History & Culture

Soldiers at Arlington House, 1864
Union soldiers out front of Arlington House, 1864

Library of Congress

Welcome to Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. Originally constructed between 1802 and 1818, the house was built to be both the residence of George Washington Parke Custis and as the nation's first memorial to his adoptive grandfather, George Washington. The home became the repository of hundreds of relics and artifacts that once belonged to George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Custis' daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis would then marry a young Robert E. Lee in the house in 1831. This house became the residence of Robert E. Lee and his family before the Civil War. During the American Civil War, the house was seized by the Union Army who proceeded to turn the plantation into a military cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery. Today, the National Park Service serves as the steward of this important resource to ensure its preservation for future generations. The property is connected to many important figures, issues and events in United States history.

Over the 60 years leading up to the Civil War, Arlington House was also home to nearly 100 enslaved African Americans who lived and labored on the estate. The National Park Service interprets not only the history of Robert E. Lee and his family, but also the stories of the enslaved people, including the Syphax, Burke, Parks, and Gray families, to present a more complete story of life at Arlington House.


Last updated: August 23, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway
c/o Turkey Run Park

McLean, VA 22101


703 235-1530

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