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Clara Barton National Historic Site

The Home of the Founder of the American Red Cross



Clara Barton Historic Site

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Clara Barton National Historic Site commemorates the life of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. The home of Clara Barton, which is located in Glen Echo, Maryland, served as the headquarters and warehouse for the American Red Cross where she coordinated relief efforts for victims of natural disasters and war from 1897-1904.

Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in North Oxford, Massachusetts. At the age of 17, Barton became a teacher and by the age of 23, she established her own school in North Oxford, Massachusetts. When Barton was 30, she moved to Washington DC and changed careers and worked as a clerk in the U.S Patent Office. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Barton resigned from the Patent Office to work as a volunteer, distributing supplies to help wounded soldiers.

After the war, she traveled to Europe and became associated with the International Red Cross. She returned home to Washington, DC and began a campaign to establish the American Red Cross. In 1881, Barton incorporated the American Red Cross, with herself as president. She served as president for 23 years. The Clara Barton National Historic Site in Glen Echo, Maryland was her home the last 15 years of her life

Clara Barton National Historic Site is located off of MacArthur Blvd. in Glen Echo, Maryland, adjacent to Glen Echo Park, a National Park for the arts.

Hours And Tours
The house is shown by guided tour. Tours start on the hour between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Groups of 10 or more require reservations. Call (301) 492-6245. The site is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

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