Constructed circa 1850, the 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 at the intersection of River Road and Western Avenue. 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).
In particular, the Burrows house has direct associations with the Civil War, the establishment of Civil War forts and the stationing of Union troops on the outskirts of the federal city. The Burrows farmhouse, located on land adjacent to Fort Bayard, provided provisions to the Union troops and was visited by President Lincoln. The property 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 twentieth-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 nineteenth century and its principal and subsequent development during the 1930s as a middle-class residential suburb of the city.
National Register: June 27, 2011
DC Inventory: March 14, 2011