Constructed circa 1850, Samuel and Harriet America Burrows House is one of four in the American University Park neighborhood known to have existed before the area was platted for residential subdivision. It was originally located off River Road near Ellicott Street on Burrows family land, a portion of which was taken during the Civil War for construction of Fort Bayard. During the war, the Burrows family, although Southern sympathizers, offered hospitality to soldiers and even to President Lincoln.
In 1896 Samuel Burrows, then aged 70 years, sold much of the family acreage, but not his own farm, to the developers of American University Park. His widow, Harriet America Burrows, continued to live in the house until her death in 1923. Following her death, the house and surrounding farmland were sold, and in 1928, the house was moved to its present location on Verplanck Place (originally named Tenley Place).
The house illustrates an early phase of development of the larger Tenleytown area as it grew from a rural community in the pre-Civil War era to a 20th-century residential neighborhood. The Burrows house provides an excellent example of a rare pre-Civil War farmhouse that survived the subdivision of agricultural land into American University Park in the late 19th century and its principal and subsequent development during the 1930s as a middle-class residential suburb of the city.
DC Inventory: March 14, 2011
National Register: June 27, 2011