HISTORY

Steps of Hillandale

Hillandale sits on the former estate of Ann Archbold, who was one of the two daughters of John Dustin Archbold, one of the earliest independent oil refiners in the country and became one of the original directors and executives at Standard Oil. 

A look at who Ann Archbold was as a person gives great insight into the origin of the Hillandale community. Anne Archbold was reportedly one of the first Western women to enter Tibet. Her childhood was spent in Italy and she was educated in both Florence and Paris. She traveled with, and in, the famed literary and artistic circles of the day both in Europe and the States. During her years in DC and up until her death in 1968, Ms. Archbold was an energetic philanthropist, preservationist, and active sportswoman. She led scientific and cultural expeditions to Hong Kong, the Spice Islands, and Malaysia where she collected plant, botanical, and shell specimens. All of her expeditions were extraordinary for a woman in the early 1900’s. 

Hillandale has a rich and interesting history. It was a working 70-acre sheep farm until Ms. Archbold bought the entire property in 1922. The original villa and gatehouse, still located in Hillandale today, were designed by Ms. Archbold with the help of Josephine Wright Chapman, one of the first female architects in the country. Both structures are now designated Historic Properties.

The result was Hillandale, a home that saw more than four decades of culture, politics, worthy causes, and grand entertainment march through its lively walls. Anne Archbold’s guests included Queen Elizabeth, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leopold Stokowski, Noel Coward, and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. 

Today, Hillandale retains the spirit of gracious living envisioned by Ann Archbold when she built her original villa in 1922. Located in Georgetown and surrounded by the 250+ acre Glover-Archbold Park, Hillandale is a naturally wooded area with ponds, wildlife, and serenity not found in any other location so close to the heart of the city.

Fountain of Hillandale