Once the northernmost of George Washington’s farms, River Farm narrowly avoided becoming a retreat for the Soviet Embassy in 1971, believe it or not, before Enid Haupt sold the property to the American Horticultural Society, which relocated its headquarters to the property in 1973. You can read all about the farm’s history here.
One of the more notable things about the property is a large Osage Orange tree, “…believed to have been a gift from Thomas Jefferson to the Washington family. It is known that Jefferson received seedlings of the Osage orange from the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-06.” Last winter I was hiking around Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, south of River Farm, and discovered some Osage Oranges, complete with their unique fruit, so apparently some of the seeds made their way downstream from the River Farm. I was accustomed to seeing Osage Oranges in Oklahoma when I was growing up, but it was certainly surprising to find them here in Virginia.
River Farm is a wonderful place for an easy stroll or simply to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds.