“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
North Highland in Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Dawson-Bailey House

The Dawson-Bailey House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin Vincent, June 9, 2012
1. The Dawson-Bailey House Marker
Inscription.  This house is probably the oldest structure in Arlington County, but its exact age is unknown. This land was first patented in 1696; a house at this site is shown on a survey of 1785. Thomas Dawson enlarged the present house by adding the east end in 1859. He left the place to his daughter. Bessie Lola, who married W. C. Bailey. She lived here for 94 years and died in 1955.
Erected 1969 by Arlington County, Virginia.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1696.
Location. 38° 53.94′ N, 77° 4.97′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. It is in North Highland. Marker is on North Taft Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2133 North Taft Street, Arlington VA 22201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Dawson-Bailey Spring Site (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Bay-Eva Castle Site (about 800 feet away); The Tulip Poplar - Giant of the Arlington Forest
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(approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Bennett (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort C.F. Smith (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Strong (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Corcoran (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Fort C.F. Smith (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
More about this marker. Contrary to the statement on the marker, this house is probably not the oldest house in Arlington County. That distinction belongs to the John Ball Cabin (subject of another historical marker in Arlington) which was built about 1750. It is quite possible that this house was built in the late 18th Century, which would make it the second oldest house in Arlington
Regarding The Dawson-Bailey House. This Federal-style, two-story, stone, gable-roofed dwelling was once part of the Dawson Farm. In 1859, Thomas B. Dawson purchased the house and 85 acres. During the Civil War the farm was occupied by Union troops, and Mrs. Dawson reportedly nursed several wounded soldiers in the house. The house remained in the family until 1955 when it was purchased by the County.
The Dawson-Bailey House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kevin Vincent, June 9, 2012
2. The Dawson-Bailey House
It is now operated as a recreation center. Source:
Additional commentary.
1. The Dawson-Bailey House
The house was first built by Thomas Owsley then the Dawson family owned it next. So the first statement of this maybe the oldest house may be correct.

I am a of descendant Thomas Owsley. We believe it was built around 1700 it was done through a patent grant at the time. According to a map in a book Beginning at the White Oak by Beth Mitchell 1972 Show the land at the time.

The Owsley family has family Historical society.

You may want to research the Fairfax County Virginia for this publication. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted September 4, 2013, by Cleave O. Maples of Denton, Texas.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2012, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,292 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 10, 2012, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 21, 2024