Riggs’s Country Seat

By George Wellman

George Washington Riggs (1813-1881) was the original owner of this 34 room cottage on a hilltop overlooking downtown Washington, DC. This Gothic-Revival style cottage was built for Mr. Riggs in 1842 on a large estate that served as his “country seat.” In 1851, the U.S. government purchased the property to establish quarters for disabled war veterans (a purpose the property serves to this day). We cannot converse about Cottage itself without talking about George Washington Riggs, the co-founder of Riggs Bank (now PNC Bank). Mr. Riggs also happens to be buried a block from President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Rock Creek Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Washington, DC. When you visit President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home, include a stroll to the burial site of George Washington Riggs, original owner of the Cottage.

Mr. Wellman is a Volunteer at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

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