Georgetown Time Machine: Dumbarton Club

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM is visiting Georgetown’s lost country club: the Dumbarton Club.

The photo above is taken from the Washington Post on March 14, 1915. It accompanies an article hailing the growth at the Dumbarton Club. This was a club that once stood around Mount Hope, the mansion at the southwest corner of what is now R and Wisconsin.

The club was founded in February of 1900 by a group of Georgetowners wanting to build a country club for the community:

By the time it opened later that spring, the members had ambitious plans to construct tennis and croquette courts, and even a golf course:

Ultimately the club did build a nine hole course in Burleith:

The House of the Good Shepherd was an orpahnage that once stood where Washington International School is:

Courtesy of Glover Park History

(It’s not clear from the contemporaneous sources, but it would seem that the golf course displaced the Black residents from using the area as a picnic grounds.)

Although golf appears to have been a big part of the club’s existence in its early years, that went away. It appears that the real estate development of Burleith pushed it out, as described in 1915:

By 1915 (the date of the first photo above) tennis was the primary focus on the club:

The courts appear to have taken up the south side of the property, essentially where the Long and Fosters is now:

As mentioned in the headline above, the club constructed three singles-only courts, which addressed the annoying need to “take on dub performers”:

Although the club hoped that its “backbone and get up” would ensure its future, it never purchased the land it sat on. And after the owner, Joseph Weaver, died his heirs sold it in 1926. (Evalyn Walsh McLean moved in several years later.)

And that was that for the Dumbarton Club.

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