Library and Museum

Photo by: Art Pierson ©
8301 East Boulevard Drive
Alexandria, Virginia 22308
(703) 765-1652

A Non-Profit Foundation
"Proudly Serving the Cause of Patriotism"

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The Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism (CLMA) occupies 8.75 acres of land on the banks of the Potomac River, midway between Alexandria and Mount Vernon on what was once part of George Washington's River Farm.

Collingwood is owned by a non-profit corporation chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1976.

The objective of the Collingwood Foundation is to establish and maintain a Library and Museum, open to the public, to foster appreciation of our American Heritage by sharing the facility with all those persons who cherish the freedom of life, liberty, religion and free expression.

It is governed by a Board of Directors from dedicated Americans who believe in and support the purposes herein stated. There is no admission charge.

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It is supported solely from voluntary contributions and gifts made by individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations. All contributions are deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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Collingwood is named for the British Admiral, Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, the hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, who had a friendly rela. tionship in the early 1800's with Tobias Lear, inheritor of a life tenancy to the River Farm in Washington's will. The original building was a tworoom, with attic, built by Washington for a Sam Johnson and his family, who, in addition to duties as deputy overseer of the farm, was responsible for operating the ferry across the Potomac at the site and also collecting fees from ship captain's who stopped near the ferry dock to fill their barrels with fresh water from a spring near the bank of the river.

The original farm house has been added to over the years and has had a series of owners. In the 1920's, it was the home of Mark Reid Yates and his family who operated a dairy farm on 200 acres extending from the river bank to Fort Hunt Road, 1/2 mile to the west. At that time, the property was divided by a right-ofway for an interurban street car line to Mt. Vernon.

Under President Herbert Hoover, the street car line was converted into the Mount Vernon Parkway as part of the Bicentennial Celebration of Washington's Birthday in 1932.

It was following the opening of the Parkway that the farmhouse was converted into a restaurant and gained fame as one of the finer dining places in the Washington area. The restaurant closed for business in 1974 and the current foundation, which was chartered in October 1976, acquired the property in April 1977.

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In November 1978, the library was dedicated. It has 6,000 shelved volumes on American history and culture, a 19,000 volume micro-fiche "Library of American Civilization' and a video-tape library on a variety of patriotic subjects which may be loaned.

The District of Columbia Chapter, Descendants of the Mayflower, has its 600 volume library on genealogy in a section of the library.

Also on display in the library is an autographed copy of the celebrated poem, 'A Toast to the Flag", by John Jay Daly.

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On display in the library are bronze plaques of the Constitution and Bill of Rights donated by Potomac Lodge #5 of the District of Columbia in honor of LaVon l P. Linn. He was a Past Master of the lodge and the Founding President of the Collingwood Foundation.

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The Sioux Indian Chief's ceremonial headdress with 87 eagle feathers on permanent display is part of a large collection of Indian artifacts - beaded belts, moccasins, pottery and basketry owned by the Foundation.

Other revolving displays include Washington's "Rules of Civility", Medal of Honor recipients, Revolutionary War heroes and an assortment of other artifacts.

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There is an audio-visual room where groups may view slide-shows and video tapes.

In the Museum is a flag display that includes the Colors of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the 5 armed services, Bennington '76 and the National Colors.

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The Museum has a gold-cast copy of the Magna Carta. It is # 1 12 of 500 made by the Library of London in 1976 as a tribute to our Bicentennial.

The Foundation has a commercially prepared videotape, 'The Heritage of American Patriotism", which is available for sale for $19.95 (+ $4.95 shipping and handling).

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In keeping with tradition established by the Collingwood Restaurant, the building and grounds are available for weddings, receptions and other private functions. For information, contact the Curator.

Contributions to Collingwood are tax-deductible under IRS 501(c)(3) and donors are designated as:
Friend$1 to $99
Supporter$100 to $999
Patron$1,000 to $9,999
Sustainer$10,000 to $24,999
Benefactor$25,000 and above

To enter Collingwood, exit at Collingwood Road on the Mt. Vernon Parkway. From Alexandria, turn left; and from Mt. Vernon, turn right, toward the Potomac River; then take an immediate right on East Boulevard Drive Entrance to the Collingwood parking area onehundred yards south; through stone-pillar gates.

Open hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday and Wednesday to Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m.; Sunday. Closed Tuesday.

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