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House History

DACOR Bacon House was built in 1824-1825 by Tench Ringgold, a close friend of President James Monroe. Ringgold was U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia. He purchased the lot from the estate of Tobias Lear, George Washington’s private secretary, U.S. Consul in Santo Domingo from 1801-1802, and Consul General in Algiers from 1803-1812.

During the years 1831-33, Chief Justice John Marshall (a former Secretary of State), Associate Justices Joseph Story, William Johnson, Gabriel Duvall, Smith Thompson, John McLean, Henry Baldwin, and several other members of the Supreme Court boarded at 1801 F Street.

In 1835, the former Governor of Maryland, Samuel Sprigg, purchased the home. Although he held title to the mansion, it was his daughter, Sally, and her husband, William Thomas Carroll, who occupied it. Carroll was a member of the distinguished Carroll family of Maryland, also one of the founders of the Law Department of Columbia College, now The George Washington University, and Clerk of the Supreme Court from 1827 until his death in 1863. Following Mrs. Carroll’s death in 1895, the house was purchased by Mrs. Mary Ellen Coolbaugh Fuller, wife of Chief Justice of the United States Melville Weston Fuller. Mrs. Fuller died in 1904 and Chief Justice Fuller in 1910.

The following year, Pittsburgh heiress Alice Copley Thaw, the former Countess of Yarmouth, purchased the house and engaged architect J. H. de Sibour to modernize it, including wiring the premises for electricity. Before she could occupy the renovated house, she married Geoffrey Whitney and established her residence in New York. For the next decade she rented the house to several prominent figures, including Senator and Mrs. Medill McCormick, brother of Colonel Bertie McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, and Congressman and Mrs. Robert Low Bacon. The Bacons bought the house in 1925. Mrs. Bacon continued living in the house after her husband’s death in 1938 until 1980, when she died at the age of 89. The house is furnished with many of her art objects, paintings, and family portraits. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

DACOR Bacon House

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