The Wetzell-Archbold Farmstead is significant because it contains the earliest known log dwelling in the District of Columbia, and because it has the earliest known log house in the District exhibiting traditional log construction techniques. It is extremely rare to find such a dwelling and its rural setting preserved in an urban area.
The house's core contains a well-preserved single pen, V-notched log dwelling, once common on the small farms in the surrounding countryside of Maryland and Virginia. This particular house's form and construction techniques are also significant, because they represent a fusion of techniques found in both Mid-Atlantic and Southern vernacular building traditions.
Built circa 1843 in what was then rural Washington County, outside of the boundary of the District of Coumbia, the Wetzell House is a relatively late surviving example of the common farmer's house, which was typically built of log through the 18th century to the mid-19th century, after which time frame houses of machine-cut lumber dominated the landscape of the common farmer. The house's later additions illustrate this shift in preferred construction technology. The additions to the house, though illustrating more recent materials and technologies, were executed within the scale and proportions of the original house, and in no way detract from the house's historical significance and natural evolution.
Built c. 1843-50
National Register: April 19, 1991
DC Inventory: March 15, 1989