Clara Barton National Historic Site

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Clara Barton National Historic Site

The Clara Barton National Historic Site, which includes the Clara Barton House, was established in 1974 to interpret the life of Clara Barton (1821”“1912), an American pioneer teacher, nurse, and humanitarian who was the founder of the American Red Cross. The site is located 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Washington D.C. in Glen Echo, Maryland. The United States National Historic Site protects 9 acres (0.04 km²) of land at her Glen Echo home including the 38-room former residence of Barton. The site is managed by the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The first national historic site dedicated to the accomplishments of a woman, it preserves the early history of the American Red Cross and the last home of its founder. Clara Barton spent the last 15 years of her life in her Glen Echo home, and it served as an early headquarters of the American Red Cross as well. The National Park Service has restored eleven rooms, including the Red Cross offices, parlors and Clara Barton's bedroom. Visitors to Clara Barton National Historic Site can gain a sense of how Barton lived and worked surrounded by all that went into her life's work. Visitors to the site are led through the three levels on a guided tour emphasizing Barton's use of her unusual home. In 2005, 12,529 visitors toured the site.

Description
The large frame house was partially constructed from lumber salvaged from emergency buildings built by the Red Cross at Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the wake of the Johnstown Flood of 1889. The lumber of the dismantled buildings was brought to Washington via the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to avoid flooding the local market in Johnstown. The house's location was close to the canal on land donated by Edwin and Edward Baltzy, who were developing a Chautauqua assembly at Glen Echo. The house was designed by Dr. Julian B. Hubbell, the first field agent of the American Red Cross, to resemble a Mississippi River steamboat. Flanking stone towers with pointed roofs accentuate the effect on the deep, narrow house. While the design concept was fanciful, the house is sparely detailed and furnished for utility. The house contains 36 rooms and 38 closets, with three tiers of rooms facing a central gallery lighted by clerestory windows of colored glass. The Clara Barton House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
 

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