15. George Washington's Lots
The two lots purchased for George Washington in 1777 occupy the southeastern corner of Fairfax and Mercers streets. On September 6, 1784, while visiting in Bath, Washington contracted with James Rumsey to build a house, stables and kitchen on the lots. Rumsey eventually built two rough structures. The lots are described in Washington's will in 1799; they were bought from the estate by his nephew, Bushrod. Robert Gustin bought the lots from the Bath Trustees in 1825; they had foreclosed because taxes were not paid. In 1868, Judge William Dole — Abraham Lincoln's Commissioner of Indian Affairs — bought the lots and razed the existing buildings to construct a summer cottage with the town's first indoor bathroom. The Dole house served as a boarding house through the first half of the 20th century; during the 1930s it was known as the Washington Arms Tourist Home. It was razed in 1952 to build the current dwelling.
© 2004 Travel Berkeley Springs. All rights reserved.