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Washington DC Travel and Tourist Information

Hidden Treasures in the Nation’s Capitol

Spring and summer are prime time for visits to Washington, D.C. and its numerous national park sites. Escape the crowds at these small but fascinating places tucked away in parts of the District of Columbia rarely explored by tourists.

19th Century Technology

A working flourmill using 1820s technology operates in Rock Creek National Park. Restored in the 1960s, Pierce Mill is alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the 19th century flour industry.

As Washington, D.C.’s population expanded during the Civil War, the 1860s were boom times for the mill, which was owned by the Pierce family. Congress acquired Rock Creek Park in 1890 and the still working Pierce Mill three years later. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the mill was transformed into a teahouse but was returned to a functioning mill in 1934.

Hours to watch flour being milled are Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Find out more on Pierce Mill at www.nps.gov/pimi or call (202) 426-6908

Role Model

Walk-in visitors are welcome at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. It is the last residence of the remarkable Mrs. Bethune and the headquarters of the organization she founded, the National Council of Negro Women.

Also founder of Bethune-Cookman College in Florida and advisor to four U.S. Presidents, Mary McLeod Bethune’s life demonstrates the value of education and wise and consistent use of political power in striving for racial and gender equality. The 15th of 17 children of former slaves, she rose from poverty to hold high office in the National Youth Administration during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency.

The three-story Victorian Council House contains original furnishings and historic photographs and documents, including Bethune’s inspirational “Last Will and Testament,” first published in Ebony magazine in 1955.

Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Individual and group tours are available. For more information on Mary McLeod Bethune, visit www.nps.gov/mabe. For visitor information, call (202)673-2402.

Information provided by the National Park Service nps.gov