start as a 300-acre estate named after three places in western Scotland. Those 300 acres still define the map of Crestwood today (minus some land taken for Rock Creek Park and a small pie-slice east of 16th Street and north of Webster).

    The original parcel began—in Prince George’s County in the Maryland colony—with Major John Bradford. Related by marriage to the influential Carroll family, Bradford was a member of the Maryland General Assembly. From 500 acres he had received a month earlier from Lord Baltimore, he assigned 300 to a man named Randall Blake. So little is known about Blake that his name sometimes appears as Randolph or Black.

    Just as Georgetown began as “Rock of Dumbarton” (part of a wider area called New Scotland Hundred), Blake drew on centuries-old Scottish landmarks to name his property. He settled on three spots north and west of Dumbarton, calling his parcel “Argile Cowall and Lorn.” There would be various spellings of the name—but that’s how it was written on the first survey of the land in 1720. Over the years, the property would simply be described as the Argyle estate.

    We don’t know if Blake ever took up residence in Crestwood. In any case, he sold the land back to Bradford before the Major died in 1726. Bradford’s will did provide the name of a tenant on the estate—so we can identify Peter Hyatt as an early resident.

    Bradford’s son ran into financial trouble and sold the 300 acres to the county sheriff, Richard “Squire” Lee, who lived at the historic Blenheim estate along the Potomac near where the Harry Nice Bridge is today. Various members of the Lee family would own the property for the next 100 years. Yes, they were a distant branch of the same family that produced Robert E. Lee.

    One question that has always troubled me is why, around the turn of the 19th century, the Peirces didn’t buy the Argyle estate as they were accumulating land along Rock Creek. They were not only living on a neighboring property, but—before constructing Peirce Mill in the 1820s—Isaac Peirce built the nearly identical Argyle Mill.

    I believe the answer is that Peirce could not purchase the property because of a legal dispute within the Lee family over its ownership. The case—dealing only with the Argyle estate but setting a national precedent—had to be settled by the US Supreme Court (Dawson’s Lessee v. Godfrey, 1808).  It’s a fascinating case about citizenship and land ownership after the establishment of the USA, with the background of some family intrigue about a rich grandmother and her four granddaughters.

    So, thanks perhaps to the Supreme Court, the 300 acres remained intact. The estate then attracted a series of owners. There were land speculators like William Redin and Thomas Lilly. In the 1840s Russia’s Ambassador to the United States, Alexander de Bodisco, had constructed on his “country” estate a handsome manor house and other buildings. Finally, Thomas Blagden and his heirs owned and lived here from 1854 until the property began to be developed in the early 20th century.

    One of the later developments would be called Crestwood. In 2018 that name marked its 80th birthday. But the neighborhood we now call Crestwood is about to start year number 300. Get the pipers ready

Past events

Tue, February 05, 2019 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Wed, January 23, 2019 Crestwood Aging in Place January 2019 Meeting
Tue, January 22, 2019 Meeting With Pepco To Discuss Power Outages
Thu, January 03, 2019 ANC 4A regular Public Meeting
Mon, December 24, 2018 2018 Holiday Caroling
Sat, December 15, 2018 2018 Crestwood Holiday Party
Wed, December 12, 2018 Green Team Meeting
Wed, December 05, 2018 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Mon, December 03, 2018 DC Leaf Collection
Thu, November 22, 2018 2018 Crestwood Turkey Trot
Tue, November 13, 2018 Special Meeting - Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018
Thu, November 08, 2018 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Sat, November 03, 2018 Estate Planning Seminar
Sun, October 28, 2018 CASA Crestwood - Tour of Homes to End Homelessness
Sun, October 28, 2018 Annual Halloween Party
Tue, October 16, 2018 Joint SMD/Crestwood Meeting
Sat, October 13, 2018 Aging In Place Action Team Potluck Social
Tue, October 02, 2018 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Sun, September 16, 2018 Annual Sunday After Labor Day Picnic
Tue, September 04, 2018 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Tue, August 21, 2018 Aging-In-Place Action Team Meeting
Tue, July 17, 2018 Joint SMD 4A08/CCA Meeting
Wed, July 04, 2018 Annual 4th of July Parade
Sun, June 24, 2018 Crestwood Spring Picnic - FREE FOOD!
Tue, June 05, 2018 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Tue, May 15, 2018 Annual Meeting
Tue, April 24, 2018 Carter Barron Stormwater Retrofit Project Public Meeting
Tue, April 03, 2018 ANC 4A Regular Public Meeting
Sun, March 25, 2018 Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Tue, March 20, 2018 Joint SMD/CCA Quarterly Meeting - CANCELLED
Tue, January 16, 2018 Joint SMD/CCA Quarterly Meeting
Mon, January 15, 2018 Invasive Ivy Clean Up
Sat, January 13, 2018 Holiday Trees and Greenery Recycling
Thu, January 11, 2018 Carter Barron Stormwater Retrofit Project Public Meeting
Sun, December 24, 2017 Holiday Caroling
Sat, December 23, 2017 Crestwood Holiday Party
Sun, December 17, 2017 Santa Claus Meet & Greet
Sun, December 10, 2017 Holiday Diaper Drive
Thu, November 23, 2017 2017 Crestwood Turkey Trot
Mon, November 13, 2017 Green Team Meeting
Tue, September 19, 2017 Crestwood Citizens Association/SMD 4A08 Meeting
Sun, September 10, 2017 Annual Sunday-After-Labor Day Picnic
Tue, July 04, 2017 4th of July Parade
Tue, June 20, 2017 Joint SMD 4A08/CCA Meeting
Tue, May 23, 2017 Annual Meeting
Wed, April 05, 2017 Board Meeting - Open To Association Members

Upcoming events

This website and the Crestwood Citizens Association is supported by the dues of CCA members. Membership has its benefits including access to members-only resources and the knowledge that you are supporting a great neighborhood!


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