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ArlingtonHistoric Ball-Sellers property to reopen for tours

Historic Ball-Sellers property to reopen for tours

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Another sign normalcy, or some semblance of it, may be returning to life: The Arlington Historical Society has announced plans to reopen its Ball-Sellers House for tours.

The facility – the oldest home in Arlington, with a provenance dating back to the mid-1700s – had been shuttered since the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Few small farmhouses survive, and visitors can experience how people really lived and worked in Virginia during the colonial era and beyond,” said Annette Benbow of the historical society in a biographical sketch of the building found at https://bit.ly/34yu4uq.

It was built as a one-room log cabin by farmer John Ball, who later added a lean-to and covered the structure with clapboard.


After Ball’s death, the house and land were acquired by William Carlin, an Alexandria tailor whose clients included George Mason and George Washington. His family owned and farmed the property for three generations, eventually selling much of the land off for development of the Glencarlyn neighborhood.

The home – which also was at times used as a school – in 1975 was donated by owner Marian Sellers to the historical society. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in America and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

In more recent years, archeologists have worked on the site, uncovering thousands of artifacts that help provide insight into daily life at the property over the past 250 years.

Tours of the home, located at 5620 3rd St. South, begin June 12 and will run Saturdays from to 1 to 4 p.m. through the end of October. For information, see the Website at https://arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

The society’s other building, the Arlington Historical Museum (Hume School), is slated to reopen over the summer. It is located on Arlington Ridge Road.

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