|'Merrywood': Circa 1920's.|
Overlooking the Potomac River, and located just a few miles away from George Washington's 'Mount Vernon', 'Merrywood' is one of the finest estates in Virginia, and is just northwest of Washington. Built around 1919, the 46-acre estate was purchased in the mid 1930's by Hugh D. Auchincloss II, who is most famous for being the step-father of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie, whose mother married Hughdie (as Auchincloss was called) when she was 13 years old, grew up at the estate, spending her free-time swimming, horseback-riding and playing tennis on the estate's grounds. Jackie's mother, Janet, was known for the series of lavish parties she hosted at the estate, earning the title Mistress of Merrywood.
|Jackie Kennedy with her mother, Janet Auchincloss, having tea with |
one of Janet's many dogs on the grounds of 'Merrywood'.
|'Merrywood': Circa 1940's.|
It was around this time, that Hughdie quietly listed 'Merrywood' for sale. With his once successful firm now taking huge losses, the financial burden of maintaining 'Merrywood' and 'Hammersmith Farm' was becoming too heavy for Hughdie. For years, he had been asking Janet to start economizing at 'Merrywood', which resulted in the layoff of many of the groundskeepers. Finally, in 1963, an offer was submitted for $650,000 (the estate was listed at $850,000). Hughdie accepted the offer, and with Janet purchased a four-story townhouse in Georgetown, a few miles down from The White House.
|John Dickerson, age 7, whose parents purchased 'Merrywood' in 1964.|
|Wyatt and Nan Dickerson, pictured at 'Merrywood' during the happier|
times of their marriage.