Salona (McLean, Virginia)

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Salona, McLean, Virginia.jpg
Salona field from the frontage on Dolly Madison Road
Salona (McLean, Virginia) is located in Northern Virginia
Salona (McLean, Virginia)
Salona (McLean, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Salona (McLean, Virginia)
Salona (McLean, Virginia) is located in the United States
Salona (McLean, Virginia)
Location1214 Buchanan Street, McLean, Virginia
Coordinates38°56′18″N 77°10′9″W / 38.93833°N 77.16917°W / 38.93833; -77.16917Coordinates: 38°56′18″N 77°10′9″W / 38.93833°N 77.16917°W / 38.93833; -77.16917
Architectural styleFederal
NRHP reference #73002011[1]
VLR #029-0034
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 24, 1973
Designated VLRJune 19, 1973[2]

Salona, in McLean, Virginia, is a parcel of land with frontage on Dolley Madison Boulevard, Buchanan Street and Kurtz Road. The Salona homestead and grounds comprise 7.8 acres (3.2 ha) within the 52.4-acre (21.2 ha) site, and is protected in perpetuity by a 1971 easement to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors. The Salona agreement places an additional 41 acres (17 ha) under a new conservation easement that The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust will enforce in perpetuity. Within the new easement, 10 acres (4.0 ha) will be placed in active recreational use, with the remainder used for passive recreation, such as trails. The easement allows for preservation and interpretation of natural and cultural resources on the property. The property owners, the DuVal family, retain the approximately 3 acres (1.2 ha) remaining of the 52.4-acre (21.2 ha) site.[1]


Salona derives its name from the circa 1805 homestead associated with this site. Salona is culturally significant on local, state and national levels. It was the home of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, the Revolutionary War hero; it was to Salona that Dolley Madison fled in 1814 when British troops were burning the White House; and, during the Civil War, Salona served as a part of the headquarters for the Union Army.[3] Its role in history has been noted as the house is on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]


The property was acquired through marriage by Robert E. Lee’s father, Henry Lee. Henry Lee served as governor of Virginia in 1791 and went on to serve two terms in Congress.[4] The stately brick manor house, which is currently undergoing renovations, was constructed between 1790 and 1810.[4]

Salona during the War of 1812[edit]

In August 1814 British troops attacked Washington, D.C., causing President James Madison to flee. During this British invasion of Washington, President Madison and his wife Dolley received hospitality at Salona.[5] President Madison was separated from Dolley, who found him at Salona the next day. Route 123 is known to locals as Dolley Madison Boulevard because of that event.[4]

Salona during the Civil War[edit]

Camp Griffin occupied Salona (then owned by Jacob Smoot) and surrounding properties from October 1861 until March 1862, with the mansion house serving as headquarters for General William Smith and other Union commanders.[5]

Conservation efforts[edit]

The conservation easement preserves one of the last sizeable open spaces in McLean. Within the new easement, 10 acres (40,000 m2) will be placed in active recreational use with the remainder used for passive recreation such as trails (providing a critical link to the Pimmit Run Trail system). The easement will also allow for preservation and interpretation of natural and cultural resources on the property. The easement prevents any residential construction on the property in perpetuity, and the Park Authority has the right of first refusal to own the Salona property outright. The cost of the conservation easement ($16.1 million) is less than half of the appraised (highest and best use) value of the property. The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust has the role of easement enforcement, and collaborated on the acquisition of the easement.[6]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c McLean's Salona Offered for Sale - News - Great Falls Connection - Connection Newspapers Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2008-01-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)